Our new organization, Dentcare Kenya, is up and running. We are a group of oral hygienists, dental nurses and qualified (practicing) dentists and dental students. We came together to serve the disadvantaged population because in Kenya the number of registered dental practitioners is about 1000, compared to the country’s population of 40 million people. This means that very few people are able to access dental care with all their needs being met.
So far we have carried out 3 dental outreach programs. One on April 14 in the Kibera slum area (the largest slum in Kenya), the next one on April 29th in Nairobi’s commercial business district and the third on May 1st in Ruai, a suburb of Nairobi.
We partnered with Mouth and Image to provide a free dental clinic in the Kibera slum in Nairobi. The aim of Mouth and Image Kenya is educate persons about good oral health, possible dental interventions depending on the disease, and to encourage those with dental ailments to visit a dentist for treatment. We examined and helped over 800 persons. The people were very grateful for having someone attend to their dental problems. At times we get to chose the venues ourselves while at other times we partner with the local sponsors e.g. churches,NGOs or individuals.
Please find attached pictures of the camp we did in the Nairobi commercial business district. I am pictured taking a history from a client and my colleagues are also pictures providing a brief oral screening. Mouth and Image provided education and also face painting for the children which was well received.
We are very encouraged with the success of our Dentcare Kenya nonprofit thus far. Many people have expressed their gratitude for helping relieve their pain and for providing them with oral health education. It is such a reward to know that we are helping improve people’s lives. Thank you for helping support us in this mission.
Until next time
6th Report May 28, 2012
Thank you so much for supporting Dennis Mutwiri, Nafisa Ayuko, and Michael Murigi, who have benefited greatly from the combination of university education and leadership training through community development activities. Importantly, their communities have benefited as much as they have. The projects have all progressed well as initial plans have been implemented and expanded. Below is an update on the specific progress they have made to improve the lives of their community members and their community environments.
Nafisa Ayuka’s report - Improvement of girl child education through raising poultry and sanitary towels.
Sewing: The women’s group continues to be very pleased with the sewing machine and sewing skills they have learned through initiation of my project. They make children’s clothes and school uniforms. The profits are helping them pay the school fees for their children and purchase school supplies.
Sanitary towels: The reusable sanitary towel project has really helped the girls stay in school during their monthly periods. We were going to use this project as an income generating project, but when we found that girls have such little money, we ended up just giving the towels to the girls and also teaching them to make their own.
Goats: The group has acquired a few goats (see photo). The woman can sell the goat milk and along with the poultry, this is a good income generation project.
I will be graduating in June and hope to get a job teaching in a school near my village. I so enjoyed my time student teaching at St. Clares Maragoli Girls Secondary School. I loved working with the girls during my student teaching program.
I have learned a lot over the last four years being a PATHWAYS scholar. I am looking forward to continuing to help my community and country.
Dennis Mutwiri’s project – Solar panels, planting trees and fish farming.
I call my members frequently for updates and consultations to keep everything on track. So far, all is well and running to expectation.
Trees: We have new seedlings for planting in the next rainy season, but as I had mentioned earlier, the trees we are raising are not indigenous. We expect that the new trees will perform extremely well in the region and their demand will be high, as well.
Solar Project: The solar project is also running well and we have members reaping from it. It has helped in saving household income by substituting perfectly for fuels. More importantly, it has become an income generating project for community and group members. They are all happy and contented with the benefits they are getting from the solar equipment. It is indeed achieving its key objectives in society. So far, we have had 18 families install the panels. The total number of direct beneficiaries, in this case, is well over 100 heads. We are glad it has been of such impact and benefit to us all.
Fish Farming: The fish farming project has had great progress. We had an officer visiting from the Fisheries department and after sampling, he recommended that we keep them a little longer for better development. This will make them ready for market. My group is intending to conduct a community education whereby we will be demonstrating the nutritional benefits of fish and how to cook them. This will be a form of marketing after which we will later proceed to sell fish to the community.
Merry Go Round or Microloan Project: The merry-go-round project has continued to grow and is benefiting over 15 families with a total of 90 members. The project has also been of benefit to more community members who are in connection to the 90 direct beneficiaries. We hope to achieve higher numbers in the future and impact a larger area.
Thank you for helping me help my community!
Michael Murigi’s report -Growing cassava for food security and income.
Cassava: To help the community better understand what possibilities there are will the production of cassava, I decided to go to the Ministry of Agriculture Headquarters to seek for assistance on an exposure tour. After 5 visits, I was introduced to one, Dr. Martha Sila. She is the National head of the Root - Crops Division. I absolutely narrated to her the story of our project and our objectives. She was impressed. She agreed to sponsor us to visit the Nigerian's factory, as I had requested. I was pushing for 100 community members to participate in the tour but she limited the number to 60 because they wanted to see only one bus used. The 60 community members, picked from different families, visited the factory in Makueni County, about 350 Kilometres from our area, last month.
It was an absolute success. The community group was exposed to the factory and the possibilities for expanding our mill operation.
See photos showing the community members traveling by bus to the factory and members holding produced flour.
As I plan to dedicate my life to the service of poor people throughout the developing world, this has been a great learning experience for me.
Again, THANK YOU, for your help to help my community help themselves!
My community is extremely grateful for the purchase of the mill to grind cassava to make food staples. The income of our community has increased greatly. I am not through though. My goal is to keep working to help my community to be as prosperous as possible. It is in that vein that I relay the information below.
Dr. Joseph Kamau (a cassava expert from the Ministry of Agriculture) told the PATHWAYS scholars a story at the PATHWAYS annual meeting in 2008. It was a story of a Nigerian who came to Kenya and lacked cassava gari- Nigeria’s staple food. The Nigerian man decided to hire a small plot of land and started growing cassavas. Later, he purchased a bigger plot of land and grow more cassava. Thereafter, he started a small processing plant to add value to the cassavas that he was producing. Recently, he put up even another factory. He mainly exports cassava products to foreign markets. It is amazing that he is the only person doing that in the greater Eastern Africa region. In Dr. Kamau's words, " he is minting money."
I have always desired to expose our community to such an experience so that at least they know what the cassavas that they are growing can be processed into. When I was on a long university vacation in January, I decided to go to the Ministry of Agriculture Headquarters to seek assistance. After 5 visits, I was introduced to one – Dr. Martha Sila. She is the National head of the Root – crops Division. I absolutely narrated to her the story of our project, the support of PATHWAYS, of you, the Global Giving community and our objectives. She was impressed. She agreed to sponsor us to visit the Nigerian’s factories, as I had requested. I was pushing for 100 community members to participate, but she limited the number to 60 because they wanted to see only one bus used.
The 60 participants were selected as a perfect representative of the community: women, men, youth, middle-aged and the aged. They visited last month. They went to the 2 factories. One is at Kasikeu, in the interior of Sultan Hamud and the other is at the lower end of the Makueni County. This is a 8 – hour one way journey from our area. All the expenses of the exposure tour were catered for.
The community members were very excited and motivated. They were more than elated for experiencing what they could only imagine before. Please see the photos of the trip.
Thank you for your continued support- you are changing lives for the better!