Hoping for Obama, Learning About Education and Outreach

Jambo! Hello everyone, how are you? Hope you are all doing well.

I have been doing very well. I’m always sharing my experience in America and learning more about the Kenyan culture with the people around me. Even with the pikipiki drivers!

Did you know that Obama is coming to Kenya soon? His grandma lives near or in Kisumu, so fingers crossed I might get to see him drive by!

For the first week, we were going through orientation, learning about the different programs and projects that are running in KMET. Now that we’re in the second week, I am assigned to certain departments based on my interests and experience. I will now be working with three different departments; the TB outreach team where they go into the slums to encourage community members to be tested when they have any symptoms of having TB. When HIV/AIDS increase, then TB will also increase, because the immune system weakens in an HIV/AIDS patient causing them to be extremely vulnerable to contracting TB. This correlation causes a lot of people to believe that if one has TB then they also have HIV/AIDS which is not true. So the TB outreach team is trying to clear that idea by doing outreach;

The LGBTI coalition where they are educating and creating an environment where people of the LGBTI community can feel safe. Though more people acknowledges and respects the LGBTI community, there is still a prominent struggle for the LGBTQI community when they expose their sexual orientation and gender;

The Gender Based Violence (GBV) project is an ongoing project that has been recently introduced within the past year. There is a high amount of young women who are raped because of the idea that by doing so it will cure HIV/AIDS. The GBV project is trying to fill in the gaps of hospitals and police stations who admits young women that are victims of GBV. Usually, the perpetrator does not face any consequences, because the police does not put enough effort into finding that person. In the hospitals, when the young woman is treated, they can only provide the young women so much so when the young woman goes home she might be going home to the perpetrator which might be a family member. GBV project is trying to fill in these holes and bridge the gaps, by advocating for a separate system GBV victims will go through. Since this project is still new, they are lacking funds that will help them maintain and progress with their work.

I recently started a fundraiser where you can support and make an impact on the GBV project. You can help change the lives of the many young women who experience gender based violence.  Do not underestimate what a dollar can do, $1.00 is converted to 95.4 shillings. Here is the link to the fundraiser project http://www.gofundme.com/wkh2tb8  where you can donate and share with your friends, family, and strangers.

Amy Ma ’18