Annual Report Make Me Smile Kenya 2015
Make Me Smile Kenya is a NGO aimed at implementing Sustainable Development Collaboration, Health Services and Child/Youth Care!
Mission Statement: “We help you to help yourselves for the benefit of the children – because we believe in everyone’s potential.”
In 2015, Make Me Smile Kenya was able to achieve notable progress and to cast a smile on many
further faces as a result!
The following pages will give you thorough insight into the highlights of the year 2015. For
further information on Make Me Smile Kenya along with upcoming projects; feel free to have a look at our website and our Facebook page!
Our many projects could not have been realized without your generous donations and support. Therefore, we would like to warmly THANK YOU for helping us provide lasting smiles and making 2015 such a wonderful year!
What were we able to achieve in 2015 due to your help?
Make Me Smile Health Centre
In July 2015, we began to build our first Health Centre for the Kawese Community in Kisumu. We took this initiative partially due to the insufficient medical services within the community coupled with long walking distances to other facilities. A lack of awareness for healthcare was another contributing factor which propelled us to initiate such a project.
With the assistance of various parties, a sustainable implementation of our vision and goals was realized. The Kawese Community has shown their enduring commitment towards our project by providing Make Me Smile Kenya with a piece of land to construct our Community Health Centre.
The non-profit foundation will be run by a committee from the Kawese-Community. The Ministry of Health of Kisumu will provide personnel, medical supplies along with a full covering of the operational costs. A further partner is the NPO „Mojo Full-scale Studio“ hailing from Graz, who actively supported us on-site in the preliminary stages of growth, along with a Kenyan construction company. The organization provided us with voluntary-architects and students from the Technical University of Graz, who were instrumental in the planning, construction and financing of the initiative. As a direct result of this project, twelve youths from the local community were taught and trained on various aspects of construction. With the support of our Swiss partners, Innprotech, we were able to execute the initial phase of an ecological waste water plant.
The construction of the project is divided into four phases. The second phase reached completion in November. The four phases are as following:
- Foundation work
- Walling and roofing
- Placement of windows and doors, rainwater tank, etc.
- Final touches: ceiling, plumbing & electrical work, painting, etc.
The health centre shall provide common medical services with an emphasis on reproductive health, safe motherhood, family planning and HIV/Aids prevention. Additionally, it shall serve as a referral centre for our Rain Workers* (see below for explanation). This Centre shall encompass a wide variety of services and opportunities. Not only shall it become an outlet for those who seek to gain access to quality health services, it is to represent a place where people can come to query about health issues, gain advice and adequate backing whether one is a vulnerable youth, young mother or elderly individual.
Family Planning Program
In April 2015, we held a five day training course in collaboration with the Austrian NGO, Aktion Regen, which aimed at addressing the following issues: family planning, reproductive health, safe motherhood, HIV/Aids Prevention, adolescence and hygiene issues. Sixty Community Health Volunteers (CHV) from the Make Me Smile Kenya team along with employees from local health facilities within the Kawese Community completed this training.
Following a probation period of six months, in conjunction with a “refresher” workshop on the aforementioned topics, participants were examined before practical work was to commence. Fifty-one CHVs passed their exams in accordance with the standards of Aktion Regen. Their main responsibilities lies in performing household visits and raising general
awareness on the immediate and most pressing health issues within the community. Furthermore, a main component of their duties is to establish direct referrals to Dispensaries and Health Centres as well as making regular appearances and seminars for schools, health facilities and communal organizations. This project shall hopefully serve as a vehicle to create self-awareness and sustainable development in the community, while supporting the local staff to provide for their immediate families.
Nutrition / Agriculture
In 2013, Make Me Smile Kenya was fortunate enough to acquire a piece of land in the heart of Kajulu, Kisumu for an organic farming project. With the support of the local “team Rarudi”, much has been accomplished. Team Rarudi fertilized the soil with cow dung and planted pulses (beans, green grams and ground nuts) to boost the soil with nitrogen.
With the support of Swedish students from Chalmers University, Team Rarudi managed to build a lavatory, shower and washing station which connects to an ecological waste water management system. In addition, a workshop area for all ages was introduced. Much agricultural activity also took place in which participants planted numerous banana, mango, orange and avocado trees. The area has become a flagship project, which has attracted the involvement and commitment of the entire neighbourhood.
Yet the story continues. Our overarching goal is to achieve self-reliance and sustainability. Our members began building an organic tree nursery with fruit, fencing and timber trees, from which the produce shall be planted and sold locally. Moreover, a bee hive project will support them in moving towards a financial sustainable solution, while enhancing afforestation.
