Review of the year 2015

14 December 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, here is a Christmas message from Friends of Londiani CEO Martin Ballantyne on behalf of the Board and staff in Kenya and images/main/Smokeless-stoves

2015 has been another busy year for Friends of Londaini and I would like to thank you for your support and share with you just some of the achievements of the past 12 months. With your support we have:

• Installed 325 smokeless stoves which will improve the health of each household as smoke is removed from their living space. The stoves use less wood and so save money and free up the time of girls and women in the household allowing more time for school and work.

• Organised 19 Lifeskills Courses which have brought 878 community members together for peer education courses that provide information, stimulate discussion, challenge ways of thinking, and promote new understanding and awareness – which is leading to changes in behaviour and better community relations.

• Worked with 28 Community Units that are part of the bottom-up approach to creating healthy communities in partnership with the Ministry for Health in Kenya. The units are made up of volunteers from the community who train to become Community Health Workers. We support their training, helping with building the capacity of the local committees who co-ordinate the health workers, and with specific courses such as Remote Emergency Care and Maternal Healthcare.

• Increased the number of schools in the Healthy Schools programme to 138 and supported 32 of them to also be part of the Girls for Girls programme. These programmes are creating a healthy place for children at school – giving them access to clean water; improving their latrines and sanitation and creating a smokeless environment for school kitchens with smokeless stoves. Girls for Girls has supported 1707 girls in a programme of education around menstrual hygiene and with a school environment that is tailored to their needs with good latrines and washrooms dedicated to girls. Without this programme girls risk missing up to 1 week of school each month during menstruation due to lack of resources.

• Organised 4 business training courses as part of our economic empowerment programme. The aim of these courses is to share basic business skills with community members and within the community units that will support them in strengthening their existing business or setting up new ones. These courses educate, build self-esteem and break down barriers for communities to access finance. People become less vulnerable, more resilient and are better able to work their way out of poverty.

• Supported 3 stove installer trainings which trained 93 volunteers as qualified installers certified by the Public Health Office. These installers are spread across 28 trained Community Units and as well as building the smokeless fuel-efficient stoves completed to date and will support our programme to make these stoves available for every household in the community.

• With support from Friends of Kipkelion in the UK and their donors we have supported the latest phase of the Nduro Water project. This has involved laying of up to 5km of pipeline from the previously protected source all the way to Ngorimori Centre. This will provide easy access for up to 5,000 people as well as increase the storage capacity to 275,000 litres.

• Facilitated the link between Kenyan and Irish secondary schools as part of our schools network with support from the WorldWise Global Schools programme. In 2016 we aim to add more schools to the network and, with Friends of Kipkelion, we have also established a link between a secondary school in the UK and one in Kenya.

• Last year the Friends of Londiani link between Mayo General Hospital and Londiani Sub-County Hospital was recognised by The Esther Alliance as being a working example of how two facilities in different geographical locations have worked together to improve the services provided in each. This recognition was further supported with funding in 2015 to improve communication links between the two facilities.

• Access to education continues to be a challenge for children of families who cannot afford school fees and this year we are supporting 39 students to continue their education in primary and secondary school. In addition we supported 25 students attending polytechnic and third level courses. 


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A year of partnerships and celebrationsblog images/main/Family

Throughout the year we celebrated various International Days from Ireland & Kenya such as World Water Day in March, Day of the Girl and Global Handwashing Day in October and World Toilet Day in November.

We caught up with supporters and volunteers in October as we celebrated the launch of the new Global Goals and held information events about our work and how it relates to the new Goals.

We welcomed a team of 6 volunteers to Londiani in November and they spent 3 weeks working with the volunteers from the community in Londiani and Kipkelion on business training, Rescue & Emergency care courses, Lifeskills, community surveys and smokeless stove installation. Our partnership seminars gathered together representatives from all the communities that we work with to look at what has been accomplished and what more can be achieved.

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Thank you from us all
As you celebrate Christmas this year, people in Londiani & Kipkelion will be celebrating a year of increased knowledge, confidence & hope for a better future. They will look ahead to 2016 and think about new business plans, training to facilitate on Lifeskills courses, becoming a Community Healthy Worker or applying their learning from 2015 to new projects that will benefit themselves and their families. 


Thank you for the part you are playing in making this happen.

If you would like to support our work now and in the future we would really appreciate your help. You can:
• Make a donation online »  
• Shop online at our Christmas shop or buy gifts all year round »  

I would like to wish you and your family and very merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.

Martin Ballantyne

CEO, Friends of Londiani