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The Organic Health Response (OHR) is a small, yet growing nonprofit organization based on Mfangano Island within the Kenyan shores of Lake Victoria. We activate communities to strengthen health, resilience, and local voices and support open community spaces to advance critical conversations and local solutions. Our team uses research to understand the needs of our population and impact of our actions. The history of OHR is the story of grassroots ideas, a “worldwide web” of student activism, and a new generation’s vision for an island of resilience within a sea of HIV/AIDS despair. We equip our rural villages with resources, training, and connections to respond “organically”—as unified communities— to the overwhelming socio-economic, epidemiological, and ecological challenges we face. Founded in 2008, OHR is registered in the USA as a 501(c)3 non-profit, and in Kenya as a Community Based Organization (CBO) on Mfangano.
OHR is rounded in the recognition that the health of human beings is fundamentally connected to the strength of their communities and the sustainability of their environments. We seek to augment health services by taking into consideration local understandings of disease, and integrating the power of biomedical science with the insight of indigenous knowledge. Most importantly, OHR seeks to move beyond the rhetoric of "International Development" to put power into the hands of rural communities and at-risk youth. Rather than requiring rural communities to develop according to agendas set by international organizations, OHR strives to equip Kenyans on Lake Victoria with cutting-edge resources to grow a locally-directed future.