In April 2015, Make Me Smile Kenya organized the first mobile Safe Park in Kenya. In addition, a permanent Safe Park has been placed in front of the health centre.
A Safe Park is a safe and supervised place for orphans and vulnerable children, where they can enjoy their childhood. The approach of the Safe-Park-Program is based on theories of child-and youth welfare and practical experience. The children are given the opportunity to open up, share their challenges, interact with one another and explore their talents and aspirations. Safe Parks are intended to increase the involvement of family and community participation.
The Safe-Park-Program contributes to the following needs: organized sport activities and games, cultural games, support with homework, a mobile library, youth groups, debates, information and advice on drug abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention as well as effective ecological farming methods, which all have a lasting therapeutic effect.
Introducing this program to Kenya was only possible due to our intense cooperation with the FICE (International Federation for Educative Communities) network. The Safe Park model has been developed and shared by FICE South Africa/NACCW, whom alongside FICE Austria- and International provided financial support, while FICE Kenya facilitated the coordination.
A county representative assisted us in drilling a ditch around the area of the Safe Park to avoid flooding. In order to level the ground, our manager, Simon Peter Otieno was able to organize the transport of sand and soil to the Safe Park. This could not have been done without the generous help of the Ministry of Social Services. The sport field and playground are taking shape and we anticipate the facility to open up in due time. Part of our future aspirations is to build an Early-Childhood Development Centre opposite of the Safe Park.
School Support in Cooperation with Danube International School
A lunch program in the Waluka Primary School is financed by donations of the Danube International School for many years now.In March 2015, MMS Kenya initiated a parent-agricultural project. The parents of Waluka received adequate training, seedlings and fertilizer. In October, they returned a quarter of their harvest to the Waluka Lunch Program. As a result of this, 40% of the Waluka Lunch Program in 2016 will be financed by the parents and the school, leading towards sustainability.
Shelter and Protection
Unfortunately, the rainy season brings many grievances and obstacles to numerous families. Their houses are often flooded and people find many of their belongings lost or in ruins. Moreover, this season is often linked to illnesses due to severe colds, influenza or malaria.
During the past three years Make Me Smile Kenya managed to renovate fifty-two houses. These renovations could not have been realized without the generous support of AphiaPlus and your much appreciated donations!
Dennis used to live on the streets of Kisumu until MMSK suddenly changed his life. He is now in his last year of an apprenticeship as an electrical engineer. In addition, Dennis is Captain of the soccer team of his vocational school and embodies the trainer role well in his free time. However, his ambitions do not end here, for he completed an internship at our construction site for the Health Centre in Kawese.
Mercy Atieno Odoyo
Mercy Atieno Odoyo is a thirty year old mother of two and an admirably strong woman. At the age of twenty, she decided to leave her violent husband and continue her education and complete primary school. Beside her responsibilities as a mother, she now also embraces the challenges of being a student. During the day she attended her classes. Afterwards, she returned home to attend to house errands and parent her children. Once her children were tucked in, she started her homework. And Mercy financed all this by washing clothes of her neighbours.
Despite all these challenges, Mercy graduated from school successfully. With the support of Make me Smile Kenya, she started studying to become a teacher at Maseno University, Kisumu.
Our diligent Mercy supports Make Me Smile as well by sharing her educational experiences of her inspiring life story with our children and youth at the Children Club.
When Make Me Smile Kenya met Eric, he sold popcorn in order to pay for the school fees of his little sister. Currently, he is a bricklayer and wants to establish his own building company one day. With these proceeds he plans to provide for his grandmother and little sister. Eric seeks to reach out to others in the future – as was done to him during his days as a popcorn seller. Unable to attain a steady flow of contracts, Make Me Smile Kenya assisted him in opening up his own small shop. With the sale of DVDs, he is able to earn some money when construction contracts are limited. He pays his rent by himself. In the near future, Eric’s dream is to obtain a Masters degree. “I want to spread the help Make Me Smile has given me to other people“ (Eric Ochieng)
Volunteer Program Make Me Smile Kenya
Since we blew life into our Volunteer Program in Spring 2012, we were fortunate enough to receive support from all over the world.
Forty-five voluntary helpers from Austria, Spain, Denmark, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Serbia and Czech Republic lent a hand in projects of Make Me Smile Kenya contributed to making kids smile. They helped our Community Health Workers and the Make Me Smile office remarkably, to mention but a few with our farming projects, the construction of our health centre as well as the Safe Park. According to their own feedback their work in Kenya was a unique and humbling experience. Likewise, every single volunteer proved to be an enormous asset to MMS.
They made us smile!
THANK YOU for making all these wonderful projects possible!
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!