Riruta Community-Administration Forum

By

Millicent Agutu

Riruta sports fraternity is an association of youngsters, resident of Riruta Location in Dagoretti South sub-county. The youngsters draw from different outdoor and indoor sports in two levels; Provincial League and Academy. This association comprises of different sports groups including RISA, Amani Yassets, Makarios, Amazing Grace and Kianda. The association together with Dagoretti South administration held an open forum to deliberate on eminent societal issues affecting the young people. Two main agendas were highlighted, these being insecurity and development opportunities. There was a concern from the youths in attendance on the access of government funds and services such as Youth fund, Uwezo fund, Njaa Marufuku and Cash Transfers for OVC’s.

Among those in attendance were CBO’s, FBO’s and NGO’s like KARDS, Comprehensive Diverse Initiative (CDI) Kivuli Centre workshop, Plan International, Consolation East Africa, Maiden Hope, Kivuli Youth Group, DYSAE Youth Group and YEEP among other non-governmental actors.

The occasion was graced by government officials from Dagoretti Constituency i.e. Riruta Chief Mr. James Ndichu and his Assistant Mr. Rhuphas Mwangi, the Chief Kawangware Location Mr. Chege and his assistant and Assistant Chief Kabiro. Also in attendance was the Police Inspector Kawangware Mr. David Langat, police officers stationed at satellite police station, CDF County Youth Representative Officer Mr. Kabera, and Dagoretti Uwezo Fund Committee member Mr. Nyaga. Other institutions represented were; Ministry of Education, Ministry of Devolution and Planning and Dagoretti District Development Office.

The representatives of the groups lamented on the issue of exploitation of young people in sports by individuals who only serve to satisfy their own interest through the talents of these young people. They requested the administration to provide an enabling environment for the youth and their coaches to fully exploit the potential existing in sports. They pointed out that getting the youth fully engage will reduce the chances of individuals in the society using them to cause chaos and commit crimes.

Drugs; This session started with one of the coaches sharing reason for man’s creation on the six day, which was to manage Gods issues. But because of identity, we create problem for ourselves and others; This was just to infuse the minds of the youth on reasons to why some of them engage in drug use. This brought about the questions of i) How do we address issue of identity ii) How will we do it? iii) How does the drug use help you?( As an individual, team and community). The topic will be fully discussed in a future date in order to come up with action plan.

Public amenities especially the in areas of sports which mainly incorporate playing grounds and sports academies lack in this area of Riruta and those available are in bad shape. In this area for example there are only two play grounds Kinyanjui Technical and Kawangware ground which are commonly used for football leaving no space for any other type of sport. There was therefore a proposal that the administration and well wishers to look into ways of providing space for other sports including; basket ball, tennis ball and other forms of talents i.e. music and arts.
These facilities should be safe enough to enable both male and female to participate in the trainings. The facilities should also assure security of the participants including the young children in the academy and thus should not expose them to bodily harm or material loss. The association representative urged the citizen and administration to further development of sports through the collaborative efforts.

On the issue of development opportunities available for the youth, it was noted that sports present valuable opportunities for the youth to engage meaningfully in the society. There also exist other government opportunities for the young people to further their innovative ideas for self sustainability. To access these funds however, the young people were advised to form groups either youthful or community based groups and come up with development and business ideas to assist themselves. The administration emphasized on the need to involve both gender in the groups as this was a requirement by the constitution. They also advised the young people to link the administration with members of the community who qualify for the cash transfer fund that is aimed at assisting the OVCs in care of poor guardians. The fund also supports old members in the society who do not have any immediate support from their children.

The forum also addressed the many cases emanating from insecurity in this area. It emerged that the young people are prone to engage in crime since they are mostly idle due to joblessness yet they need to provide themselves with the basic needs. It was argued that engaging the young people in sports would act to reduce the chances of these young people engaging in deviant acts. The forum highlighted factors contributing to insecurity and noted the following;

