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News from Kenya

FOL's Annual Partnership Seminar took place in Kenya last month. This is a yearly opportunity for FOL to engage with communities to assess current programmes and plan for the future together. Representatives from 34 different partner groups travelled from Londiani and Kipkelion Districts to meet together in Londiani town. The feedback and input from each group is the start of FOL's strategic planning process for the coming three-to-five years and will help to shape the future for the communities we are working with. Each group had stories to tell of how working with FOL has been helping to improve their lives and make lasting changes in the areas of health, education and water. Here are just a few – as told by members of the communities.


The community of Kunyak explained how a serious outbreak of cholera in their community led them to FOL. "The public health officer went to talk to the FOL office and asked them to visit Kunyak and assess the situation. FOL went there, and were true to their world. They explained that water should be treated, and that a proposal could be made to FOL. FOL advised that they should form a committee and write a proposal. The difference between writing a letter and proposal writing was that a proposal needed to explain how the project will benefit the community. A committee was duly formed and a woman took the role of treasurer. The chair was happy because a female treasurer is a trusted treasurer. Each committee member made the same investment into the group of 500 shillings – FOL liked this matched funding. The group took the title of 'New Water Project Committee'. They wrote a successful proposal and FOL accepted it.

Because of FOL's support the community now has (and continues to have) an easier way of life including:
•   toilets at home
•   children wash clothes at home
•   animals drink at home
•   eradicate diseases
•   woman doesn't have to walk so far to get water and has more time at home".


"We hadn't worked together before. But we had good land and healthy people with good skills who wanted to improve their lives. We used to walk far to buy vegetables and when we got back to Nyairobi village, nothing was as fresh as it could have been. When FOL talked to us, they helped us see that in working together we could be greater than the sum of our parts. Twenty of us decided to invest in buying some seeds, fertiliser and watering cans. We invested 50 shillings per person. We planted vegetables and started to sell them locally. When we had made some money we used it to buy a more sophisticated watering system. Today there are 30 local investors in the project in Nairobi village. FOL helped us to work together and then we got on with it ourselves.

The families involved in the programme have more freedom to make choices about how they spend their money. We can pay for school fees, we can buy more and better food for our families, and we can buy things for our homes to keep it clean and we are proud."


(A jigger is a parasitic insect that thrives in areas of poor hygiene and can damage feet to the extent that sometimes the afflicted person is unable to walk)

"Two boys can't play football because they have jiggers. One man puts charcoal on their feet by sharpening a pencil and putting the lead on their feet. FOL trained Community Health Workers (CHWs) intervene. The CHW comes in and brings up-to-date medicine, not traditional medicine. They provide information about jiggers to the community. The mother of the children explains they miss the local medicine but the CHW explains more about jiggers and the CHW wears bread wrappers as hygienic gloves to touch the feet and cleans the feet in the right and proper way.

The CHW teaches the parents how to do this properly – to wash the feet and then medicate. With help from the CHW the parents understand how to prevent as well as treat the illness. Children are back at school and can play football!"


"Everything is linked… education, health and water. Fixing the problem…looking at the cause. When we have all three legs of a stool together we can make the biggest change. These are knowledge + skills + access to resources. We want to share successes and we also want to look at entrepreneur opportunities – looking for ideas to strengthen and build and grow our own communities.
Changing attitudes
It's a way of life, it just happens
Empowerment.. Courage.. Being bold.
Leadership, community leadership, new opportunities for leadership e.g. women and young people."

What can you do to help Ireland keep its promise?

An MRBI poll carried out in July 2012 showed that eight out of ten Irish people believe that the Irish Government should keep its promise of spending 70 cents in every €100 on overseas aid before 2015. Ireland is recognised globally as a small nation with a big heart. Irish people are proud of the reputation we hold in bringing about a better world with our commitment to overseas aid. The 2013 Budget is a clear opportunity for Ireland to show global leadership in a global economic downturn. Ireland must continue to make visible progress towards the 0.7% commitment.

Overseas aid works

Evidence of how overseas aid is working for the communities FOL is working with can be seen in the News from Kenya section of this newsletter. These are just a small number of the stories we hear from the people on the ground in Kenya and these stories are reflected around the world in all the countries where Ireland is playing a role in providing overseas aid.

Aid works for Ireland

Overseas aid investment helps enable an active, educated, healthy workforce of communities who will hold their governments accountable and who will demand democratic and equal rights for all citizens in the long run. Africa has a rapidly developing economy and much to offer this side of the world. This growth provides new economic possibilities for Ireland's future.

Aid is not forever

Economic growth is the solution to ending global poverty. Development aid from Ireland is not aimed at growing the economies in African countries – but without it that growth won't happen. Meanwhile, spending on aid is saving lives, helping to unlock people's potential and providing opportunities for future generations in Africa to grow up and be an active part of the economic growth that will lead them out of poverty.

