Dear Global Giving Friends,
The girls we are mentoring are benefiting immensely from the instruction and guidance we are giving them.
The computer classes are very active and important we because those proficient with computer skills are in advantaged positions to compete for job placements as well as start new businesses. We thus have girls coming for training on weekends to learn computer skills. The training is changing and shaping the girls perceptions as well as making them responsible computer and internet users and giving them an advantage over their peers.
“I am excited to complete the program so that I get a certificate. I know the certificate will help me get a job when I complete my studies.” Jackline Wanjiku, Form 2
"Computer training helps to boast my self esteem. I have learned a lot about our county, country and the whole world through the internet. I have also learnt politics through the internet, and know president Obama is competing with Romney for presidency.”Mary Wakonyo, class 6
“Computer training is shaping my career choice. I would like to be a Computer technician and teacher because I enjoy using a computer.
The girls are also doing simple activities to earn money and develop an enterprising culture. Such activities includes washing cars and cleaning peoples compounds.
‘Through this program, I washed a car for the first time. I was paid Ksh. 50. I bought a pencil at Ksh.10, an eraser for Ksh.5, and pen ink at Ksh.25. I saved Ksh.10. I am happy that for the first time in my life I received a pay for my labour. Jackline Wanjiku, Form 2
“I spend one hour every Saturday collecting fallen dry leaves from my neighbour’s home. I make up to Ksh. 30 per week. I want to save and buy story books so that I can improve my English. I know this is good because I want to be a journalist in future.” Jane Makasi, class 7
“Although I thought that some jobs can only be done by a man. Washing a car sounded a man’s job and funny to me when my mentor Caroline suggested that I can do it to make money. I now appreciate that I tried.”Cecilia Wanjiku, form 2
In addition, when the girls leave this training program, they go out and gather a group of younger girls and pass on their new found skills and experiences to them, thus perpetuating the cycle of mentoring.
Thank you for helping girls realize their potential.
Maragua Division, Kenya
My community continues to benefit from the purchase of the mill to grind cassava to make food staples. The enthusiasm for the project in my community continues to grow. I am happy to report on the latest news.
Our community participated in the World Food Day Celebrations by holding a public forum on cassava on 16th, October 2012 at Kigumo Divisional headquarters. During the event, hundreds were taught on the benefits of the highly nutritious and drought resistant Cassava as a food, fodder and cash crop. The community members also utilized the opportunity to sell various cassava products including doughnuts, porridge, chips, and crisps. In the photos, are people buying and enjoying cassava dishes.
I am glad to inform you that our milling operation is modeled on the concept of a social business put forth by Muhammad Yunus. We charge only Ksh. 10 per 5 Kgs instead of Ksh. 30 that the rest of the millers ask. This is to encourage consumption of cassava, as the villagers can now mill their dried cassava chips much more cheaply. This obviously encourages cassava cultivation. The little income accruing almost entirely goes into the running of the business through payment of its recurrent costs.
However, I am of the opinion that social enterprises experience some key challenges. They have to compete in the commercial market dominated by conventional businesses. This is in addition to facing the same operational challenges and risks as all other businesses. To overcome this challenge, the social enterprise should be of a relatively large size so that it can break even and manage to settle its recurrent expenditure. In Economics, this is referred to as "Economies of Scale." Social enterprises also lag behind in embracing technology. This is due to their low level of profits as opposed to what conventional businesses make. The competitors would easily manage to run more efficiently as they can utilize their comparatively large profit streams towards technological advancement and cost reduction. This kind of competition may lead to failure of social enterprises, if they are not large and mature enough. If I get an opportunity to study for a Masters in Development Economics, I will focus on the role of social enterprises and Non- Governmental Organisations in poverty alleviation and economic development. I believe very little effort has been channeled towards realizing their potential as engines of economic development.
Thank you for your belief in our social business. You are changing lives for the better.
Our new organization, Dentcare Kenya, is doing well and benefiting many communities that would not otherwise have access to affordable or free dental care.
We carried out a dental camp in Limuru in central Kenya a couple months ago. In our camps we register the number of people who attend seeking dental treatment or dental advice and keep in contact with community elders/facilitators to get feedback on our efforts.
In Limuru, the many children we served were grateful for having someone attend to their dental problems.
Please find attached pictures of the camp we did in Limuru. I am pictured with some of the many children we examined and helped.
On November 3rd we had a dental clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital. We were honored to have a Global Giving donor in attendance, Fumiko Fujii, as she was in Nairobi at the time. Ms. Fujii is very interested in improving dental health not only in Kenya, but in Egypt and her home country of Japan as well. She is pictured with two of my PATHWAYS scholars colleagues and me (I am on the far right and Ms. Fujii is on the far left) In total, 366 dental patients were helped that day.
Some quotes from the beneficiaries are below:
“I visited Kenyatta Hospital for some general check-up. I went through a process that has previously taken me six hours within thirty minutes only. it was amazing to witness the professionalism in which Dr. David carried out the examinations. Though a specialist in Dental health, I gauged him as broad doctor based on the general examination and advice given.”
“From the clinic, I learned that I can prevent tooth decay by regularly cleaning my teeth with a good brush and toothpaste. I will take this information to the girls in my group most of whom have never used a toothbrush”
“I have had a problem of bleeding gums for a long time but could not afford to see a dentist because of the cost involved. I am grateful for the free clinic where I got medication and advice on how to keep my teeth healthy. “
We are humbled by the positive effect we have already had on several communities. Not having access to dental care is not only painful but damaging to one’s overall health and well being. Thank you for helping support us in this mission.
Until next time