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

I am pleased to share the following report:

Our local organization is growing stronger through collaboration.  Virtues Connection Kakamega (VCK) has concluded discussions with Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) and we now have a signed agreement in place that will enable MMUST to join VCK in delivery of specific skills and products in the community that will contribute to the health, economic development and well-being of our Virtues Connection Groups and others.

VCK has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with an NGO, Christian Partners Development Agency (CPDA) that will allow us to work in unity to equip communities in Virtues, Agriculture and Food Security.  The goal of CPDA is to partner in development for the advancement of equitable communities in Kenya. CPDA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, whose vision is empowered and connected communities. In our agreement, all groups that mobilize for training shall first receive training in the Five Strategies of The Virtues ProjectThis agreement marks the beginning of our expansion of Virtues and Community Development for Kenya training, to the larger Kenya, as CPDA intends to traverse the whole country!

School success stories continue.  In an effort to curb high teen pregnancy at Lwanda Secondary School in 2016, a week of virtues training was conducted for non-teaching staff, teachers and students.  At the end of the virtues training, the principal took away the canes from the classrooms and used them as firewood, thereby ending caning at their school.  The school adopted the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project to help them address disciplinary issues.  They are now a virtues school.  They share a Virtue of the Week on parade and in the church and they handle discipline issues as Teachable Moments  focusing on virtues.  Every open space is decorated with a virtues starting from the gate of school to remind everyone of the presence of virtues.  In 2017, the principal welcomed virtues facilitators from around the world (visiting Kenya to participate in the 2017 Global Mentorship of The Virtues Project) to their school to hear from school prefects, non-teaching staff and students about using The Virtues Project. 

The principal shared the followoing rewards of adopting the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project:  

  • he spends very little time on discipline and enjoys his role
  • they had only one pregnancy case in 2017 vs ten in 2016, and the student chose birth over abortion
  • academically, the school was the most improved having moved from position 19 to 5 in the sub-county, emerging as the top day school

We are observing a trend that, when a school adopts The Virtues Project, discipline improves as does class performance. National exam scores are outstanding in St Joseph's Shichinji Secondary, Mwiyenga Primary, Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls High School, etc.

Community virtues activities are ongoing in support of each other's well-being.  I observe groups carrying themselves with integrity and peacefulness.  They discuss the Five Strategies and participate in virtues acitivties through drama, music and poems.  Every session starts with a Virtues Pick.  

The Children Protection Unit at the police station remains outstanding in service delivery to the public.  

We thank you for you continued enthusiastic support and charitable contributions that make it possible for us to continue this important community development work, strengthening communities through virtues and  education, and thus creating sustainable futures for those we serve!

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MMUST Meeting in progress
MMUST Meeting in progress

Virtues and Community Development Activities are Flourishing in Kakamega County!

Our activities are ongoing with our community groups, at our community center, and with the university.

We are pleased to report that the Police Children Protection Unit remains friendly. Parents are more comfortable with how they handle cases of their children at the station thanks to what officers learned through virtues workshops.  

COMMUNITY GROUP ACTIVITIES

We went to Mwiyenga Primary School to share virtues and launch a poultry structure for the Courage group. The structure will house 100 birds.  Groups are continuing to raise funds for the build to be completed.

COMMUNITY CENTER ACTIVITIES

  • We continue to carry out our unique guiding and counseling services to the community using the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project.  There is a lot of strength found in the Virtues Cards as we do Virtues Picks and use the cards at different stages of the sessions.
  • In October, we held a virtues workshop for small scale business people from Kakamega town.
  • In November, we held a refresher, attended by 20 representatives from our Virtues trained groups. The session was full of joyfulness and unity. Group members resolved to support group members when challenged with joys, sorrow and other social circumstances. They carried out social passionate game and raised some money to help Uwezo Service Group for an income generating project.
  • We have paid three months rent for the center

MASINDE MULIRO UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (MMUST) ACTIVITY

In October, we met with several key MMUST staff to advance a community development project with them. In attendance were the Community Liaison Officer, Principal Researcher for Mushroom & Spirulina Research, a volunteer student from Department of Nutrition Science, and a Community Resource Centre staff.  Along with virtues, discussion topics included:  Nutrition Education in the community for better health, livelihoods, and peaceful life; with a goal to train at least 25 community members. These activities may be held at their Centre for African Medicine and Nutritional Flora and Fauna (CAMNFF), adding more value and commitment to our Virtues groups.

