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Hope for Salim and Bakari


  • pg 1
                                                                                Oct-Dec 2010

   Waliojitolea                                                                 News and stories
                                                                                from the VSO
                                                                                Jitolee family -
                                                                                our volunteers,
                                                                                partners, friends and

COLLEGE. PG 4         LIVESTOCK. PG 7       A VOLUNTEER. PG 13               PG 15

                         Hope for Salim
                            and Bakari
                                       Education Assessment and Resource Centres
                                     (EARCS) continue to bring hope to parents and
                                  communities in ensuring a better future for children
                                                                        with disabilities
                                                                    CONTINUED PG 8

                                          WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010                         1
                                                                                                      Kenyan Returned Volunteers had an
Ugandan Returned Volunteers catching up           Dancing and having a blast at the 2010 RVs          opportunity to show o their dance moves
at the 2010 RVs Alumni Event in Kampala.          Alumni Event in Kampala.                            as well at the 2010 RVs Alumni Event in

VSOJ Sta (L-R) Judy Omega, Winnie                 Makena Mwobobia, VSO Jitolee Head of                Douglas Rasugu, VSO Jitolee Programmes
Musunga, Anne Mwindi and Boka Nyachieo            Programmes carries seedlings for a tree             Support Of cer carry seedlings for a tree
at the Nairobi RV Alumni Event.                   planting exercise in Oloitokitok                    planting exercise in Oloitokitok.

                                                 VSO volunteers, community members and VSO
                                                 Jitolee listen to Edger Juaban, VSO Volunteer        VSO Jitolee sta , volunteers and community
Teresa Kariuki of VSO Jitolee, plants a          from The Philippines as he talks about the various
banana seedling in Oloitokitok                                                                        members at the tree planting excercise in
                                                 seedlings that would be planted during the tree
                                                 planting exercise in Oloitokitok.

  VSO Jitolee marks the International Volunteer Day (IVD), alongside other volunteer involving organizations, during an outreach
 day program at the Mathare Clinic, Nairobi. Activities for the day included painting the clinic, cleaning, free medical services and
     2                              donation OCT-DEC 2010
                            WALIOJITOLEA KUSINIof blankets, patients’ gowns and medical equipment.
   We close the year with a new look         Kusini – sharing           Kenya and around the world.
   with you the exciting and inspiring stories in a brighter,
   more vibrant style.                                                  We look forward to sharing more with you in 2011 – full
                                                                        colour, new look and all!
   Our cover story, ‘Hope for Salim and Bakari’, is one
   about hope not just for the boys featured but for
   their mothers, their family and their community. It is
   an inspiring tale by Mwanajuma Maingu and Angela
   Wausi Makau – mothers who have not given up on
    nding quality education and life for their sons whom
   society, most times, has shunned.

   As always, this nal 2010 edition would not have been
   the same without the contribution from returned and
   serving VSO volunteers. A VSO returned volunteer
   from Kenya, takes us down memory lane from his
   experiences as a Clinical Instructor in Malawi while
                                                                                        PICTURE SPEAK. PG 2
   two more volunteers, both from the Philippines, tell us
   about their work in Kenya – both business advisors but                               EDITORS NOTE. PG 3
   with two di erent stories to tell.                                                   FINDING A PLACE FOR
                                                                                        CHANGE IN THE WORKSHOP
   Our colleagues from Nigeria, had the opportunity as                                  OF HABITS. PG 16
   a LINKS (Learning through International Networking                                   LINKS (LEARNING
   and Knowledge Sharing) team to come to learn and                                     THROUGH INTERNATIONAL
   share good practice by visiting non-governmental                                     NETWORKING AND
   organizations and government institutions in Kenya                                   KNOWLEDGE SHARING).
   that are currently implementing HIV and Disability                                   PG 18
   interventions. Opeyemi Ipinnaiye, Programme Support
   Of cer HIV and AIDS Voluntary Service Overseas,
   Nigeria gives us a feel of the learnings from the Kenya
   LINKS visit in this edition of Kusini.

   ‘Picture Speak’ de nitely speaks volumes in this edition
   as the images come to life in full colour – we’re sure
   you will enjoy seeing our volunteers, partners and sta
   captured doing what they do best: being part of the
   change that will make life better for our communities in

The views expressed in the Kusini Newsletter are not necessarily those of VSO. To share your stories with us; send an email to:
For more information on volunteering, partnering with VSO Jitolee or if you would like to make a donation, please visit our
                                                                      WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010                            3
Memories of Trinity College

    “As a clinical instructor in Malawi         the ward, she or he would barely         classroom teaching, which meant
    my main objective was to teach              supervise the students. The students     that some times we could not teach
    nursing students at Trinity Hospital.       would therefore need to be well          practical skills;
    My VSO volunteer counterpart,               versed with nursing skills before they   the practical room was small and had
    Elly Bos, oriented me to the job.           could handle patients.                   little equipment and I had language
    I was introduced to the hospital,                                                    barriers when communicating
    which was understa ed; there was            Ensuring that the students are           information which required the local
    only one nurse per ward per shift.          competent with basic skills before       language.
    Trinity Hospital has three medical          releasing them to the patients is
    wards and a busy maternity wing.            a key responsibility of a clinical       To work as a clinical instructor one
    Each ward has a capacity of 35              instructor. It requires in depth         is required to rst be registered by
    patients. Sometimes the wards               knowledge of how to impart               the Nurses and Midwives Council
    would be full to capacity, especially       knowledge without the students           of Malawi. This requires one to
    during the malaria season. The              getting confused. Having previously      undergo a four week rotation at one
    nurse was assisted by one patient           taught Registered Nurses      for 3      of the four central hospitals. I did my
    attendant and students practicing           years, I had good instruction skills     rotation at Queen Elizabeth Central
    skills in that ward. Sometimes the          and knew what to expect. However,        Hospital in Blantyre. This hospital
    ward would have up to 10 students.          I experienced a few challenges:          is the largest in the country but
    With only one nurse working in              the tutors took long to nish             has a chronic sta shortage. The

