Virtues and Community Development for Kenya

by Virtues Project International Association
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Virtues and Community Development for Kenya
Virtues and Community Development for Kenya
Virtues and Community Development for Kenya
Virtues and Community Development for Kenya
Virtues and Community Development for Kenya
Virtues and Community Development for Kenya
Virtues and Community Development for Kenya
Virtues and Community Development for Kenya
Virtues and Community Development for Kenya
Virtues Reflection Card, Peacefulness
Virtues Reflection Card, Peacefulness

I began my journey in 2004 when I attended a virtues training provided by the Education Secretary of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Maseno North Diocese.  The Ministry of Education was enforcing the government ban on corporal punishment and caning in schools.  Being a teacher by profession, she understood the conflict teachers would encounter in maintaining discipline in class when the cane was being withdrawn without a replacement discipline tool being provided.  She started to train virtues to teachers in ACK schools as a tool for discipline.  I participated in her training sessions where I acquired a deeper understanding of The Virtues Project program.

I live in a poor peri-urban location within Kakamega Town, Kenya.  My neighbors used to have frequent conflicts.  There was a need to embrace peacefulness.  I began using some of the skills I gained at virtues training sessions to arbitrate conflict.  Some of those conflicts were driven by poverty.  In a small way, I used some of our family resources to assist where possible.

In the year 2007, Kenya had a general election.  I decided to run for a political seat, Councilor of Shibiriri Ward in Kakamega Municipality.  During my campaign, I preached peacefulness.  Many of the virtues contained within The Virtues Project program fit very well with peacefulness when addressing a public gathering. When elections were held, I had a landslide win.  I had been preaching peacefulness and people were ready for it.  We had only one death in our ward, and it happened in a neighboring ward.  Having won the election overwhelmingly, I felt empowered, and in a very special way developed an inner vision for the electorate.  I now had political power and was virtues trained.

I felt a strong urge for mentorship.  Being a poor community, I, along with a small group of well-wishers,  started supporting them to establish small scale income-generating projects. This reduced over-reliance on me for economic support.  I had supported some children to attend school and carried out water and sanitation improvement in the past.  Once I became a Facilitator for The Virtues Project, I carried out virtues training for all in my community and this was the key to all of us living harmoniously together.  This was the beginning of Virtues and Community Development for Kenya.

Coming Soon, Part Two:  Bringing Virtues to the Community

Thank you.  We appreciate your financial support.  Your generosity helps sustain, strengthen and grow our project!

 


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Virtues and Community Development for Kenya continues to grow and expand their groups and their geographic reach.  By first identifying and forming groups of 20 participants, they are then able to begin training members in virtues and skills of sustainability.  They work in both their large group of 20 and small groups of 5. The key to their success is the training in the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project where participants come to learn about their inner strengths, learn to identify strengths in others, and learn how to become a strong and supportive group.  That training is followed by trainings in skills of sustainability: table banking, agriculture, poultry, soap making, etc. As they are able to put into practice what they learn, they begin earning money that helps them care for their families and their groups.  Virtues refresher training continues every time the large and small groups meet.  A representative from each group gather monthly to share stories and support one another.

The Virtues and Community Development Center is hosting many monthly activities and serves as a walk-in center for community members, especially youth and parents seeking support and guidance.  Visitors to the center learn about virtues and The Virtues Project. This month the center will provide virtues training for three groups and a refresher meeting for one of their established virtues groups.  Currently, whenever they have a gathering they borrow chairs from local churches as the center does not have their own. Your donations help pay the rent to keep this center open. And hopefully soon, your donations will also cover the cost of some chairs for the center. 

Thank you for your generosity and support of our project.  You are truly helping change lives for the better. Next time I will share what is happening in one of the first groups that we formed.

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The strategies of The Virtues Project have universal application and are being used in personal development, parenting, character education in schools, workplaces and community organizations.  This community development project is offering services in all of these areas.  Here are a few examples of their diverse work with families:

VIRTUES IN THE FAMILY

One of the services offered to families by this community development project is counseling for families.  Parenting with virtues training for families is growing.  Using a Virtues Pick and educating families in the Five Strategies, several families have been reached already and requests are coming in from more families.  