Thanks to your generosity we have been able to accomplish many activities.  We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep our community center open and fund our group activities in Kakamega County. Your support is strengthening our community on all levels and the virtues are now spreading to nearby counties!

MMUST Staff and Project Leader
MMUST Staff and Project Leader

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Virtues Club Members
Virtues Club Members

Virtues are growing everywhere at Mwiyenga Primary School.  Before student lessons begin, classes pick and read a virtue to guide their day.  Teachers sing virtues songs with the children. They post a Virtue of the Week.  During lessons, virtues are identified in characters and stories.

Acknowledgements, Academic Achievement and Appreciation are growing.  Teachers acknowledge students and fellow teachers, students acknowledge teachers and fellow students. Children acknowledge their parents and parents acknowledge their children.  It was heartwarming to hear that students thank and acknowledge their teachers for their hard work in preparing lessons for them and that parents are coming to school to offer assistance and thank the teachers for teaching their children virtues.  Parents and teachers are seeing improvement in academics and behavior. Teachers are inspired to find new and creative ways to bring virtues to light in their school community.  Parents come to the school to thank the teachers personally and ask for training in virtues.  Teachers are now reaching out to parents by phone to invite them to trainings and encouraging the parents to invite other parents.

Many wonderful things have been happening at Mwiyenga Primary School since the water tank was installed at school! Grace is flowing...

  • Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), came to school to bid on a sanitation project.  When they saw the water tower donation (and all those virtues on the tower), they were inspired to supply enough water to serve the school AND the community!  Parents joyfully agreed to help with labor.
  • Red Note Records was happy to hear about virtues activities in Kenya and offered to send a music donation.  A big thanks to Red Note Records and children's singer/songwriter, Red Grammar for their generosity in donating 30 Teaching Peace music CD's for distribution in our virtues schools, local community development groups, and beyond. Students and staff at Mwiyenga are eager to learn new uplifting songs.  
  • Thirty students received new school uniforms
  • A Virtues Club formed and meets twice a week to learn and practice the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project.  "We share experiences in day to day when using virtues and the teachable moment we encounter and how we make it right. We set clear boundaries by being committed to time and responsibilities given to each of us (teachers and pupils) , we honour the spirit by singing the virtue songs which makes us humble before God, and we also read verses and practise Reverence and Prayerfulness by praying. We share and care for each other," a teacher told me. 
  • Two Community Development Groups have formed within the school community: 20 parents of Early Childhood Development students and 20 parents of primary students.  (Learn more here about the Virtues and Community Development for Kenya groups that are forming in Kakamega County.)  These groups will help provide for the sustainability of the school and the community!

Soon more teachers will be trained as Facilitators of The Virtues Project.  And that is a good thing---as teachers from other schools are asking to learn about The Virtues Project too!

Thanks to your kindness, showing you care, making life better for others; virtues are growing and grace is flowing at Mwiyenga Primary School!  Your charitable donations will help ensure that: children are able to attend a virtues school, staff and parents will continue to be trained in virtues, and the school will receive virtues materials and other resources needed to flourish as a virtues community.