4                         WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010
one month I worked at Queens               to when various skills should have          construction, we moved the practical
was an eye opener. I worked with           been taught, Elly had designed a            room to our of ce. It was tiny and
students from other colleges and           local master plan that indicated            could only accommodate one
took this chance to understand             when to teach speci c skills. She           practicing bed and a doll, and two
what the training in the country           oriented me to the master plan and          cabinets for supplies and reference
was like. I noted that some second-        we introduced it to the rest of the         books. The practical room needed
year students, who are considered          school faculty. Four of the six tutors      medical supplies such as; needles,
senior students, were struggling           in the college were straight from           syringes, cannulas, catheters, cotton
with application of theory learnt          university. They formed a good team         , gauze among others.       Elly and I
in class. For the four weeks       I was   to share skills with. We took them          applied for the placement support
there, I never met a single tutor or       through the year’s master plan for          fund from VSO. We received £2,500
clinical instructor supervising the        the rst and second years. Each of           and these funds helped us acquire a
students. The students told me that        them chose speci c clinical areas           new practicing doll, an intravenous
this was a normal occurrence.
They were used to being          left
alone and learning on their
own. Since these students
came form a well sta ed
government college, I would
have expected them to be
accompanied by a clinical
instructor. I realized the
task I was up to as a clinical
instructor in a rural hospital.

When I went back to Trinity,
I had a better understanding
of my role as a Volunteer
clinical instructor. The rst-
year students who were in
session had just completed the             they wanted to supervise in addition        infusion arm and medical supplies.
introductory theoretical content.          to teaching in class. Things started        The supplies were adequate to
They were now ready to go to the           out well but with time, not everyone        last for one year. Elly left in March
wards. My counterpart had been             did what they had promised to do.           2009. She had volunteered for
alone for the last one month and                                                       three years and left a mark at Trinity.
had been working really hard. I was        During this time the Norwegian              Elly’s replacement was to come
happy that I came at the right time        Church Aid (NCA), an NGO that               in June 2009. I would be the only
to help “initiate” these ‘fresh’ men       supported nursing schools, had              clinical instructor for the next three
and women into nursing. Since the          been building a new library,                months. However the students
curriculum and master plan did             students hostel, tutor of ces and a         were now preparing for the end of
not have a clear speci cation as           practical room. To pave way for the         year exams. I had time to be o the

                                                               WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010                                  5
    clinical areas and plan for the next           student in Moi University, Kenya,
    group.                                         I was a resource person in PBL             For the rst time we examined
                                                   implementation. We held workshops          students on skills after they had
    At the beginning of 2009, there was            to orient tutors to PBL and although       practiced on dolls for two months.
    a two month strike by all CHAM                 it had a slow start, it eventually         This is called      OSCE (Observed
    (Christian Health Association of               picked up really well within the           Skills and Competency Examination)
    Malawi) nursing schools in the                 subsequent 8 months.                       with a pass mark of 90%. We had
    country. They were demanding                                                              supplies bought by the school
    more funds from the government.                In January 2010 and we welcomed            and others by VSO Malawi. It
    The 2 months strike completely                 a new intake of 20 students. The           involved a student practicing skills
    changed the calendar of the school.            college had anticipated 40 students        at four di erent stations. At each
    There would be no student intake in            but due to the fact that the students      station, there would be a tutor with
    June 2009. The next group would                were no longer being sponsored             a checklist of what the student
                                                                                              is supposed to do. The tutor
                                                                                              would score the skills the student
                                                                                              performed. All the students passed
                                                                                              and were ready to practice on
                                                                                              patients safely. All the tutors fully
                                                                                              participated. This exercise was one
                                                                                              of the highlights of myplacement. It
                                                                                              also happened in May when I was
                                                                                              in the last weeks of my placement.
                                                                                              I was really encouraged by the
                                                                                              teamwork we had and hope it
                                                                                              will continue even without VSO’s
    join in January 2010.                          by the government, only a few
                                                   could a ord to enroll. The new
                                                   group would be the rst to use
    Melanie came in June 2009 as                   the new practical room. NCA          had
    Elly’s replacement. She had enough             completed the practical room that
    time to be oriented to the college             could accommodate twenty students
    before the next intake. During this            at a go. It was a modern structure
    time, we reviewed the curriculum               complete with a sluice room,
    and a master plan for an integrated            of ce and all the practice dolls
    Nursing and Midwifery program.                 and equipment needed. I couldn’t
    The NCA funded the development                 wait to use this practical room. We
                                                                                               By Hiram Njuguna, a
    of a strategic plan for the college            planned and followed the teaching           VSO returned volunteer from
                                                                                               Kenya who served in Malawi for
    and implementation of Problem                  schedule for both classroom                 2 years.
    Based Learning (PBL) and teaching              teaching and demonstrations in the
    methods. Having trained as a PBL               practical room.

6                           WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010
Life with Livestock

Nancy Wahu Njenga is 50 year            times already, at Ksh 25,000.                               used for family consumption.
old widow with 6 children living        Through arti cial insemination
inKangemi, Nairobi. Just like           (AI), the cow had a heifer before                           Nancy was also able to purchase
any other mother, she wants             the acquisition year ended and                              1 goat and 2 sheep, one with
the best for her children. It is        produced 5 to 6 litres of milk per                          a lamb, for Ksh 5,000 and
this motivation that led her to         day. Nancy sold the milk at Ksh 35                          she slaughtered a sheep last
join Mworoto Self Help Group            per litre and any surplus milk was                          Christmas to her family delight.
in 24th April 2004. Like
other groups assisted by                                                                             Currently, Nancy has a total
Egalitarian Organization for                                                                         savings of Ksh 23,000 and she
Poverty Alleviation-Kenya                                                                            hopes to secure a new loan of
(EOPA-K), savings is the                                                                             Ksh 60,000 to grow her ‘life with
basis in providing loans to                                                                          livestock’ which in turn ensures
Self Help Group members.                                                                             she is earning a livelihood for
                                                                                                     the future of her family.
Having saved Ksh 10,500,
Nancy received her rst loan
                                   Nancy Wahu Njenga is one of over 10,000 women bene tting
of Ksh 30,000 as per the           from the Improved Sustainable Livelihoods Project (ISL), a
Group’s policy of borrowing        project supported by the European Union and implemented
3 times the amount of one’s        under the VSO Jitolee Secure Livelihoods programme. The
                                   project seeks to support disadvantaged women in Coast, Nairobi
savings. This loan enabled         and Eastern Provinces of Kenya to improve their products,
her to buy one breeding            capacity, governance and incomes through provision of Business
                                   Development Services (BDS) and micro credit.
cow, which had calved four

                                                                      WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010                                   7
    Hope for Salim
    and Bakari
    by: Virgilio C. Ventura

                        “I never like it, locking my boy inside my room in our
                           house while I am away looking for work to feed my
                                                                  family each day.