• Lighting system – The lighting system within Riruta is very poor and as such the thugs take advantage of the dark streets and corners to continue mugging citizen. It was therefore proposed that the administration provide street lighting to address this.
• Unemployment – Lack of employment has forced many young people to engage in crime in search for livelihoods and thus there is need to offer more opportunity to these young people.
• Poverty – Poverty levels in the society have risen thus calling for a need to put up more measures to help the young people make a living.
• Infrastructure – poor state of infrastructure especially the roads have left the citizen prone to highjack as the culprits take advantage of the fact that cars drive slowly in damaged roads and also during the rainy period. There was therefore a need to improve the state of the roads.
• Communication – There lacks a free and prompt communication between the citizen and the security providers hence delay in communicating emergency cases. It was suggested that there be employed a mechanism that the citizen can promptly contact the security personnel in case of such occurrences.
• Corruption – Corruption was highlighted as a major challenge both in the administration and the community which is a major block in getting justice. There is need therefore to institute measures to fight corruption cases.
• Distance from one police post to the other – Distance from police posts inhibit timely response to emergency situations. There is need therefore equip the police with facilities such as vehicles in good condition to enable them make to the scenes with ease.
• Relationship between the police and citizens – There is need to improve the relationship of the police and the citizen for there to be a free interaction and information sharing.
• Responsibilities and roles of citizens – There is a need for the Citizens to actively participate community forums that are geared towards addressing issues affecting them. It was noted that most strategies employed by the authority to curb insecurity were met with a negative reception despite the efforts by the authority to have the citizens involved in making the decisions.

Environmental Network Set to Mark 2nd Anniversary

NAIROBI May 23, 2014 (CISA)

Let us protect mother earth. Let us replenish her health by planting at least one tree per year.

Let us protect mother earth. Let us replenish her health by planting at least one tree per year.


Mother Earth Network (M-e-net), an environmental organization led by the Franciscans Religious Order is set mark two years of existence with a host of activities including tree planting exercise on Friday May 30 at Portiuncula centre, Langa’ta in Nairobi.

“We will have expertise presentations on M-e-net progress and experiences and emerging issues in conservation. The workshop will also see the presentation and official launch of M-e-nets’ Certificate of Registration,” said Fr Herman Borg, M-e-net patron.

Fr Borg added that the network will further use the opportunity to thank its partners, stakeholders, well-wishers, friends and supporters who have stayed with them to date.

Early this year, the network got recognition from the government of Kenya that granted it a legal status as a Trust registered in Kenya under the Ministry of Lands.

According to M-e-net official launch concept paper, from its inception, M-e-net has been undertaking tree-planting and conservation activities in Nairobi, Machakos, Nakuru, Kajiado, Kiambu Nyeri and Malindi counties aimed at contributing to the national tree cover target of 10 percent.

Mother Earth Network has been in existence for two years. Since its formation, great steps have been taken and measures put in place to guide its strategies. Amongst its achievements are tree planting initiatives targeting schools, churches and urban slums; capacity building and awareness and sensitization through key environmental days such as 4th October marked by faith groups every year.

South Sudan: One People, One Nation

An interesting poem by http://theshoeshinereyes.wordpress.com/. Its message is an African message though it speaks of oneness of South Sudanese. Our African poverty is as a result of Tribalism, corruption and selfishness.

By Deng Mangok Ayuel
We are one nation forever,
In epochs of sadness, we unruffled each other,
In minutes of consternation, we embrace together,
When we shortly fall in politics, we hold each other,
When trepidation strikes, fears, we preserve together,
We are not Dinkas, Nuers and Jurchol – we belong to each other
We are South Sudanese.
——————–
We are one …!
We shall live together as one people,
Call our leaders as leaders, spade a spade
No matter the shame, no matter the darkness,
No matter the fear we live, no matter the failures,
We shall return to our roots, do things right, build togetherness
Pray to God for forgiveness, reconcile immediately and stop killing ourselves,
We are for one objective, one vision for all.
——————–
We are one …!
We fought for our freedom,
And separated from Sudan at referendum.
And we weep, reducing ourselves to doom,
But who to blame, you or cerebral pragmatism?
Everything but the reality, call it mess of realism,
Oh God, oh God, give us peace, free us from tribalism;
……and I am worried of YOU, the leaders, not your realm?
——————–
We are one …!
Patience shall make things right,
And purge political fear under one hat
Let’s respect ourselves, our political height
In order to grow and become a better terrain,
We need to come together as stunning nation,
Put the hate on the ledge to stop the desolation
And the public relation engraves a new assertion
——————–
We are one…!
We are South Sudanese,
No matter who is Mr. Achak,
No matter if he is from Rumbek,
No matter if he is loyal to Dr Machar,
No matter which tribe: Dinka, Acholi, Nuer
He is your brother, from baby nation, South Sudan.
Let’s us fulfill our dreams for freedom, live together as a nation

