Chwele-Namwela is a rural village located in western Kenya, near the Ugandan border in East Africa. It is a 5-8 hour drive northwest of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. It is close to the 2nd largest semi-open market in Kenya where people come from other regions to buy and sell goods on market day (usually Mondays). There are approximately 60,000 people living in the surrounding area, and about 12,000 living in the core community.
This region of Kenya, along with the bulk of sub-Saharan Africa, faces a range of troubling health and economic development issues. Residents suffer from poverty and food insecurity due to ineffective agricultural management systems, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and other educational and economic factors. According to the United Nations Population Division statistics, the life expectancy in Kenya currently averages less than 55 years, and in 2007 carried an HIV prevalence rate of roughly 6%percent. These health indicators, coupled with harsh demographic realities – 43% percent of the population is under the age of 14 – translate to an acute need for effective, preventive community health care and health education.