It makes me sad but I can’t help      physiotherapist. Visits to several        legs. This is precisely the reason
it. Even when I am working            hospitals never did anything to           why I have never lost hope that
elsewhere, my mind is with him;       improve the condition of my               someday Salim can stand up and
what is he doing, what damage         child. In desperation, I even             walk just like everyone else,”
has he done and how much              sought the help of a herbalist            continues Mwanajuma.
must I pay for the destruction he     hoping for e ective treatment for
may have caused when I come           my son but all in vain,” narrates         It was during a Community Based
home? I thank Allah he does not       Mwanajuma Maingu of her son               Organization (CBO) Exchange
harm himself or other people,”        Salim Omar.                               Visit on 19th October, 2010 in
says Angela Wausi Makau of                                                      Kwale, organized by the Kili
her 16-year old son Bakari Said       Left by her husband when she              Educational Assessment and
Mwajambo who is mentally              was four months pregnant with             Resource Center (EARC) that
challenged. “When Bakari was          Salim, Mwanajuma is determined            Angela and Mwanajuma shared
one year old he experienced           to pursue curative measures to            their stories with the Community
irregular body temperatures after     improve the condition of her son          Based Organisation (CBO) group
su ering from an attack of the                                                                 from Mtwapa led
Yellow Fever virus. For two                                                                    by the Shajanand
years he kept getting sick with                                                                Special School
fever and showing hyperactive                                                                  Principal, Mr. Patrick
behaviour. Except for a time                                                                   Muzungu Koba. The
when the doctors conducted                                                                     encounter proved
a head scan on Bakari, the                                                                     to be a heaven-sent
succeeding years constituted                                                                   opportunity for both
an endless prescription of                                                                     mothers who were
medicines that I had to buy                                                                    almost at the end of
to calm Bakari down. Yet, the                                                                  their ropes in nding
doctors never told me what was                                                                 help for their sons.
really wrong with my son. For
a time, Bakari was enrolled in a                                                               “The Sahajanand
special school for the mentally                                                                Special School
challenged. Unfortunately                                                                      (formerly known as
no obvious modi cation on                                                                      Mtwapa Primary
his hyperactive behavior has                                                                   School) is part of the
been e ected, thus rendering                                                                   Mtwapa Educational
the whole endeavor a failure.                                                                  Institute complex
With ve other children to care                                                                 that practices
for, my husband who is also                                                                    inclusive learning
dependent on irregular jobs,                                                                   where regular
and I with my liquid detergent                                                                 and physically
soap business, can only do                                                                     or mentally
so much to care for all of us,”                                                                challenged learners
continued Angela.                                                                              interact in the
                                      while seeking court remedies to           same environment without
“When my boy was just a baby,         make the father provide nancial           discrimination. Since its
he also got sick with Yellow Fever.   support for Salim. “Things started        establishment in 2006, the
For some time, he was unable          to turn for the better when I             Special School welcomes all
to sit and would not even feed        brought Salim to the Sahajanand           children with either physical
from my breast. I brought him         Special School. Whereas before            or mental disabilities to its
to the hospital and the doctor        my boy could not even sit on his          classrooms especially those
informed me that my baby’s legs       own, he can now sit and do more           referred to them by the Kili
were a little weak and advised        because of the training he got            EARC sta who conduct the initial
me to bring him regularly to          from Sahajanand. He is now able           assessment of a child’s disability,”
the hospital for exercises with a     to eat and even scribble using his        Patrick Muzungu shared.

                                                        WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010                                9
     The CBO Exchange Visit is just            may be carrying the ‘culprit              other parents who have survived
     one of the more innovative ways           genes of disability’.                     the blaming period and sorrows
     that the Kili EARC under the                                                        related to having a child with a
     VSO Jitolee’s programme on                It is thus part of the Information,       disability.
     Strengthening the Educational             Education and Communication
     Assessment and Resource                   (IEC) function of the Educational         “Raising a child like Salim takes
     Centres (STEA) implements                 Assessment and Resource Centre            patience: patience for your self
     across 13                                                            (EARC)         and patience of the community.
     Districts in
     Kenya, with
                    “Raising a                                            all over
                                                                          Kenya to
                                                                                         Community members will
                                                                                         often mock at you and this will
     Kili being
     one of the
                    child like Salim                                      rectify this   make you feel very low in their
                                                                                         presence. You need a lot of
                                                                                         patience. You cannot ask for any
                    takes patience:                                                      assistance from anyone as many
                                                                                         see you as a thorn on their esh
     to Kili
                    patience for your                                                    or a nuisance. It is terribly painful
                                                                                         and lonely out there. You will nd
                                                                                         it dif cult to express yourself.
     Randu, it is   self and patience                                                    Joining the CBO Exchange Visit
                                                                                         in Kwale gave me this calming

                    of the community.
     through the                                                                         e ect of listening to other parents
     facilitative                                                                        of children with disability talk
     initiative                                                                          about their own experiences. It
     of VSO                                                                              made me realized that I am not
     Jitolee that parents of children          counterproductive myth that               alone in my su ering,” asserts
     with disabilities, like Angela and        prevents parents of disabled              Mwanajuma.
     Mwanajuma, are infused with               children to seek professional
     hope. Truly, it is through these          help. The CBO, as a support               “A major scope of Special
     exchange visits that parents can          group, invites distraught parents         Needs Education (SNE) work is
     release a sigh of relief that they
     are not alone in going through
     the dif cult process of nurturing a
     child like Bakari or Salim who are
     with disability.