New School Uniforms Just Arrived
New School Uniforms Just Arrived
Students Receiving Uniforms
Students Receiving Uniforms
Water Tank with Virtues
Water Tank with Virtues
Virtues Acknowledgement on Water Tank
Virtues Acknowledgement on Water Tank
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Marama South Virtues Joyfulness Table Banking
Marama South Virtues Joyfulness Table Banking
Virtues and Community Development for Kenya project is gaining momentum in Kakamega County.  Five groups: Marama South Joyful Virtues Support Group, Simplicity Community Virtues Support Group, Mwiyenga Community  Courage Group, Mwiyenga Parents Courage Support Group and Uwezo Service Group received training in The Five Strategies of The Virtues Project.  Each group consisting of 20 members divided into 4 pods with 5 members practices one virtue strategy and all of them practice the strategy, Offer Companioning.  As a result of this ongoing practiceof virtues, we see great improvement in the way our group members relate with each other when they work together.  
The groups are at different stages in the establishment and implementation of Table Banking, Merry-go-round. This banking system allows members to coop their monies to finance their group business ventures.  On Saturday, 29th July, 2017 the groups sent their representatives to Kakamega to learn Poultry Keeping. They have since chosen a site to build their first poultry farming structure.  
Discussions are underway with Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) to form a collaborative agricultural venture with our groups as a means to connect and give back to their community  This is great news as it offers yet another business opportunity for our group members to grow stronger!
At Kakamega Police station, Children Protection Unit, the officers were trained in Virtues, forming Kakamega Police Diligence Support Group. Our project leader is a member of this group that meets monthly to carry out a Virtues activity,  Officers enjoy applying virtues strategies in the course of their work. Many police matters are now solved through  counseling using the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project, rather than court referrals, often involving family and children.
Counseling and guidance continues for school students. Word is spreading among teachers about our successful counseling with virtues.  We often end up traveling to schools in order to understand the challenges that the students encounter.  More teachers and parents are asking for virtues training.  In partnership with Virtues Connection Kakamega, they have opened a community center to hold our trainings and offer counseling and assistance in the community.
 
Our goals continue to expand and now include: a youth group, a community center, and a new business venture with the university!
We thank you for your humanity which connects us, and  your charity that allows us to keep growing stronger with virtues and skills development.  
Virtues and Community Development Center
Virtues and Community Development Center
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Bibiana speaking to university students
Bibiana speaking to university students

Meet Bibiana, Peacemaker, Master Facilitator, and Project Leader for Virtues and Community Development for Kenya! Bibiana has completed Virtues Project Facilitator Training, as well as, several peace and social work trainings.  She is a Gazette Children’s Officer. She volunteers at Kakamega Police Station, Children Protection Unit. She receives invitations to schools to counsel students who experience conflict with school rules and the family. Bibiana preached peace as she campaigned for a political seat as a Councilor, Shibiriri Ward, Municipal Council of Kakamega. She won by a landslide. While serving as a Councilor she realized a need to infuse The Virtues Project into her community projects where she trained targeted groups of community members in income-generating skills.  She realized that the Five Strategies of The Virtues Project would provide the solid moral foundation for these groups to support one another and lead to greater future success.  Bibiana shared her work and her vision with me while I was visiting Kenya, and this project on GlobalGiving was born.  

Thanks to your generous support, Bibiana has been moving the Virtues and Community Development for Kenya project forward in many ways:

  • She uses Virtues Cards and the Five Strategies to bring about reconciliation in families, schools and community.
  • At Kakamega Police Station, she assists with child matters to often resolve without court referrals as she uses her virtues skills to promote reconciliation.  
  • She has joined other facilitators to train teachers at St. Joseph’s Academy Kakamega, Masinde Muliro University Science & Technology (MMUST) aspiring student leaders, chemistry students and the community.
  • She was invited to Nyakach Girls High School (a National School of some 2000 students and 85 teachers) to assist staff with handling serious discipline cases. On the first visit she introduced Virtues Project to the guiding and counseling teachers. On the second visit, which lasted 3 days, she counseled the children by teaching them the Five Strategies and using Virtues Cards.  The children's behavior has improved and the school (located 150km from Kakamega) has arranged for further Virtues Training at the end of second term.
  • She has organized two community groups of 20 members each to participate in Virtues Training and Community Development Trainings:  a) Musoli area – Simplicity Community Virtues Support Group (20 members) 4 Pods (5 members each) Purity, Mercy, Honor, Zeal    b) Mwiyenga Community Courage Group (20 members) 4 Pods (5 members each) Fidelity, Patience, Love, Cooperation. Both groups have been trained in virtues and table banking.  Arrangements are being made for both groups to be trained in poultry keeping soon.  From experience, teachable moments and successes of these first two groups, Bibiana will proceed to form the next two groups.
  • She created employment for a local woman who now sews virtues card bags that will be sold in the US to help sustain community development work in Kenya.
  • Bibiana was nominated for Master Facilitator of The Virtues Project for her extensive community development work with The Virtues Project allowing her to now train others to be Facilitators of The Virtues Project.

Without your support, this work would not have been possible.  Thank you again for your charitable contribution to this important project, Virtues and Community Development for Kenya!

Bibiana with community group in Kakamega County
Bibiana with community group in Kakamega County
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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
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