Tag Archives: Kenya

A Strong Team of Women

We are incredibly blessed by the amount of strong ass women in our lives. We are a force that is much greater than any one of us alone. This week has been a tough one and without my dream team I wouldn’t know how I could handle another day.

In Dar es Salaam, Adella did a Usability Study of the microscope at Kairuki Hospital and it worked beautifully. All is well in the design process, but to get these tools to mamas in village we need more funds for additional out of Dar testing.

On the downside, a tenant moved out of the Volunteer House and took much of the Trust’s property with her. We had to spend two days scrambling to replace even the basics on our kitchen. Our new guests have been most kind given the unexpected circumstances. Our trustee, wise woman Sally has been a stronghold of strength and guidance on how cope with the situation in the best possible way.

Here in Mombasa, its been one thing after another. Sabenza has powered through taking care of the house and we are starting sprouting seeds for a garden. A single mother of 6, Sabenza cooks over firewood so we had her son, and a friend gather all the wood from the yard today.

The boys also helped to rebuild and sort out all the trash into a new recycling system. Now that all plastic bags have been outlawed including trash bags we have had to get creative. Here there are no garbage trucks so its 100% self process.

All recyclable plastics become seed trays, planters, pots, and rooting cups. Sabenza and I take cuttings and keep scraps of food to replant. Strong women think about food security.

Opportunity knocks, but trouble just walks in and sits down. That’s precisely what happened Tuesday night when a little kitten with a bad anal prolapse walked into the house. I couldn’t stand to see it die, but couldn’t afford in our budget to help it. Another strong woman named Revi stepped to the plate to help and her furry adorable namesake is alive and well after its operation.

Our wonder women in the US have been working to sell houses, raise bushels of children, and still somehow have time to help with marketing and fundraising.

One of the issues of fundraising is that big organizations give little ones like ours a bad name. I’m thankful for the women who keep me and our work afloat and rowing.

Speaking of wow women, I am so thrilled I was able to help my mother in law get a visit visa to the US to see my brother in law. She has carried so much for so long she deserves a vacation. I mean don’t we all?

As for my work I’ve been learning how to do clinical trials, and preparing a team, to be lead by an unstoppable Canadian woman, so can submit a grant to “gold standard” our tools and make way for FDA standard approvals.

Next week I’m excited that I’ll be able to help teach 3D printing here in Mombasa with a Maker Queen. No matter how topsy turvey the world may be, us strong women stand together. Who knows maybe one a group of softly gray haired women could take over the world. For now, one day at a time.

To learn more about Voices of Africa Foundation or make a donation, visit our website www.voicesofafrica.org.

Social Enterprise at Kuria Development Community for the Marginalized (KDCM)

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Voices of Africa Foundation is always on the search for new project partnerships with motivated young people in East Africa. We support their projects through joint fundraising, probono consulting, and training programs.

Kuria Development for the Maginalized (KDCM) is a development organization on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. Just thirty minutes from the border point, it is an area with much flowing traffic on the main roads but underdevelopment and neglect in the rural areas. One family and their community are fighting to change that. We visited their project in January to do a site assessment.

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Sylvanus Babere and his family run the KDCM Development Center and the St. Peter’s Mother and Child Rural Health Clinic. He is bringing development to his community by teaching and practicing social enterprise development. The Development Center hosts classes and weekly business counseling sessions. It is an incubator of at least 4 small social enterprises and acts as a networking hub for local youth wanting to make change and gain advanced education.

 

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St. Peter’s Mother and Child Rural Health Clinic was started by the Sylvanus’s father after retiring as a nurse who had worked in the government facilities for more than 30 years. He decided to start the clinic to serve the health needs of the rural women and children in the area who now currently have no other medical facility within 20 kilometers of their homes. The area has high maternal and infant mortality and is in need of professional services to be able to save lives. Although the clinic is housed in only two rooms with a lack of medical equipment and medicines from healthcarewell pharmacy , it provides front line care to more than 100+ women per month.

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KDCM is also rehabilitating an 8 acre farm whose land was destroyed by GMO and commercial agriculture. The community has watched the crop yield continually reduce over the past several years and we are working with their farmers to learn sustainable agriculture techniques and they are a pilot site for our Mbegu Shape App tool for Android phone which helps people to select and grow seeds and gives agricultural advice along the way.

For more information on KDCM please go to http://www.kuriadcm.org/