     Often, it is indeed the mother
     who is burdened with the
     nurturing function in the family.
     Mothers of children with
     disabilities, like Angela and
     Mwanajuma, are victimised by
     social mindsets that consider
     having a child with disability             Dorothy Randu, Kili EARC Coordinator, speaking
     a curse that needlessly                    to the Mtwapa and Kwale CBO Member in Kwale.
     contributes to a family su ering
     embarrassment and shame.
     Having a child with a disability
     in the family can also serve as           like Angela and Mwanajuma to              to mobilize support for the SNE
     the cause of many dysfunctional           learn additional livelihood skills        Model and link it with district
     families with couples blaming             to support their family and to nd         plans and aspirations. Towards
     each other as to which of them            strength in the experiences of            this end, the Community Based

10                      WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010
   Rehabilitation (CBR) component            (CBO) that Patrick Muzungu                 hyperactive behavior that we
   of the STEA project under VSO             heads,” concluded Kili EARC                observed of him. He shall go
   Jitolee envisions to mobilize             Coordinator Dorothy Randu.                 through an Individual Educational
   communities for the CBR; identify         Indeed, Mwanajuma’s painful                Programme (IEP) where we can
   and train CBR workers, parents,           experience led her to date to              determine his strong and weak
   and care givers; and conduct              readily join the Mtwapa CBO                points in terms of behavior and
   exchange visits for learning,”            which promised great hope for              academics. From there, the
   asserts Dorothy Randu.                    her and her son’s independence             teacher will determine what
                                             from community members who                 kind of behavior and skills must
   “It is upon the initial assessment        fail to understand him. The
   process of identifying the speci c        promise of learning new skills that
   disability a child, like Bakari           could help established her own
   for example, is su ering from             source of livelihood is enough
   when they are referred to either          reason for her to nd the Mtwapa
   a medical institution for further         CBO as a support group that she
   treatment, a special school like          has long longed for.
   Sahajanand, or a vocational
   school for children above 17              After listening to Angela’s story
   years old who cannot really cope          about her son who is mentally
   with the demands of academic              challenged during the CBO

                                                                                          Bakari Said Mwajambo

                                                                                        be taught to him. On top of
                                                                                        this plan, I have committed to
                                                                                        provide Bakari a full personal
                                                                                        sponsorship for his boarding at
                                                                                        Sahajanand during school terms,”
Salim Omar, sitting up on his own following                                             volunteered Patrick Muzungu.
rehabilitation at the Sahajanand Special School.
                                                                                        Indeed, teary-eyed Angela Wausi
                                                                                        Makau could hardly nd the
                                                                                        words to thank Dorothy Randu
   learning models. Likewise,                Exchange Visit in Kwale, and               of the Kili EARC and Patrick
   guidance and counseling are               after an assessment, Sahajanand            Muzungu of Sahajanand Special
   given to parents who are indeed           Special School Principal Patrick           School for the all the help that
   in need of it through seminars            Muzungu was advised by Mrs.                they will continue to shower upon
   and workshops organized by the            Randu to have Angela bring her             her son Bakari.
   EARC sta and volunteers from              son to Sahajanand for enrollment
   the VSO Jitolee based in Nairobi.         in its Special Needs Education
   It is therefore no coincidence            (SNE) programme.
   that Mwanajuma is now an
   active member of the Mtwapa               “Bakari will be placed in an
   Community Based Organization              Autistic class because of the

                                                                WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010                            11
     Fundraising Support Of cer/Business Advisor Kathivo Youth Polytechnic School, Ithiani Youth
     Polytechnic School, Matinyani Youth Polytechnic School KITUI