KPN holds the training on Results Oriented Report Writing and Monitoring and Evaluation

Post by Bridged Faida, KARDS

Michael Ochieng the Director of Africa Peace Point (APP) training KPN members on M&E Framework

Michael Ochieng the Director of Africa Peace Point (APP) training KPN members on M&E Framework

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For pictures of this event kindly visit here
The Kenya Peace Network (KPN) training on Results Oriented Report Writing and Monitoring and Evaluation was held on the 6th to 9th May 2014 at Kolping Center, Kilimambogo. It was organized by the Capacity building Cluster comprising of ISMM and KARDS being assisted by the KPN executive committee. The KPN capacity building activities are supported by Mensen met een Missie, a Dutch based mission support organization.

In attendance were representatives from DECESE, SOLWODI, IRCK, HAART, KARDS, APP, RAPADO, St. Martin CSA, CYU, KECOSCE, CNDI and Trace Kenya. Fr. Joseph Caramaza of ISMM facilitated the results oriented and report writing training while Michael Ochieng of APP facilitated the monitoring and evaluation framework training. Out of one reason or another a few organizations were not able to attend. Members of the Executive Committee who graced the training included Eric Odongo the executive secretary, Michael Ochieng and Vincent Okonya. The former Chair person of KPN the Rev Sasaka also graced the training. In welcoming the participants the executive committee members expressed their satisfaction that there was an improvement in gender representation and also referred participants to the capacity assessment document of 2013. Vincent Okonya emphasized that good reports are a great help in the KPN fundraising endeavors.

Fr. Caramaza led participants explore the essence of focused writing in tracking project impacts at different stages of project life cycle and in line with planned results. Topics tackled included media theory, interpersonal communication, barriers to communication and communication for advocacy. Participants discussed media work, media language, verbal and non-verbal communication, ways in which communication is achieved, frameworks through which messages are understood, laws that regulate these frameworks, the preparation of a newsletter and the choice newsletter contents. The inclusion of drama, images and videos in stories also formed an interesting part of the discussion. Lastly the facilitator led a discussion on the preparation for an interview and use of PowerPoint in presentations. The participant also wrote individual stories, sample newsletters and did a research on topics of choice in group setting. The reports were assessed jointly and areas of improvement made.

Michael facilitated the sessions on monitoring and evaluation (M&E). M&E was defined, its use, main objectives, what it involves, its purpose, participatory monitoring and evaluation, difference between monitoring and evaluation, why to monitor and evaluate and what to monitor and evaluate. In addition the logical framework was discussed and the participants were assisted to develop it and understand its logic. Other topics explored included results based monitoring and evaluation, results based reporting, risks, assumptions and the differences between programs and projects. Lastly, the participants were helped understand what decision making is, why data is important, data versus information, users and providers of data, principles of data quality, why users and producers must work together, data sources steps to using routine information in project/program and when would managers raise questions taken through data use in decision making.

After the training participants expressed the fact that they had learnt new skills and new insights that would be of great benefit to their organizations. Some of the skills they learnt included report and story writing, understanding the logical framework, monitoring and evaluation, newsletter preparation and proposal writing. Most were appreciative of shared experiences from other organizations. They also expressed the fact that what they had learnt would certainly be practiced and shared with other staff and help in bettering their organizational practice.

The participants also made suggestions on future areas for capacity building. These included Team building, further training on logical framework, fundraising/proposal writing, data presentation and visualization, knowledge management for organizations, proposal writing with respect to different agencies, documentation, data analysis, budgeting, and theory of change. Participants expressed the fact that they would need a certificate of attendance. This as an issue was be taken over by the Capacity Building Cluster and the KPN Executive Committee.
During the training the capacity building cluster took time to introduce the questionnaire on past capacity building activities. It was generally agreed that this questionnaire would be sent to directors who would fill them up. The participants were also updated that the training on organizational development would take place on the 8th to 11th July 2014.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

