The Kenya Acorn Project was established in 1998, by a group of UK visitors to the Ndhiwa area of Western Kenya, in response to evident community need. It was registered as a charity in the UK in July 1999, and as  an international NGO in Kenya in October 2002.  KAP is a membership organisation, with a board of trustees based in the UK and Kenya.  The Chair of the management committee in Kenya is a Board member.  Many people in the United Kingdom and in Kenya are involved in KAP. This is to increase fund raising but also to increase awareness of development education within the North East of England, making global links between the two communities in England and Kenya.
The Board of Trustees has acted as the general overseer of the project, and has been very successful in gaining a variety of resources for the project.  These include financial donations, hospital equipment, educational materials and UK volunteers, many of whom have visited the project for periods of several weeks to up to six months, and have provided labour, skills and materials to upgrade the physical infrastructure of the Community Hospital and of the five selected schools.  To date, fund-raising has targeted mostly individual donations, but has included contributions from the British Army in Kenya, and other supporters.
The project grew from an individual’s key interest in the development needs and aspirations of Ndhiwa community.  Muriel Armstrong, a senior nursing lecturer in North East England, founded KAP.  Early achievements included the renovation of a derelict house into a community hospital, with laboratory and mortuary facilities; equipping the hospital with medical items, drugs, and sanitation and waste disposal facilities, including an incinerator; providing support to schools for the building of new classrooms, water catchment systems, pit latrines and improvement of other physical facilities.  Various women’s groups are being supported with seed capital, to begin income-generating activities.
The KAP hospital is essentially focused on secondary health care right now. Facilities available at the Acorn Community Hospital include: In and Out Patient treatment, basic operational procedures (such as hernia, caesarean section, mastectomy, laperotomy), basic laboratory testing facility (for  conditions such as TB, malaria, typhoid, anaemia), STI treatment, mother and child health care, and a mortuary, as well as having gardens that produce food for the hospital, and water tanks and a well for provision of water. The vegetables grown at the Hospital are Sukuma wiki, cabbage, carrots, onions, maize, beans and amaranth. Future crops grown on unused ground could increase the volume produced, and fruit trees are a possibility for future sustainability. Bee hives and chickens are held as income generators as well as food supply for the hospital. In co-operation with a nurse from another heath clinic, KAP offers VCT every Tuesday.
The area that KAP is operating in, is characterized by a very high HIV prevalence. Estimates range from 20% to 30%.
KAP is currently only focussing on HIV education. This is done by group of facilitators who are trained and funded by medical students from Bristol University. The facilitators visit schools in the area four times a year. Plans are being made to expand the number of visits and the sort of groups that are visited. HIV education can also be done in women groups, during outreach clinics and in church groups.
In the near future KAP is planning to expand it's activities concerning HIV and AIDS. Ideas are being made for a network of home-based carers and VCT centre (a Voluntary Counselling and Testing centre, where people can be tested and can also get counselling) at the hospital. All this depends on possible funding.
Outreach Clinic
An Outreach Clinic is currently run on the last Tues of every month to the village of Sibugo, which is approximately a 45 minute walk away from the Hospital. The clinic deals with mother and child health care including the full KEPI vaccination programme. It is hoped to run further outreach clinics, with one planned for the second Tues of every month at Sibuoche, depending on current coverage by other agencies. There is scope to include outreach services incorporated into the role of the proposed community / school nurse.