 “I could say God has been extra                is a very quiet neighbourhood.             meeting can run late and we may
 good to me. My placement is                    During the night, all I usually hear       end up having lunch 2:00p.m. to
 such a blessing. Volunteering is               are sounds of birds and insects. I         3:00p.m. While having breakfast,
 not just a job, not just an 8 to 5             can even hear my own breathing             I boil water for bathing and then
 o’clock responsibility. Most likely,           echoing inside the house. I wake           get ready to head out to the
 it’s round the clock, any time of              up 5:30 in the morning and after           youth polytechnic school. Today,
 the day, any day of the week and               saying my morning prayers, I               I go to Kathivo Youth Polytechnic
 one can’t help putting heart into              open my computer, access the               and there is a Board Meeting
 it. I am here to work regardless               internet (thanks to unlimited              scheduled. By 7:00am I am ready
 of time and day, and regardless                internet access promotion by               to go. I have to go early as the
 of the nature of the work.                     Safaricom1), and send smses2               big matatu 3going to Kathivo
                                                to my family. As I wait for their          has no xed departure time and
 Kitui is a wonderful place, though             replies, I boil water for co ee            I need to ensure I catch it at the
 not a very comfortable one.                    and drinking-water for my water            bus terminal.
 There are many things one misses                 lter. I check my emails or access
 here. One thing I’ve learnt as a               my Facebook account as I am                If I am lazy to walk I take a boda-
 volunteer is to make-do with what              sipping my co ee. After bustling           boda 4 going into town. When
 is available - learn to appreciate             with the computer, I tidy my               I do walk, like today, I trek up a
 what is o ered to you in your host             room. By this time I’m ready for           hilly and bumpy road going to
 country and you will surprisingly              my breakfast – another cup of              the main street just in front of the
   nd contentment.                              co ee with creamer and bread is            Kitui General Hospital. I usually
                                                excellent breakfast for me. But,           give a long breath when I reach
 I live in a 2 bedroom at, 10                   on days when I have meetings               the ‘thank God’, top-of-the hill
 minutes walk to town. The place                scheduled, I eat a heavy breakfast         portion of my walk and I’m almost
 where I live is called Highrise and            because I’ve learned that                  always in time for the children at
12                        WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010
the school for mentally disabled,    10 minutes long. I get to the              share electric operated tools
waiting for me to pass by, to        school at about 9 o’clock in the           for carpentry with Matinyani
call me, smile and say “Jambo”       morning, the meeting scheduled             Polytechnic School. But
(hello) or “Habari Yako?” (how       for 10:00am.                               since they don’t have electric
are you?); I answer then “nzuri                                                 power, they the carpentry and
sana” or “I am very ne”. It’s        After greetings, with the                  dressmaking training is done
amusing as children surround me      manager and teachers, I go                 manually. I also feel the need
and some touch my skin and my        around the workshops, talk to              for the introduction of computer
hair and giggle – I suppose it’s     trainees, and visit their nursery.         course in this institution. I wonder
because I look curiosly di erent     Kathivo Youth Polytechnic School           how they have managed to
with straight hair and fair skin     is near a dam so there’s abundant          survive for the last 24 years (the
colour. So when I pass by, in        supply of water for the plants.            school was installed 1986).
spite of catching my breath,         Drinking water is a few kilometres
I try to have a ready smile for      away. The school, however,                 It was almost 12:00 noon when
them and I sometimes give them       needs help. It is a struggling             the Board of Governors, all
sweets.                              institution with only 38 trainees, 2       arriving late, that the meeting
                                     usable workshops and no electric           eventually started. The
 After another 3 minutes of          power connection. There is                 meeting was presided over by
walking, I then cross the main       one workshop that is collapsing            the Chairman Patrick Musemi,
road and again go through a          where cracks are too visible. I            a retired school teacher. I
hilly, bumpy, dirt road going to     take photos of the workshop                appreciated how he handled the
the bus terminal. Dispatchers        hoping that we can nd a donor              meeting. I could sense support
and conductors in the terminal
are usually rough and harsh. But
since, I give them my sweetest
smile, a handshake if necessary
and greet them in my usual
habari yako?, I have become a
known and regular customer and
they assist me. I then take Jimbo
matatu for Kathivo. The fare
is 40 Shillings. The conductor               Vilma with trainees during an orientation on Entrepreneurship
knows me and he already knows
where I will get o . I have a
permanent seat in the matatu         to reconstruct. While waiting              from the Board. I was asked to
when I am bound for Kathivo.         for the Board of Governors,                talk, on what I can do for the
The drive from Kitui to Kathivo is   I talk to the manager about                school, my responsibilities and
just 20 minutes. Once I get o ,      how they cope and manage to                they all give me their support.
I exchange greetings again with      meet their objectives with such            I was touched by the warm
the bystanders and boda boda         poor facilities. They are very             welcome they gave me. I told
drivers, the usual “habari yako?”    dependent on the support given             them I will do my best to be
with rm handshakes. I am             by the Ministry of Youth A airs            an instrument in giving light
amused with people here where        and Sports, Ksh 15,000 per                 to this school. All members of
handshake is so important,           trainee per year. The allotment            the Board invited me to visit
children shake hands, couples        is clearly de ned by a budget for          their homes, spend a night if I
shake hands, and even shaking        each expense; the polytechnic              can. I later came to learn in that
hands with people whom u don’t       school cannot however divert the           meeting that the teachers are
know is norm. Boda boda o er         money to any other expenses                paid only Ksh 2,500 per month. I
me free rides to the school but      other than what is allowed by              was dismayed, shocked of what
I kindly let them know that I        the Ministry. Electric power               I heard and I said that with such
would love to walk which is just     is very important as they can              very low salary, we can never

                                                        WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010                               13
     expect quality education or                to concentrate and tell myself        Once inside my house, after
     training for the trainees. I also          that I am in Kenya and not in         changing my clothes, I get a cup
     don’t know how they survive.               the Philippines. The ‘keep left’      of co ee. I log on to Internet
     Many things ran through my mind            driving rule in Kenya is the one      while sipping my co ee, once
     that day – trainees surviving on           thing th at I have not gotten used    again send smses to my family
     maize and beans for lunch every            to, other than that I feel at home.   and check my e-mails. After
     school day for a year, teachers            I don’t miss home much because        an hour, I then prepare dinner.
     paid only Ksh 2,500 per month,             I have found a home here in           While eating supper, I watch a
     trainees sharing workshop since            Kenya, with warm and caring           movie on my laptop or read.
     only 2 are usable, a manager paid          people, and the atmosphere.           After dinner and cleaning up, I
     less than Ksh 5,000 per month                                                    take shower. Before going to
     and a polytechnic with no electric        I nally get a ride going back to       bed, I log on to the Internet once
     power…                                    Kitui, smiling and exchanging          more, this time to catch up with
                                               pleasantries with people inside        my friends or if I have something
      After the meeting, it is practice        the matatu including the driver.       to surf or some un nished
     to give                                                                                                work at the
     money for                                                                                              computer. I
     those who                                                                                              usually sleep
     attended –                                                                                             past 10 in the
     one of the                                                                                             evening. As
     reasons why                                                                                            I lay in bed, a
     they rarely                                                                                            few thoughts
     conduct                                                                                                bother me
     meetings.                                                                                              – the youth
     The trainees                                                                                           polytechnic
     pay Ksh 3,000                                                                                          school, the
     per year for                                                                                           low salaries
     the food and                                                                                           of teachers,
     since not all          Vilma poses with the Board of Governors and Manager of the Kathivo              the low
     these funds            Youth Polytechnic School.                                                       enrolment, the
     are not used                                                                                           workshops,
     for food, the                                                                                          etc. The
     same kitty is                                                                                          fact that the
     the source                                                                                             institution
     for paying the Board and meals            Soon, I am on my way home              had been operating for 24
     during meetings. Lunch was                where I love to stroll. I passed       years means that there is always
     served past 2:00pm when the               by a friend who is an owner of         that desire from the youths in
     meeting ended. We had lunch of            a shop. I would usually stop,          the area to be trained. They
     rice and beef stew.                       shake hands with her and people        deserve quality and proper
                                               around and talk for a while, then      training which can only be
     After 4:00pm I am strolling back          am o to the hilly road again           attained if problems and gaps
     to the highway with the Manager           passing through the school of the      existing could be addressed
     and the Chairman to catch a               mentally handicapped, smiling          properly and positively. With
     vehicle back to Kitui. Most of the        and waving at me, meeting and          the existing scenario, I made my
     time I am lost...I tend to catch          greeting some people on the            own plan, where my contribution
     a vehicle on the wrong side of            road until I nally reach home.         will be felt, where my presence
     street. In the Philippines its drive      My neighbours are very friendly        and contribution can make
     right while its drive left here. My       and sometimes invite me for            a di erence - as the call of
     orientation is mixed up. When             dinner at their homes which I nd       VSO says “SHARING SKILLS,
     I am catching a vehicle I have            as very nice gestures from them.       CHANGING LIVES”.

