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The production of an informational newsletter containing news,
comprehensive feature articles and day-to-day experiences on TEMAK’s
community programmes.


To share information on challenges and best practices encountered in the
area of operation. This information will be of assistance to other
individuals/groups not only in the locality but also in other places with similar
socio-cultural and economic backgrounds.

Our partners in community health services, in girl child education and in anti-
FGM campaigns. Our partners in evangelization are interested in having up to
date information on the progress of our work. The proposed newsletter will
fulfill this burning desire on their part.


A). Teenage Mothers & Girls’ Association of Kenya (TEMAK)
     P.O. BOX 3531, KISUMU, 40100, KENYA
     TEL: +254 (0)57 40460

B). Contact person:
     Joab Othatcher,
     Program Officer
     TEL: +254 (0)57 40460
     MOBILE: 0722-271066

TEMAK started in 1992 from the family experience of one pioneer member
who watched two of her younger teenage sisters go through physical and
psychological torture including marginalization and sexual harassment. The
worst was getting cast out of their very home with nowhere to go and
nothing to eat, culminating in the death of two infants due to malnutrition
and disease. This experience inspired six other friends who were so touched
by her narration of the story that a group to advocate for girl child rights was

A preliminary survey revealed serious forms of rights abuses and cultural
trauma suffered by the girl child especially teenage mothers, housemaids,
young HIV positive girls, child prostitutes and young widows, hence the
decision to register TEMAK as a non governmental organization (NGO).

   a) Education and information on reduction of teenage pregnancies and
      HIV/AIDS amongst teenage girls.
   b) Health care provision and support for girls in need of special
   c) Rehabilitation and skill empowerment for out of schoolgirls.
   d) Girl child basic needs and rights.

TEMAK has a Board of Directors who number seven in total, a Co-ordinator, a
Program Officer answerable to the Co-ordinator and an Administrative &
Finance officer reporting to the Program Officer. Answerable to the Program
Officer are the various heads of department comprising Community Nurse,
Computer Tutor, Tailoring & Dressmaking Trainer and the Hairdressing &
Beauty Trainer. We have local fundraising/profit center officers who number
5 and whose job is to raise funds locally for running of the program and
finally the Community Committees and the Girl child support groups.

TEMAK receives funding from various organizations, individuals and
churches. The main source is local fundraising by selling crafts, toys, fabric
and ornaments produced by the young girls and mothers in training. The
items are sold both locally and internationally.


TEMAK works with teenage mothers, AIDS orphans, young widows and girls
facing adverse living conditions, mostly from the slums in and around the
town of Kisumu. The girls and young women are struggling to survive amidst
poverty, violent crime, alcoholism and a general breakdown in moral values.
Chances of economic advancement through jobs or small business are

The day to day lives of girls whose lives TEMAK is striving to improve are
characterized by sexual harassment (often leading to rape/forced sex),
prostitution and a lack of career prospects. Young women in such an
environment opt for early marriage as a means of economic survival. This
could be to their age mates or to older, polygamous men. However, the woes
of these girls multiply once they start bearing children – and the financial
burden that comes with it. Contraceptives aren’t widely used due to
unaffordability or ignorance. Meanwhile, inadequate use of condoms
increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STI’s)
including HIV. As President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda once stated, the poor
suffer from the spread of HIV/AIDS (and unplanned pregnancies) not
because they have no knowledge of the risks, but because they cannot afford
condoms and other contraceptives. On the other hand, they desire to fulfill
the inbuilt need for sexual relations.

TEMAK is working with girls and young women who have dropped out of
school because of poverty or because of teenage pregnancy. Others got
married early, but the marriages broke down because of extreme poverty,
abuse or alcoholism. For several of the young women, their husbands died of
AIDS, creating young widows living with HIV and raising babies who may
also be HIV positive. Lack of formal education and work place experience
shuts these young women out of any trade they could possibly venture into.
When the paternalistic nature of traditional African society is taken into
account, it’s clear that without some form of intervention, these girls will
never have an opportunity at achieving a “normal” life.

Please refer to TEMAK’s objectives in this document.

Apart from providing skills and training, TEMAK has assisted individual girls
with household expenses, paying of rent and clothing of their babies.

      “If someone needs urgent medication, we just put aside
      whatever else we planned to do with the money and get her
      drugs. To us, the well being of these girls is more important
      than any long-term plans”
      - Mr. Joab Othatcher, TEMAK’S Programme Officer.

The saying, “no man [or woman] is an island,” applies just as well to TEMAK.
Over the past dozen years in which we have carried out our programmes, we
have been assisted by individuals and organizations from across a wide
spectrum. We have been assisted by neighbors and relatives, by church
leaders and government administrators, by other community based groups,
by non-governmental organizations and by volunteers from overseas.

