Our mentorship program, launched in 2012, initially admitted four girls who went through a two months training at Solidarity for the Advancement of Womens’ Agenda (SAWA) offices. The activities were both outdoor and indoor and meant to propel individual growth and interaction abilities with other members of the society. Mentors occasionally joined the mentees to offer individual and group mentorship and covered various topical issues like relationships, health and hygiene, careers, businesses and spirituality. Interestingly, the girls also offered peer mentorship which was an unexpected outcome of the project. As they graduated from the program, they had built communication skills, computer skills, business skills as well as interpersonal skills.
SAWA has keenly followed these pioneers of the program to find out what they are doing in their lives and compiled the following individual report:
Kawira is currently in her final year at the university. The concept of community service has become very meaningful to her and she mentors other orphaned girls at the university and beyond to show them that they can still face life successfully. She informs us that the program stimulated her to appreciate people and know that she does not only need to help her siblings and those related to her, as she puts it “ I now look at the world with different lens, that my happiness is not complete until all are happy, especially other girls. My task henceforth will be to preach this hope and inspire others to do something good to someone else. “ She has confessed this since she left SAWA more than two years ago.
Another mentee, Margaret has actively been engaged in community life in all aspects. She got married a year ago and is blessed with their first child. Margaret can now confidently stand and talk in front of a group, something she could not when she joined SAWA. In her own words “When I joined SAWA, my self-esteem was too low having been brought up to believe that as a Maasai girl, my place at family and community level is always second-class and that I do not measure to the standards of girls from other communities”. Margaret does tailoring for a living and organizes a group of girls from Gichagi village where they engage in public health activities as well as business skills training – mainly making baskets and beadwork for sale.
For Caroline, courage and determination are prerequisites to success in life - virtues that brought a lot of meaning in her life. She is currently working in her small business in her rural town as well as doing some hair dressing classes. Caroline confesses that her perspective for life was changed through the SAWA experience and she can now do anything to earn a living as long as it is something ethical. She trains other girls in the community to engage in small businesses rather than be idle and engaging in immoral behavior which leads to unwanted pregnancies and at times exposes them to sexually transmitted infections.
Wairimu is currently in her third year at the university and says her experience with SAWA transformed her thinking and positively shaped her life. She associates her success in school to her experience with us where she learnt the principles of hard work, self-respect and focused life.
Other mentees of the program have been inspired by these four and aspire to get to where they are in their school and careers.
We are thankful to you for enabling us impact on the lives of needy girls in the community.
The Cassava revolution in our village has not only boosted food security but also income generation. As you may recall, cassava is a perfect crop for our arid region as it is both highly nutritious (for human and livestock consumption) and drought resistant.
Entrepreneurial residents have been making various cassava products.
A remarkable case is Lydiah who even has a fabricated machine that she uses to chop raw cassava tubers into small pieces after which she deep fries and sells as cassava chips.
Lydiah, who on the photo, is operating the machine, earns between Kshs.1,000 to Ksh.2,000 ($15-30) daily from the sale of cassava chips.
She says," I have been selling the cassava chips just within the village but I have a vision to expanding my target market to other areas particularly the urban centres.
Mary, a mother of three, is one of the many farmers who readily embraced the cassava project from its inception.
In 2011, she received 100 cuttings for planting in her own farm. She planted these on a 1/4 acre plot.
Over the years, she has enlarged this to an acre. Mary produces about 20 tons annually. She mills a big amount of her produce into flour for her family's consumption and animal feeds for her livestock. The rest, she sells to traders.
She says that cassava has proved not only nutritious but also economical in the wake of soaring food prices.
Thank you for your continued support to improve food security and the local economy in my village.
This year there is a lot happening-The Utawala bypass dental clinic,a Dentcare Kenya Project, is turning one year old this month. We have conducted a series of 10 dental camps to primary schools and secondary schools this year in the locality. We attend to both children and their caregivers. We have seen a tremendous growth in service uptake from the residents and we pray that we keep doing our best in service delivery.
On March 20th we commemorated the World Oral Health Day in Naivasha with the Kenya Dental Association. On this particular day we also conducted dental camps in the town of Naivasha,
I am in graduate school now majoring in Healthcare Systems. My research project is on Healthcare Financing and Healthcare Information availability. With this training, I want to be able to improve the healthcare services of the poor. I should be able to graduate in April 2016.
It was very kind of a Global Giving donor to donate Himalayan toothpaste to our organization this year. Thank you for your support!
Thank you for supporting Dentcare’s efforts to provide oral health care to the needy.
Dr. David Mundia
President Dentcare Kenya