14                       WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010
                                                                                                By John Okiror Odongo

                                                                                         including increasing access
                                           The organization has unique                   to health information as well
                                           strategic plans which include                 as empowerment of students
                                           broadening HIV/AIDS                           through information sharing
                                           communication strategies                      to sustainably play their role in
                                           through health information                    ensuring healthy and ef cient
                                           delivery. Ghaind Uganda also                  welfare.
                                           embraces Disability Rights
                                           through empowerment and                             As a team, we have undertaken
Sign language interpretation during HIV/   advocacy including agricultural                     our health trainings to over fteen
AIDS Awareness in UNISE –Kyambogo
University –Kampala Uganda.
                                           food production with a focus to                     higher institutions of learning
                                           sustainable secure livelihoods.                     in Uganda, including Makerere,
Global Health and HIV/AIDS                 Climate                                                              Kampala
Initiative Uganda, popularly                                                                                    University
known as Ghaind Uganda                                                                                          and Kampala
is a non-pro t Public Health                                                                                    international
organization, dedicated to                                                                                      University,
strengthen health programmes                                                                                    St Lawrence,
and improve the lives of men, WW                        Cross section of students of Nzosi University
                                                                                                                Nkumba, Nsamizi
                                                        Mpigi, Listening to the facilitator, delivering
women and children in their                             Psycho-social approaches of persons a ected             University, MUBS
localities in Uganda                                    and infected by HIV/AIDS.                               including training
                                                                                                                300 Government
The organization is working                                                                                     District
with development agencies,                 Change is a global concern both                     Administrative, Medical Health
CBOs, NGOs, FBOs and policy                in the developed and developing                     and Community Development
makers including Public Higher             world and therefore, Ghaind                         of cers of 112 districts in Uganda.
Institutions of learning in Uganda         Uganda treats this as part of its
to strengthen communities e orts           thematic areas of concern.
in enhancing universal access to
quality health care with emphasis          Our major purpose is to promote
                                                                                            HIV/AIDS Awareness Training in Nzamizi Centre
to HIV/AIDS prevention through             the adaption of behavior                         of social development in Mpidi district in
trainings, research and health             change, information education                    Western Uganda
information delivery.                      and communication practices

                  For more information on our programmes contact us on:
               Tel: +256774-457250 / 071457250 / 0772980350/ 754457250
                     Email: ghaind2@gmail.com or ghaind2@yahoo.com
           Website: www.globalhealth-hivaids.org or www.globalhealth-hiv.org

                                                                WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010                                       15
 Finding a Place for Change In the
 Workshop of Habits

      By: Annabelle B. Encabo, Small Business
      Adviser, Imani Workshops, Eldoret, Kenya

 “I have always believed that                           Alignment or realignment                                     gained the skills and aptitude
 where people are di erentiated                         consists of change of some                                   for work were absorbed for full
 by cultures, they speak the same                       form, and that’s what makes it a                             time employment. But social
 language when it comes to                              daunting task. In a workshop of                              enterprises have not always been
 business as a universal endeavor                       habits and a mix of tribal cultures,                         run like pro table enterprises and
 – I was wrong.                                         there seemed to be no place for                              I felt that my change agenda was
                                                        change. This was my challenge,                               imperative at Imani.
 The Japanese for instance, have                        as a Business Advisor for Imani
 their own way of doing business                        Workshops 1 in Eldoret, Kenya,                               From rearranging the
 compared to the Americans and                          where I dreamed of making                                    workstations to improving
 the rest of the world. However,                        a di erence in this subject of                               productivity, and making bold
 these countries manage to look                         change.                                                      steps in marketing, I found myself
 into each others’ best practices,                                                                                   encountering resistance, and
 make their own versions and                            Imani Workshops, started with                                reluctance. Artisans and regular
 go out to compete. Given a                             the social mission of providing                              employees were not keen to
 globalized economy and a world                         hope and livelihood assistance                               move or adopt change - either
 trading system though, everyone                        to patients coming from the                                  they were used to doing things
 must align- thus the need to                           AMPATH 2 program who are                                     their way, or they simply weren’t
 speak the same language, in                             ghting stigma and poverty. Since                            comfortable doing so. It amazes
 order to stay in the race and                          Imani’s operation in 2005 a steady                           me though that even when
 survive.                                               stream of artisans have come                                 the bene ts of change were
                                                        and gone, and the few who have                               demonstrated or proven; the
             Imani Workshops is a livelihood component of the Family Preservation Initiative (FPI) under AMPATH. AMPATH – Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare
           is a program initiated in 1989 by Indiana University School of Medicine (US) in partnership with the Government of Kenya through Moi University School of Medicine.
           Previously referred to as Academic Model for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV and AIDS, it is one of the largest and most comprehensive in Africa. For more info
           log on to: www.imaniworkshops.org

            AMPATH – Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare – a program initiated in 1989 by Indiana University School of Medicine (US) in partnership with the
           Government of Kenya through Moi University School of Medicine. Previously referred to as Academic Model for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV and AIDS, it is
           one of the largest and most comprehensive in Africa. Imani Workshops is a livelihood component under the Family Preservation Initiative (FPI) under AMPATH. FPI/
           AMPATH hold of?ces at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret. For more info log on to: www.imaniworkshops.org

