Partnership and communication are key to every good relationship.
That is why each year we invite representatives of all our partners (government representatives, communities and schools) to come together and evaluate the year gone by and look at the future together.On the 26th and 27th of January this year 83 people gathered in Londiani, Kenya to discuss the impact of Brighter Communities across the Region; to look at changes in the external environment impacting on communities; and also to officially launch our new name Brighter Communities Worldwide for the partners.Over the two days, there was lots of talking, celebrating and discussion. The first item on the agenda was for representatives from each community to come together to decide on the biggest change that had taken place in their community since they became involved with Brighter Communities Worldwide. This exercise gave communities time to reflect on how far we had come since we started working together. Improvements made in their lives and lives of the communities represented ranged from improved health, better educational opportunities and more economic opportunities. The impact from an individual household perspective after having a smokeless stove installed were far reaching as this simple solution made for a healthier home and in turn made the household members more active in terms of educational and economical pursuits because they felt better.
Representatives from schools in the different communities brought to the attention of the group improved school attendance rates, better exam result achievements and cleaner, healthier school environments that have come about since schools joined Brighter Communities Worldwide’s Healthy School and Girls for Girls Programmes. Health providers spoke of the impact of outreach clinics, the new maternal shelter and trainings the received which improves facilities and practise.
All in all, it was inspiring to hear the impact being achieved from all the hard work we have done together.
Planning for the future
Planning for the future was the other big item on the agenda for this partnership seminar, we wanted to hear what communities wanted and needed in order to further improves their lives and allow their communities to thrive. A needs analysis brought to the fore issues that are current within these communities and they included lack of access to clean water, staffing and service delivery challenges in health care facilities, FGM, lack of access to sanitary products and other obstacles standing in the way of girls staying in school; to name a few. These needs were looked at and prioritised and the path to addressing them was made clearer.