PRODUCTION OF “TEMAK UPDATE”, AN INFORMATIONAL NEWSLETTER ON TEMAK’S SOCIAL PROGRAMMES PROJECT PROPOSAL The production of an informational newsletter containing news, comprehensive feature articles and day-to-day experiences on TEMAK’s community programmes. PROPOSED TITLE FOR NEWSLETTER TEMAK UPDATE OBJECTIVE OF THE NEWSLETTER 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. TARGET AUDIENCE 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. SUBMISSION DATE INFORMATION ABOUT TEMAK A). Teenage Mothers & Girls’ Association of Kenya (TEMAK) P.O. BOX 3531, KISUMU, 40100, KENYA TEL: +254 (0)57 40460 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org B). Contact person: Joab Othatcher, Program Officer TEL: +254 (0)57 40460 MOBILE: 0722-271066 C). TEMAK’S HISTORY 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 formed. 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). D). OBJECTIVES 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 protection. c) Rehabilitation and skill empowerment for out of schoolgirls. d) Girl child basic needs and rights. E). MANAGEMENT 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. F). FUNDING 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. PROJECT BACKGROUND 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 scarce. 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 “hows”. 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. NEWSLETTER PROJECT: “TEMAK UPDATE” The “TEMAK Update” will be a quarterly periodical, published in the following months: 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. Design 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 software: 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.