Horn of Africa Development Initiative - HODI

HODI envisions 'A democratic, peaceful and prosperous society engaging in sustainable development' and exists to (mission) "champion justice & development in Northern Kenya through advocacy and facilitation of education, community cohesion and livelihood support programs"
Dec 6, 2016

A new playground reduced drop out rate

Jaldesa Primary
Jaldesa Primary

According to a new report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and Society for International Development, illiteracy levels are high in northern Counties. Marsabit has a high level of 76%. In 2013 when HODI started working in Balozi, most vulnrable children had limited access to free primary education due to poor management of the schools, communities did not place high value in the education of their children and there was a poor learning environment.

It was not enough to just identify the issue but engaging the community through Mala Mari (community conversations) to deal with the underlying causes laid a foundation for success. The school was cut from most engagement due to its being 17km away from the town. A majority of the community were livestock hearders and had no time to discuss the education of their children. To many, just sending them to school was enough, the rest being the teachers’ responsibility. The task has been tough for the past three years, but getting together to dialogue through Mala Mari was just the beginning.

Mala Mari is well structured and involves working with community facilitators to help engage the community and each step of the way, community ownership of the process is crucial. HODI initiated the process and it was taken over by the facilitators and our role was that of backstopping, reflecting, learning and acting on the gaps that existed. Parents were engaged separately through Mala Mari and the children who were the main beneficieries were engaged in the school. Teachers were engaged through subject circles and shared their challenges and how to overcome them.

There are significant visible changes in the community in three years: reduced number of drop outs from the school; a high number of parents actively involved in the education of their children and improvement in school governance. As they exchanged with other communities and villages, they learnt one good practice of contributing to a kitty to undertake some of the development plans they had for the school.

One such plan was that of the playground for the school. One acre of land was donated by a community member. Contributions were made by other community members, and through this, they were able to raise enough to buy an extra 1.5 acres of land. With a total 2.5 acres of land, they were able to create a new playground for their children.

“I am happy that parents are actively participating in school management after HODI’s intervention through community conversations. As a school, we are getting a lot of support from parents and this has produced more recent successful fundraising efforts.” Kano Dida, headteacher at Jaldesa Primary School, explains.

We are dedicating the Month of December to share our stories of change and we want take this chance to say thank you for your support in making this change possible. Time to go off now as we prepare our next story of change, looking forward to share that too.. https://hodiafrica.org/category/stories-of-change/

The playground
The playground

Links:

Oct 4, 2016

Investing in our Tomorrow

Changing one village at a time!
Changing one village at a time!

You planted a seed five years ago and you watered and nurtured it with your support. Take a moment see for yourself our stories of change. One household at a time and one village to the next, we are raising hope, giving our communities reasons to believe in themselves. Not to sit around and wait but sit down and dialogue with each other and come up with own solutions to problems of many decades. Together rising above poverty with sustainable livelihoods, building skills where none existed, tapping into what we know and learning from one another one step at a time. https://hodiafrica.org/  

Quality Education for our children, ensuring none drops out and even returning those who drop out it is now a shared responsibility “Our Children”. It seemed impossible until we started and today it is the power of 10ksh per household turning our communities from relief to Resilience with a culture of saving.

Separated by tribal wars we have built peace the best way we know how instead of separation we reached out and instead of building walls we built bridges. Building Peaceful Communities was not easy with our football we Shoot to score not to kill reaching out to the hearts and souls of many young children divided by tribal wars. Our girls needed a voice and a choice and together we created a safe space through advocacy while Breaking the Silence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BhSXp-KAMY

It takes you and me to make change happen! We are kindly asking you to take a moment and see the impact of the work we do! In 2015 alone we reached over 15,000 households in 138 villages. With your support we can reach more communities and make more change happen. We are inviting you to sign up for monthly recurring donations! 

Join HODI in Changing Lives and Livelihoods

Links:

Oct 2, 2016

The Fierce One!

The Fierce Hilda!
The Fierce Hilda!

This was just the begining of my tough journey into getting the girls to stay in school, but for the two girls Kula and Hilda it is beyond the game. It is helping them stay in school and also perform in their schools. 

“When I joined HODI in 2013, my mother told me I couldn’t play. Sometimes she even locked me up in the house, scolded me and even beat me to stop me from going. Or when I sneaked out and she found out, she would come to the field and drag me out and scold the coach. She said football wasn’t proper, that it isn’t for girls,” says the 15yrs old Hilda, one of the members of the girl’s teams.

Kula, 16, adds: “My family refused to let me play at first. I was told that it was against my religion and culture for a girl to play. . But I love football because other than the game, I have learnt other things that have made me a better person, mostly things about being a good girl,” she says.

As HODI we are using football to break the silence on issues of early marriage; FGM, beading and dropping out of school. They learn how to use their voice and stand up for theselves and say NO. This is a major shift from a culture where girls can only be seen and not heard. Your donation has supported the lifeskills training which are very important in keeping the girls out of early marriage. You have hlped break the cycle of violence, at 15 and 16 they are just young teenagers who should be home with their parents and in school studying. Unlike the 2 girls most girls face the danger of marriage as early as 12 years. 

It is not an easy journey but it takes a team to win a game; you have all made a commitment to help break the silence on issues that affect the girls; as individuals and other funders they now have a future, your donations help train them on life skills and pay school fees for the girls.

One girl will need almost $2,400 to be able to complete her 4 academic years. The cost also includes supply of sanitary pads and lifeskills training. While we have managed to put a few of the girls in schooll ours is a bigger dream and we would like to get more girls transition to high school and go on to college! We will keep you posted as we take one step at a time. 

It is already past midnight in Kenya and time for me to take some rest!

 

 

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