Our aid promise is worth keeping

The Irish presidency of the EU in 2013 provides the ideal platform to bolster Ireland's standing as a leader in development, and offers the opportunity to provide leadership to the rest of the EU by speaking out for those in desperate poverty worldwide. By living up to its aid promises during the EU presidency, Ireland will fully embrace the spirit of its role as a leader in Europe and help to set the agenda for the years running up to the 2015 deadline.

What you can do

Check out the following two campaigns that you can add your voice to: World We Want and Act Now 2015.

The World We Want campaign is part of the work of Dóchas (www.dochas.ie), the association of Irish Non-Governmental Development Organisations.

It provides a forum for consultation and cooperation between its 45 members, and helps them speak with a single voice on development issues. Find out more at: http://worldwewant.ie/.

The Act Now 2015 campaign (www.actnow2015.ie) gives you the opportunity to lobby local politicians in the lead-up to Budget day.

International Day of the Girl

The UN this year declared October 11th to be annually observed as the International Day of the Girl. This is a day to promote girls' rights and to highlight the gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon explains: "Education for girls is one of the best strategies for protecting girls against child marriage. When they are able to stay in school and avoid being married early, girls can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families. And if they have already been married young, access to education, economic opportunities and health services – including HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health – will help enrich their lives and enhance their future."

Check out the Girl Effect video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8kBzKZVjxo to find out more about the long-term effects that supporting the girl child can have on communities worldwide.

The rights of the girl child are woven into much of FOL's community development programme and the aim of providing girls with equal opportunities and making provision for them to stay in school is a strong part of this. The healthy schools programme – which is about making school a healthy place for children to be – has a focus on a number of relevant areas, such as providing clean, sanitary latrines and washrooms especially for girls. Meanwhile education bursaries support girls to complete their education. The need to collect water and timber for cooking – traditionally the girl's job – can also be partly alleviated through FOL programmes. The FOL smokeless stove and our aim of making access to clean water closer to home both save time and give the girl more hours in the day to be at school instead of on household chore duties. Then there's the Girls 4 Girls programme. Girls 4 Girls is about ensuring that no girl should miss a day out of school because she cannot access sanitary products. Finally there is the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Abandonment programme. This is about providing girls and their communities with an alternative coming of age to Female Genital cutting – but without losing their culture or traditions, and with the full support of their communities.

If you would like to support any of the above programmes you can:
•  make a donation online
•  set up a monthly standing order to support FOL's community development programmes
•  donate directly to the Girls 4 Girls programme
•  buy a Girls 4 Girls voucher as a Christmas gift.

For information on any of these options check out the FOL website or contact the office directly at admin@friendsoflondiani.com.

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In this issue

Better Together video competition

The online Christmas shop is open!

Exclusive Sterling Silver Starfish jewellery launched

Christmas e-cards for your company

News from Kenya

Keeping Ireland's aid promise

Act Now 2015 and World We Want campaigns

International Day of the Girl

What is development education?

Harambee 2012 volunteers in Kenya

Link team travel from Mayo General Hospital

Celebrating 10 years of community partnerships: event updates

Websites, news and events of interest

What is DE?

Join in the conversation

IDEA – Irish Development Education Association – is launching a new campaign to raise awareness of and support for development education (DE). The campaign aims to engage the public in a conversation about what DE is and why it is needed. Check out the video online – share it with your friends and associates through Facebook and Twitter. You can also like the Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/
) and follow the campaign on Twitter (@whatisdeved). Feel free to record and post your own videos. Get the conversation going! For more info see www.ideaonline.ie

Volunteers in Kenya

This photograph was taken at a business training course that is taking place in Londiani right now.

A group of seven volunteers are currently in Kenya on the November Harambee. They are working with the FOL Kenya staff and local communities on delivering business training courses and the next stage of the sustainable tourism course; surveying the homesteads that have been using the smokeless stoves for over a year now; assisting with installation of new stoves in houses alongside the newly trained community health unit for Masita and Kabianga; facilitating a maternal health training course for these new community health workers; attending outreach clinics and field days with the public health office; and helping with running a wilderness first aid course in Londiani. They will be in Kenya on November 15th to join in celebrations of FOL's ten years of community partnerships on that day.

Mayo General link team

For a number of years, staff from Mayo General Hospital have travelled to Kenya to link with the staff of Londiani District Hospital and provide training and skill sharing with them. This year seven volunteer staff, made up of doctors, nurses and midwives, will spend over a week in Londiani and overlap with the Harambee team while there. They will run a training course for hospital staff and also perform some routine surgeries at the hospital. They too will be in the country on November 15th so are expected to join in the ten year celebrations!

Asante Sana!

Thanks to Sandford Parish National School

Sandford Parish National School in Ranelagh have long been supporters of FOL and every year they contribute to FOL's community development work in Kenya with the proceeds of different fundraising events held by students, parents and teachers. Pictured here are members of parents & staff presenting a cheque to Helen Concannon member of the FOL Board of directors. Asante Sana to Sandford for your ongoing support!

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Contact us

Friends of Londiani, No. 4 the Crescent, Millbrook, Mill Road, Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland
+ 353 21 4621748