Women at a Mattassia Event Before Gardening
It has been a while since the last report and I bet you are all wondering how the work in Ngong is fairing. A year now since the project began and a lot of things have come out of it. Jacob, Rose’s co-organizer in Ngong said that in the last year, “Long held beliefs and values have had to be broken to some of the Ngong people. Community’s culture of dependency being one of them. Parents believed that they could not do anything to change their current situations and Tatua Kenya just had to do it for them, all they had to do was to bring their kids to the program and wait. But over the last year, we have seen over 300 parents commit to community parents group and finding solution to this challenge.” It’s been really wonderful to witness.
Early last year, Rose and Jacob intended to address the issue with one campaign. However, through their work with the community they have come to understand the larger Ngong community (which consists of Bulbul, Matasia and Ngong-town) even better. The campaign in all three regions began as one, with one strategy and one team of leaders drawn from the three regions. Through the campaign the community has realized that for long-term sustainability they have to treat the three regions differently as they are very different.
Matasia has a rural setting and children in the area go to school but perform dismally because of shortage of food. In Matasia where school performance is low (most of the children spending the day on empty bellies thus lack of concentration in class), the community has set up a leadership team of 6 that is already working with Rose to draw up a strategy in order to put up mechanisms that are sustainable in solving this challenge, such as a community food bank. This food bank will provide food for children at schools. In the last three months 140 community members have begun to participate and commit to see this happen.
Bulbul is more of a slum and most of the parents are caught up in the process of making ends meet so much that they have forgotten some of their key responsibilities. Next Saturday there will be a forum with the community leaders about parenting and the importance of education.
The third region, Ngong-town is that of a growing town, it faces parental issues among other challenges that come with a growing town. Ngong town leaders have built a system of community accountability for getting kids to school and are now are collecting the data so they may show the parents the great work that they have done together to get 20 children spots in schools.
AT times this work can be slower than we've expected but one thing’s for sure life-giving and amazing work is surely happening, thanks to your support to Tatua Kenya which goes a long way in turning our hope of a better world to action and a reality, so “asante” (thank you in Swahili). Changing status quo is not easy but this work has taught us that it can be done.
Community Organizer Rose prepares group for work!