In spite of our efforts and the cooperation we get from
individuals/organizations, there’s still a dearth of information out there about
who we are and what we do. We know this to be the case form the enquiries
we receive from our partners on various issues. Our partners are interested
in staying up-to-date on events and developments within TEMAK and about
our programmes. They want to know more about the girls we are working
with, their backgrounds, lives, experiences and ambitions. They want to
comprehend the environment from which the girls are coming from.

In short, they want to know the “whys” before they can delve into the

That explains the TARGET AUDIENCE for the “TEMAK Update”, which
comprises our partners locally and abroad. The “Update” will focus on this
group as a primary audience and will provide a continuous flow of
information that will, as the name suggests, update them on the progress of
our joint efforts.

      “This newsletter is not aimed at the mass audience, but at
      people who are already involved or are planning to get
      involved in TEMAK’s community agenda”
      - Joab Othatcher, TEMAK Programme Officer

The “Update” will not only become a channel of information about
TEMAK, but copies of the “Update” will serve as an archive providing
a historical perspective on our work. Indeed the “Update”, over time,
can emerge as TEMAK’s memory bank. While each edition of the
newsletter isn’t intended for the mass market, archived copies of the
“Update” will be extremely useful to the journalists who continuously
call on our centre for interviews and research purposes. These
journalists will go on to publish feature articles for mass market
outlets including the national dailies. This will, hopefully, enhance
awareness on the difficult living environment that has necessitated
TEMAK’s work with young women and girls. The awareness so
created should inspire willingness to action on the part of relevant
authorities, interested persons and willing organizations.

Ultimately, the community in the slums will be the beneficiaries of a
better flow of information about their lives and about TEMAK’s work.

The “TEMAK Update” will be a quarterly periodical, published in the following

       February
       May
       August
       November
Each edition will contain news, events and other items of interest occurring in
the preceding three months. It will further contain plans and other events
that will take place in the ensuing three months.

Also to be included in each edition will be interviews with members of our
target group, real life anecdotes on TEMAK’s day to day activities as well as
feature articles relevant to our community based programmes.

Why Quarterly?
The original idea was for the production of the “TEMAK Update” in one
bumper issue either annually or biannually but it was realized that the
production of only two editions a year would not adequately communicate to
the newsletter’s target audience. At the same time, such bumper edition
would have to be bulky, which is likely to discourage readers.

      “We wouldn’t want the “TEMAK Update” to gather dust on
      some library shelf – unread by its recipients.”

Monthly publication of the “Update” would distract from TEMAK’s core
community programs of training, rehabilitating and empowering teenage
mothers, young widows and orphans. Production of a publication on a
monthly basis would strain TEMAK’s human, financial and information
technology resources.

A quarterly production of the “Update” would enable regular, effective
communication with our target audience without putting undue pressure on
TEMAK. It is just the right balance between setting up a regular channel of
communication and financial prudence. At intervals of three months, the
“Update” will give TEMAK a voice while simultaneously strengthening its
programmes. A quarterly publication provides a reasonable time interval that
will keep the “Update” in the minds of both TEMAK’s personnel and the
newsletter’s target audience, a characteristic that an annual or biannual
newsletter will sorely and surely lack.

“TEMAK Update” The Newsletter

The “TEMAK Update” will be an A4 sized news sheet consisting of 8 pages.
TEMAK believes in sustainability, thus small beginnings for any project allows
skills and experience to accumulate gradually before future expansion of the
project. And so it is that humble beginnings for the “Update” will allow
TEMAK to learn from successes, mistakes and criticism so the newsletter can
survive, enhance its output and penetrate further its target audience.

The “Update” will be mostly designed at the TEMAK centre. This will, of
course, make it convenient for collecting news, feature articles and
anecdotes, as stated earlier. Designing the “Update” at our centre will make
it easier to have one-on-one conversations with the girls at TEMAK. It is
expected that this will bring out stories in an up-close, personal way that will
be impossible to achieve were the “Update” to get published outside TEMAK.

TEMAK’s centre possesses information technology facilities that can be
employed in the preliminary design for the “TEMAK Update”. The computer
lab, used in computer training, has the following desktop publishing

       Adobe PageMaker 7.0
       Adobe Photoshop
       Microsoft Publisher 2002
       Microsoft Office Suite
       Macromedia Fireworks

Other than training the girls at TEMAK, these software have successfully been
utilized in the production of visually appealing brochures, pamphlets, flyers
and letterheads for TEMAK.