16                       WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010
most response I received was              existence complicated by HIV                                                     over an amusing mentoring
the “rubber band” attitude of             and AIDS, and I learned to deal                                                  experience when I was coaching
complying for                                                                                                                                 the women
a short while                                                                                                                                 assigned at the
but reverting to                                                                                                                              stockroom on
the old way of                                                                                                                                simple inventory
doing things,                                                                                                                                 system. After
after some                                                                                                                                    I presented
time. While I                                                                                                                                 the necessity
pondered on                                                                                                                                   of maintaining
how best to                                                                                                                                   computerized
motivate them,                                                                                                                                inventory, they
I stretched                                                                                                                                   threw their hands
                        Annabelle with Imani Workshop employees and artisans.
my patience                                                                                                                                   up in the air and
further to                                                                                                                                    the absence
accommodate                                                                                                                                   of know how
any willing soul and prayed that          with those limitations as well.                                                  became an easy excuse. I showed
they would be open to new                                                                                                  them that a computer is just
ideas and new ways of working             My persistent and I believe,                                                     like a big calculator or a mobile
together.                                 somewhat annoying nature,                                                        phone with lots of di erent uses
                                          paid o in time. Amidst all these                                                 and features. Keying in gures
I learned that that their view            resistance to change I have                                                      is similar to calculating sum or
towards change was limited to             recently witnessed some progress                                                 di erence, while encoding is
my tenure as a volunteer, as it           at the workshops. For instance,                                                  same thing you do when sending
was with the other muzungu                the organization has opened its                                                  mobile text messages. Their
volunteers who came before me             doors to adopting my concept                                                       rst attempt to compute was
– who came and left, introducing          of kazi nyumbani 4 as a means to                                                 a struggle, but when I saw the
a lot of new ideas which at Imani,        achieve growth. In September                                                     twinkle in their eyes, I felt a sense
created more confusion. I found           2009, the rst kazi nyumbani                                                      of satisfaction.
myself starting over what should          (work-at-home) program was
have been done and learned in             piloted in Langas, a community                                                   Education is an indispensable
the past. I explained to them that        in Eldoret, with 5 skilled workers                                               aspect of change and at VSO;
change is not an easy process             from Imani who are residents                                                     knowledge is our most powerful
but sometimes we have to do it            therein and 2 persons with                                                       tool. However, one has to carry
because we need to grow and               disabilities. The team worked                                                    a lot of patience to see things
what matters most, is having              to ful ll an order of beaded                                                     develop or change - ‘there is
the desire to do it. Further,             papyrus bowls to ll-in the output                                                no hurry in Africa’, as they say.
I found out that simplifying              of the workshop. Although not                                                    I know that in the near future,
things- making it ‘kenyanized’            yet into full operation, Imani                                                   my people at the workshops will
was more appealing. Indeed,               hopes to establish 6 more kazi                                                   have this appreciation, desire
the developed world has a lot of          nyumbani within the AMPATH-                                                      and con dence to do things
complications - and complications         MTRH catchment area, that are                                                    unconventionally. When that
can create unnecessary fear and           expected to provide livelihood                                                   happens, even if I’m no longer
stress in the south or developing         to at least 30 people and absorb                                                 there, I can say with all certainty,
world. Moreover, I realized that          20 persons with disabilities who                                                 that I have found a place for
my people at the workshop                 will be taught skills within its craft                                           change in the workshop of
were a special type of workforce          areas, through the Imani Training                                                habits.”
who had been living a marginal            Institute. Moreover, I triumph
  Kazi nyumbani - Swahili term for ‘work at home’ - a strategy conceptualized by Annabelle Encabo to accommodate the growing number of patients from AMPATH
who need livelihood assistance. This was patterned after OVOP in Japan and OTOP in the Philippines. By engaging in kazi nyumbani weaker patients, with and
without disabilities, can be taught skills and earn income from their home or community premises. It is a way to expand the production of Imani Workshops without
incurring additional expenses on new buildings, facilities or overhead costs. In its pilot stage it was observed that more women preferred kazi nyumbani because they
can attend to their home and children, even while working. It also gave them ?exibility in production because they can work anytime including weekends.

                                                                                          WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010                                              17
     LINKS       (Learning Through International
     Networking and Knowledge Sharing)
       Study Tour: Nigeria – Kenya, 12th -21st SEPTEMBER 2010
       An excerpt from the Report by Opeyemi Ipinnaiye, Programme Support Of cer HIV
       and AIDS Voluntary Service Overseas, Nigeria.

     Persons living with disabilities        that they are likely to become           now report rape as their leading
     experience all of the risk factors      involved in a series of unstable         concern for their children’s
     associated with HIV infection. In       relationships. Individuals with          current and future well-being.
     fact, they may be at increased          disabilities (both male and              Individuals with disability are also
     risk because of additional              female) around the world are             at increased risk of substance
     vulnerabilities such as poverty,        more likely to be victims of sexual      abuse and less likely to have
     limited access to education             abuse and rape than their able-          access to interventions.
     and health care, lack of
     information and resources                                                                            The future
     to facilitate safer sex,                                                                             for disabled
     lack of legal protection,                                                                            individuals
     increased risk of violence                                                                           who become
     and rape. Little attention                                                                           HIV-positive is
     has been given to the                                                                                equally grim.
     risk of HIV and AIDS                                                                                 Although little
     for individuals who                                                                                  is known about
     have physical, sensory,                                                                              access to HIV
     intellectual, or mental                                                                              and AIDS care,
     health disability before                                                                             citizens with
     becoming infected. It is                                                                             disabilities
     commonly assumed that                                                                                receive far
                                        LINKS tour participants with Kuria District Disability
     individuals with disabilities                                                                        fewer general
                                        Network (KDDN) Sta during their visit.
     are not at risk. They are                                                                            health services
     incorrectly thought to be                                                                            than others.
     sexually inactive, unlikely                                                                          Indeed, care is
     to use drugs, and at less risk for      bodied peers. Factors such as            not only often too expensive for
     violence or rape than their able-       increased physical vulnerability,        impoverished disabled persons,
     bodied peers.                           the need for attendant care, life        but it can also be physically
                                             in institutions, and the almost          inaccessible, for instance, clinics
     There are signi cant risk factors       universal belief that disabled           with steps/stairs at their entrance,
     for populations of persons with         people cannot be a reliable              bar the way for a wheelchair
     disability around the globe.            witness on their own behalf              user and consultation with a
     Extreme poverty and social              makes them targets for predators.        physician without a sign-language
     sanctions against marrying a            In some countries, parents of            interpreter is meaningless for
     person with disabilities mean           intellectually disabled children         most hearing impaired persons.