FRIENDLINESS CHITAYI FAMILY

Having counseled a husband and wife who were at a point of breaking their marriage, other family members took interest in how the difficult conflict had been resolved. They were told about the counseling offered and I was invited to talk to other family members. This gave me an opportunity to introduce Virtues to the larger family.  It also gave me the opportunity to provide other community development training toward financial stability.  They are now stronger in Merry-go-round and Table Banking as practiced by our established community development groups.  They have adopted these practices and now meet monthly with me to do a Virtues Pick and Virtues refresher where we practice the Five  Strategies while they share experiences over the past period. All meetings start and close with honoring the spirit with a prayer.

INTER GENERATION MUMIAS UNITY GROUP

While attending the wedding of a friend, and sharing about how Virtues were strengthening the families that the project is serving,  she expressed interest in bringing Virtues to her family.  She comes from a polygamous family. Her father had three wives. She invited me for a family reconciliation meeting as they were experiencing disagreements in the family. I made my contribution to their meeting and also made an introduction to The Virtues Project. They were excited about the program and asked that their entire family receive training in virtues.  They set a date for family training.  

Thank you for your charitable contributions to our project.  Your donations are strengthening our project reach and the lives of those we serve.  We see happier families, stronger marriages, families working together to come out of poverty, and much more.  

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Our Virtues Community groups remain active. They all participate in similar activities and all groups network with each other through regular meetings.  At every meeting, they share a Virtues Pick.  It is heartwarming to see and hear members as they develop personal connections through their stories about the virtues they share.  They continue to practice the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project.  Members say they appreciate the power of Speaking the Language of Virtues and find that this makes them unique within their residential areas. All members attest to the POWER of the Virtues Strategies, as they have experienced a true change in their individual lives.
Poultry farming is one of the community development projects that all groups are involved with to help create economic sustainability in their lives.   The poultry structure project continues to be challenging as no group has managed to raise enough of the required funds. All groups are still committed to this income generating project as they have continued fundraising. 
 
Following the signing of the MOA with Christian Partners Development Agency, Vihiga has actively joined the other community development groups that are ongoing. After the training in the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project, the Vihiga group were trained in Table Banking and joined the existing groups. On Saturday, 18th August 2018, all the groups met at Mwiyenga for a refresher, including virtues, table banking, and other activities.  Guiding and training, highlighting and using Virtues Cards, is proving to be successful for all groups and impacts positively on their families.
We thank you for your charity, your giving hearts, your compassion, and your caring for others needs.  With your support, we know those poultry structures will become a reality and our groups will be able to sustain themselves, their families, and eventually their communities.  Through your generosity, virtues practices truly are changing lives for the better.  
Virtues Refresher
Virtues Refresher
Christian Partners Development Agency, Vihiga
Christian Partners Development Agency, Vihiga
Mwiyenga Training
Mwiyenga Training
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Virtues Training at CPDA
Virtues Training at CPDA
Community Development and Virtues for Kenya is thriving.  Our Virtues Groups remain committed and initiate their activities and networking among themselves. Meetings are orderly and guided by the Virtues.  Interactions among group members steadily improve through Speaking the Language of Virtues.  Our Community Development Center is a hub of activity, hosting many of the virtues group meetings and virtues training.
While virtues continue to spread in Kakamega County, we enthusiastically announce that  The Virtues Project  has now been introduced into Vihiga County, following the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement with Christian Partners Development Agency (CPDA), on the 7th April 2018, we held a training at their office.  CPDA's vision is to share the program throughout the whole county.  As a result, the executive director invited participants from each sub-county to this training, including community leaders, teachers, police officers, administrators and a member of parliament. Some university students also attended the training.
After of the training, we introduced some of the income generating projects that we will carry out with Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST). Our other trained groups are very actively involved in Table Banking and news of this project was most welcome. On display, was MMUST-MUG, porridge flour made from wimbi and mushroom.  We are working diligently with MMUST on a Virtues Kenya Community Service and Training Program which is already at an advanced stage. This will see communities plant mushrooms, spirulina, beekeeping and other programs.
We want to thank the virtues community and all of our donors for supporting the Community Development for Kenya project, and ultimately our community.  We see firsthand and want to share with you how thankful we are for the positive impacts that we are all experiencing.  With your continued support, the help of our collaborators, and our income generating projects, Community Development and Virtues Are Growing in Kenya!
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Organization Information

Virtues Project International Association

Location: Calgary, AB - Canada
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Twitter: @VirtuesProject
Project Leader:
Verona Lucas
Calgary, AB Canada
$4,561 raised of $5,000 goal
 
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