July Harambee: off and running!

15 July 2014

The Harambee team are settling in but they won't have too much time to relax. As today’s blog – from project leader Rose Hennessy – makes clear, Monday started early and got under way quickly with a varied and absorbing series of tasks. Here, in Rose’s own words, is a quick guide to what the team can look forward to as Harambee proper starts.

Early morning in Londiani. The sound of voices rising as everyone gets up to start the day. A few of the volunteers take a walk at 6.30am to greet the dawn. Now it’s breakfast time: time to get organised for the first day of tasks.

Today there are volunteers heading to an outreach clinic to work with the Ministry for Health in a vaccination programme for the under 5s, maternal health checks (both pre and anti-natal) and vitamin A supplement distribution and medical checks (again for the under 5s).

There will also be a chance for some volunteers to meet the Healthy Schools club in Kipsirichet primary school and to work with its members to learn more about hygiene, sanitation, water and malaria, and generally to help them to make their school a healthy, safe environment.

Ten households will be having smokeless stoves installed in their homes this week. Volunteers will conduct surveys today with the first of the families receiving the stoves. This is important. The information gained from the surveys helps to paint a picture of the long-term difference the stoves can make in terms of the families’ health, the time spent collecting firewood, the amount spent on firewood and other useful details. It won’t all be surveying, however. This will also be a day of walking, greeting the community and drinking cups of chai!

Meanwhile here at St. Kizito’s in Londiani, the facilitators who deliver the Life Skills Programme in Kenya are gathering for a workshop to develop three new modules to the programme – on nutrition, drugs and addiction, and mental health. This is in response to an evident need in the communities to discuss these issues, and to learn and understand more about them. The volunteers will work with the facilitators in developing the modules for presenting as part of the life skills courses.

It’s going to be a busy start to July Harambee but we’re all looking forward to it. Keep reading these pages over the coming days and weeks to hear how it all goes.