18                      WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010
In 2009, the HIV and AIDS                                       disabilities. Advocacy at various                               them increasing the success of
programme of VSO Nigeria                                        levels of government on HIV                                     the projects. Sensitization and
conducted a workshop on                                         and disability issues is also a                                 education of people on issues
Inclusion for partners and one of                               key approach in the reducing                                    a ecting persons with disabilities
the outcomes from the workshop                                  HIV prevalence among persons                                    is a paramount step in ensuring
indicated that persons with                                     with disabilities as is partnership                             a barrier-free society – not
disabilities were excluded from                                 with government agencies                                        forgetting that developing and
HIV and AIDS interventions.                                     (including NACC and MOH) and                                    producing disability-friendly IEC
The key factor for the exclusion                                international agencies (including                               materials goes a long way in
was lack of technical capacity                                  USAID, UNDP, and VSO etc) on                                    giving persons with disabilities a
to implement HIV and AIDS                                       HIV and disability which cannot                                 voice in the campaign against the
prevention and care & support                                   be overemphasized in the ght                                    spread of HIV.
strategies targeting persons                                    against the scourge.
with disabilities. VSO Nigeria’s                                                                                                Each of the organizations visited
HIV and AIDS programme                                          The LINKS team discovered that                                  had its own unique learning with
which is strongly committed in                                  training of healthcare providers                                the major outcome of the study
contributing to the mitigation                                  and journalists in sign language                                tour being, the resolution of
of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria                                      communication
by building the capacity of its                                 aids the
partners, selected partners                                     provision of
drawn from di erent regions of                                  disability-
Nigeria, to participate in a 6-days                             friendly
LINKS study tour in Kenya, to                                   healthcare
learn best practices on National                                services
Volunteering and HIV and AIDS &                                 and better
Disability.                                                     representation
                                                                of persons with
The study tour provided                                         disabilities.            LINKS participants at LVCT -Liverpool Voluntary Counseling and
opportunities for partners                                      Economic                 Testing, Care And Treatment which is an indigenous Kenya based
to learn best practices from                                    empowerment              recognized non-pro t, non-governmental organization involved in
                                                                                         giving technical assistance to government and others wishing to
nongovernmental organizations                                   of persons with
                                                                                         start quality Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services in
and government institution                                      disabilities is a        public health care settings.
in Kenya that are currently                                     powerful tool in
implementing HIV and Disability                                 addressing HIV
interventions .Organizations such                               and disability
as Liverpool Voluntary Counseling                               issues along with the provision of             the partners to form a network
and Testing, Care and Treatment                                 disability friendly VCT, treatment,            - Network of CSOs on HIV and
(LVCT), Kenya Institute of Special                              care and support service centers               Disability. It is expected that
Education (KISE), Kuria District                                at di erent locations both at the              the network will advocate and
Disability Network (KDDN),                                      grassroots, cities and work places             address issues on HIV and AIDS
Handicap International, Action                                  being highly essential in the ght              & Disability in Nigeria using
Network for the Disabled and                                    against HIV and AIDS.                          National Volunteering as one
Nyaweri Deaf VCT were visited.                                                                                 of its strategies. Participants
                                                                Other interesting learning                     observed that the success of
                                                                included the team nding that                   HIV and Disability interventions
From the visits, the participants                               testing of celebrities encourages              in Kenya was as a result of
learned that National Response                                  the public to nd out about their               Government providing the
on HIV and Disability policy is                                 HIV status as well as having total             enabling environment for persons
necessary in ghting the spread                                  involvement of persons with                    with disabilities through the
of HIV among persons with                                       disabilities in projects that a ect            Kenya Disability Act.
LINKS (Learning through International Networking and Knowledge Sharing) are activities that give people the chance to go to another country to learn and share good practice by
visiting or working with organisations there. LINKS activities are aimed at VSO International partners, although staff and volunteers may take part in them as well.
The LINKS approach is based on the idea that learning among peers is a powerful way of helping people to look at their work in a new way.

LINKS activities currently include Study tours which involve groups from VSO partner organisations, visiting organisations in another country to learn more about a particular issue.
During a tour (one to two weeks) the groups meet different organisations, see work in practice and have the chance to ask questions, observe and share ideas.
Study tours provide an insight into different ways of working, which leads to change and innovation in participants’ knowledge, attitudes and practice when they return to their home

                                                                                             WALIOJITOLEA KUSINI OCT-DEC 2010                                                           19
                                                  Kenya (programmes and recruitment)
                                                                  5th Floor, Timau Plaza
                                                                 Argwings Kodhek Road
                                                                 (Opposite Yaya Centre)

                                                                     P.O. Box 49843-00100
                                                                              Nairobi, Kenya.
                                                        Tel: (+254) 20 3861603, 3871700,
                                                                 720 890184, 736 310705
                                                                    Fax: (+254) 20 3876013
                                                               Email: vsojitolee@vsoint.org

                                                                 Uganda (Recruitment)
                                                              Plot 2727 Muyenga Road
                                                        Muyenga-Kisugu, Tank Hill Parade

                                                                               P.O. Box 2831
                                                                          Kampala, Uganda.
                                              Tel: (256) 414 268984, 269655, 267008, 312
                                                                      Fax: (256) 414 510090


     I Believe I am Part of The Change

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