The Uhundha Orphanage Centre Committee is now a fully registered CBO; Community Based Organisation, able to apply for funding and be audited and managed efficiently – thanks to AVIF’s own Bollywood movie star, Anupma Sud 😉
If this wasn’t result enough, Anu has already stayed an extra fortnight to collect signatures, hold meetings and open bank accounts for the CBO and Youth Group, to aid with their donation management, and is responsible for Plan International taking on the orphanage as one of only two places they want to implement a comprehensive system to help orphans and their guardians. Our unwavering volunteer has also been busy going into the local town of Usenge to train 3 of the youth group members in using email, uploading documents to Google docs, performing searches and using Microsoft Word – she’s even setting homework !! Anupma reminded me “funny how we take words like backspace, delete, spacebar for granted!”
There’s more; the collaboration with Sana International, for a safe, easily-accessible water supply (via pipeline from the Lake) is being actioned and we’re hoping a part-time position can be funded to educate a member of the community to be in charge of overseeing progress with all the other incredible work Anu has been responsible for. Sustainability is key so its always important for a community to be able to continue to drive progress after volunteers leave. Links with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) all need to be pursued.
During our work we’re always trying to pass on information so if you know anyone who will benefit from the knowledge of research into these specialist areas, please do so:
.. or solar pumps (pdf)
Many thanks to Ben for all this info.
Anu has also contacted a supplier, on the advice of Ben, to source a replacement for the use of kerosine during Omena Fishing – solar power lights which will save the fishermen money as well as reduce emissions – a huge win for the millenium development goals. “We use lanterns at night to attract sardines. The fish swim towards the light, getting caught in the net, but the lanterns used a lot of kerosene and could blow out on a windy night.
Anu writes about her experience fishing on her blog – and took this and other photos!
The important point is always sustainability. Supplying the skills to the youth group members, for example, and assessing affordibility to use the internet was especially important. Even at only 2 Kenyan shillings/minute + transport costs into Usenge / time spent walking there, 1 hour a week can total £1.501 / 2 days wage in Uhundha!
Back in the hustle of Kayole, a slum area of Nairobi, home to the Arrowweb Hospital, funds have just been transferred from the vast fundraising and negotiation efforts over the past few years. Unfortunately we lost the neessary support to send out the container of hospital equipment but instead decided on another essential use for the funds. The hospital is registered with the NHIF, The National Hospital Insurance Fund which collects contributions from employees over a certain income, providing hospital benefits to them and their dependants and to the poor and unemployed. Accredited NGOs (such as Arrow Web Hospital) can be reimbursed for providing treatment to NHIF card holding patients. Poorer patients pay a one-off fee of 200 Ksh to register for free treatment. A requirement of registration, highlighted recently by NHIF auditors, is to renew mattresses and provide an ambulance to transfer patients to other facilities (the nearest govt funded hospital, Kenyatta National, is 34km away!) The Arrow Kenya board has already bought a second hand matatu, which is currently being fitted out with basic equipment. The funds we’ve sent will cover the cost of this conversion and refit.
As if Anupma isn’t the quintessential female superhero, the Brazilian women were also in the headlines this week as National Geographic’s Cynthia Gorney highlighted their incredible ability to lower the entire country’s fertility rate purely with GirlPower.  Diego won’t mind me leading from there to his AmazonArt project – which is progressing incredibly well. I’m excited to announce that our partnership with Travel2Change has already created an opportunity for me to travel over with a small team to collect logistical information and visual/audio media to share and prepare for the influx (low impact of course) of travelers/ volunteers to assist their work. We are already generating lots of links and connections with other organisations in the area so we can all collaborate. If the Surui tribe in western Brazil can already be mapping their area with Google then the world is already at our fingertips.