Tuesday, November 29, 2016

First Women's Voices Champions Meeting


Today Umande held the first of many meetings for the Women's Voices project champions. The 20 women champions met with some of the Umande staff at the Harlequins Suites Hotel. The meeting started by having all the women introduce themselves, followed by an introduction of Umande Trust, and some of the other projects that the organization is working on. After the introductions, each woman was given a questionnaire which asked questions about their local government, how involved the women have been in the local government in the past, and the positive and negative aspects of their local government. After reading the questionnaires it was clear that most of the women in the room felt like they did not have a voice in their community, or no one was listening. That is why this program, Women's Voices ICT Choices is so important for women in the community. This project teaches and encourages women to share their thoughts and ideas and gives them leadership roles within their own communities.

After a brief tea break, the meeting took a turn toward open discussion, in which the women shared and debated ways that they can engage with local leaders and ensure that these leaders are held accountable. One of the most prominent suggestions made was that the women go as a group to meet with the Members of the County Assembly to ensure that funds are being properly allocated throughout each of their wards.  However, it was also mentioned that there are numerous factors that limit women from participation, the most prominent being fear.  Many of the women expressed that there is a general fear women experience when approaching their leaders, which is why it is important that they empower and encourage each other, as long as other methods such as prayer, so that they can overcome this obstacle of fear.  In addition to discussing ideas as a whole. the women then divided into smaller groups based on the wards they each live in to further talk about how they can reach other women in their communities, then shared their ideas with the entire group afterward.  In addition to coming up with new ideas, the women's champions shared their feedback on what they had learned about the project as a whole, and were shown the online dashboard they will use to interact with each other and their communities.  Moving forward, the Women's Voices ICT Choices project will continue to hold monthly meetings with all of the women champions, hold focused group discussions, and discuss the involvement of Magnet Theater groups and the role religious institutions can play in the project.   The project seeks to make women the eyes of the community, and uniting them so that they have better chances of helping their communities.





Thursday, November 10, 2016

Women's Voices ICT Choices

Umande Trust is in the process of launching a new project that aims to increase the representation of Women's voices when making decisions about their own communities, specifically within Kibera. To do this, Women Champions will be selected from the community, and these women will be trained to be liaisons between local governments and the community they are representing. The Women Champions will provide other women in the community with relevant information and facilitate group discussions on the issues women want to discuss and share ideas about.

On Friday, October 28th a meeting was held at the Tosha One biocenter in Kibera to discuss the Women's Voices ICT Choices project and specifically, how to choose the women champions. Project representatives from Umande Trust lead the meeting, and it was attended by around 30 community members and representatives from other local organizations. At the meeting, they discussed the project, and who exactly the women champions would be. There would be five champions chosen from each of the four wards in Kibera: Laini Saba, Lindi, Makina, Sarang'ombe. Also, it was decided that certain biocenters would serve as information hubs for the project, and would be the meeting place for the community discussions.

This was the first of many community meetings to discuss the project, and Umande Trust hopes to start the process of selecting women champions soon.


Benazir Omotto of Umande Trust listens to a question from a community member in regards to the Women's Voices project at the Tosha One biocenter. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Global Handwashing Day 2016

Yesterday, October 15th, schools and organizations in various countries around the world celebrated Global Handwashing Day.  This campaign is dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of proper hand washing with soap and other basic hygiene practices.  This past week, Umande Trust traveled to a Bridge Academy school within Mukuru  to participate in a Global Handwashing Day celebration and the opening of a new Biocenter within the community.  The afternoon was filled with games, songs, and educational activities to teach the children about the proper way to wash their hands and at what times one should wash their hands.  




After our celebration at the school, we turned the corner to take part in a ceremony for the opening of the first stage of a new biocenter, equipped with toilets and handwashing stations for men and women, and the service can be paid for through Mpesa.  Prominent members of the community and organizations that helped make the construction of this new biocenter possible were in attendance, with different community leaders making speeches regarding the progress that has been made. 



 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Upcoming Events: Global Handwashing Day Campaign


Global Handwashing Day is this Saturday, October 15th! This week, Thursday through Saturday, Umande Trust will be hosting numerous events in celebration by visiting various schools across Nairobi and other regions of Kenya teaching children about health and hygiene! By partnering with these schools we hope to fulfill this year's theme: Make Handwashing a Habit.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Budalangi Market Biocentre Launch in Busia county

The first ever Bio Centre in Western Kenya was formally opened at Budalangi market on Monday by Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong.
The Sh2.7 million project is a partnership with the County Government of Busia pioneered by Bunyala North Ward. The Market Authority and area MCA Fred Musirimba secured the construction site.
The Bio-sanitation facility will provide decent and affordable sanitation services and produce biogas for domestic use at local hotels and nearby households.
The bio-slurry fertilizer generated will be used for agro-forestry and greening the area. The centre will ensure that human waste in ablution blocks are turned into wealth by producing gas through bio-digester systems and producing fertilizer as a by-product.
Speaking after the official launch, Ojaamong said the bio-sanitation is premised on the need to close the loop in the waste management process, thus turning waste into a resource.
” The project will save many problems . The two toilets and urinal for men, bathroom and shops available will help greatly the huge population that operates businesses and those who visit the market for business and other ventures,” he said.
Ojaamong said his government will build similar projects in market centres across the county, adding that his government was addressing pressing challenges facing county residents especially water and decent markets in some centres.
The Senior Advisor Umande Trust, Josiah Omotto who represented the organization which won  the contract to construct the centre said 68 similar centres have been built in Nairobi, seven in Muranga, three in Nakuru, nine in Kisumu and one each in Homa Bay and Lodwar courtesy of UNHCR.
Omotto appealed to Bunyala residents to invest in waste by using the facility’s toilets to make bio-gas generation a reality. Musirimba said he would partner with the facility management committee to sponsor the first investors to have them use the toilets at no fee as a sign of his commitment to wealth creation by his people.
William Misati fromUmande trust  headquarters in Nairobi said there are 80 bio centres in Kenya, adding that the centre will recoup its Sh2.7m investment in five years.





The #UrgentToiletRun2015

The #UrgentToiletRun2015  went down well on the 15th Nov, 2015. Over 1000 people participated. The Run began at Mathare; one of the People's settlement found in Nairobi and ende at the #NairobiCountyHall with stop overs at #Pangani and The Nation Media Group.
This event created awareness on Women safety and Dignity while using Toilets.








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