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DIRECTOR'S NEWS JULY 2017

The Centre is as busy as ever and this entire happening inside a largely standing still political, social and economic Kenya. This stagnation mostly caused by the upcoming national elections set for August 8th. Kenya has to lead the world in terms of the lengthy election campaigning that has gone on for the past two and half years.

  The money being poured into this campaign for president, senate, members of Parliament and county assembly, clearly reflects the direct link between political power and the misuse of that power to gain access to contracts, land and corruption poll position. Getting around the  ‘ trough to eat’ is what it is all about. 

Meanwhile as all these shenanigans are happening businesses, tourism and general investment in the economy is put on hold.  Money in the Mukuru slum has dried up along with the casual jobs and the money that drip feeds the poor and this has put unprecedented demands on our social office and orphan and vulnerable children program.

Drought has also been an additional hardship for the people. The wet season needed for crops and staple foods was more or less non-existent and this has driven up food prices and even made water for domestic needs scarce. This in part is a factor for the cholera scourge that is centered here in our slum, leading to the recent visit to Ruben by the Minister/Cabinet secretary of health.

Ruben Clinic has become the epicenter for a response to the cholera patients and some of this is partially the ongoing National nurses strike affecting all public health facilities.   Now in its 10th week, it has put huge demands on our clinic.

 

17th TO 21st JULY 2017 CLINIC ATTENDANCES

 

 (Out patients)

382

Ante Natal Clinic

81

Child Welfare Clinic

296

DENTAL (1 day per week)

31

R, H     2 days of reproductive services)

88

HTS (HIV testing)

77

NUTRITION

36

CANCER Cervical screened

10

Occupational Therapy

25

Comprehensive Care Clinic for HIV+ people

180

TB

31

CHOLERA

25

TOTAL

1262

 

Yesterday we had four cholera cases, but al least the Ministry of health have come in to help now so we have some light at the end of tunnel.

Ruben Centre is not immune from the tough life around us and this year has been tough with delays in funds reaching us.  Our second largest donor funds for 2017 from Irish Aid has still not reached us and this issues remains an ongoing event.

The Ruben FM radio   has been very very busy informing and engaging the community about the upcoming elections. They have organized peace marches and led the community in a conversation around political empowerment. Several live events have occurred where various aspirants have been interviewed by either a live audience or on air listeners.   There is a lot of apprehension in the community about the ability of the country to conduct fair and peaceful elections.  The scars of 2007 post election violence are still visible and it all could happen again.

The FM radio is truly living up to its motto ‘ unganisha jamii” uniting the community and in the process is helping the Centre act on one of our four strategic objectives namely ‘ Working for a just and empowered Mukuru community.”

Recently we received the news that the radio has been licensed with Communications Commission of Kenya, coming at a time when the face book feedback on Community radios indicates that it is by far the most popular community radio in Kenya.

This work has also drawn attention from international and national organizations wishing to partner with Ruben FM.  JHR (journalists for Human Rights Canada) are going to assist with human resources and equipment as well as Jhpiego Kenya, and organization with a focus on developing youth and a healthy environment.  A new MOU has been signed with Aga Khan Foundation as they are partnering with Ruben Urban Farming Course. They are linking baby care with nutrition and will fund fifteen youth from two other Nairobi slums who will   train for 5 months at Ruben and while that training is going on, they will receive a loan and technical support to start their own garden at their baby care centre.  More information will follow as it begins.

Ruben Centre has for some years been involved with other partners, working for a better Mukuru slum and a transformed environment where the residents own the land and therefore can develop it. UN Habitat   is involved and this month we were able to send one of our advocates to New York

School is about to break for Term two holidays and next week the school will become a Polling Station. A second quarter report on the school and other programs can be read on the website. Two dance groups from the school made the national sports and cultural activities final held in rural Kakamega in Western Kenya. They managed a 4th place in both divisions and all enjoyed a great trip.

Ruben centre continues to attract a plethora of visitors who come from near and far to learn more about community development. There have been two groups from Australia including a Gone Fishing group and also two groups visiting and doing workshops associated with the Christian Brothers have visited.  Mission Capacity Support Team and the African Districts development officers also took time to learn from us about organization capacity. 

So plenty happening and may it continue to be.

 

Br. Frank

 

Director