THANK YOU MOM

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By Martin Ndichu

As I look back on my life I find myself wondering! Did I remember to thank you for all that you have done for me? For all of the times you were by my side to help me celebrate my successes and accept my defeats? Or for teaching me the value of hard work, good judgment, courage, and honesty? I wonder if I’ve ever thanked you for the simple things…The laughter, smiles, and quiet times we’ve shared? If I have forgotten to express my gratitude for any of these things, I am thanking you now, and I am hoping that you’ve known all along, how very much you are loved and appreciated. Thank You Mom
I know how often I took you for granted when I was growing up. I always assumed you’d be there when I needed you…and you always were. But I never really thought about what that meant till I got older and began to realize how often your time and energy were devoted to me.
So now, for all the times I didn’t say it before, Thank You Mom

Mom you’ve given me so much, Love from your heart and the warmth of your touch.
The gift of life and you’re a friend to me. We have a very Special Bond which only comes from God.
I’m sure you agree. As a child I would say Mommy I Love You, now you’re my Mother so dear
I love you even more with each and every New Year, if I could have chosen, I would have picked no other. For being my lifelong friend and Precious Mother, Thank You Mom
If I knew as a child what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have made things so hard for you.
I would have understood that you were looking out for my best interest. Even though it may not have seemed so at the time. I would have known how difficult it is to let go, to stand back and let someone you love learn from their mistakes. I would have realized how fortunate I was to have a mother who was always there for me, even after an argument, even after I’d said things I shouldn’t have. While it’s too late for a lot of things it’s not too late for me to tell you that I appreciate how loving you are, how giving you’ve always been and that even though I may not always be good at showing it, I love you very much. Thank You Mom
You deserve much more than words can say; You make me feel cherished and I always will pray,

“God, please, be with Mom in a special way. Give her your blessings throughout the day.
Show her the meaning, the reason for her to stay. Let your angels guard her; keep her safe.
Help her see the good of your work; keep the evil away. Keep her smiling; dry her tears. If you may.
Let her know that whenever there’s trouble, she can turn to You; You’ll help her through the struggle.
Let her know that here on Earth, She may never know what she’s really worth, But, she’s is an angel:
Assign angels to her, Three on her right to help her hold on tight.
Three on her left to help her have hope in the stars so bright,
And one in front of her to help her see the light, Your light…
Please, let her know how precious she is in our hearts even if we’re not showing this .Let her know we’re always there, to help her out through our prayers, we may not feel what she’s passing through.
But let her know we try our best to do. Let her know that whenever she’s down, We can feel it without a frown. Help us see your goodness through her, Through Your words wherever we are…” AMEN

That’s my prayer for you every night. May this give you hope in everything in sight. And please, know that wherever you are! Know that we love you and care whether we’re near or far…
                                                         ~~~~~~~Thank You Mom~~~~~~

How I Celebrated the World Orphan Day

Lulu is one orphan who impacted me greatly. Thanks to Anita home for putting a smile on her face. Lulu is one orphan who impacted me greatly. Thanks to Anita home for putting a smile on her face.

Julius Mwangi

The world celebrated the World Orphans Day on 7th May 2014. This day was celebrated bearing in mind the stark reality faced by orphans world over.  We celebrate this day by narrating the story of Lulu.

Lulu is a girl aged 12 who has no mum and no dad. She lost them when she was 4 in 2007 during the Kenyan Post Elections Violence.  And so I decided to listen to her story. Throughout the entire conversation with her, I could not help feeling a heavy lump of sadness in my throat.

The story of Lulu the orphan begins where she suddenly found herself alone after the death of her parents in the most cruel manner.  She only remembers being put into a lorry and taken to an IDP camp. In the IDP camp a kind family took care of her until she was taken by the children department and committed to Anita Children Home in Nairobi.  Several things happened which she has no recollection of. First all  her parents lost their lives. She does not know whether they were buried or not. She only remembers that her parents loved her so much and when she was hurt they would rush to give her attention.

Lulu is at the moment in Standard two.  She is much older than her classmates. This happens to be the fate of most orphans, they pass through many hands before they get stability and are able to join schools. They thus join schools when they are much older than the rest of the other students. After sometimes they become objects of ridicule from their teachers, peers and the public. Homes like Anita among others therefore offer an important service of ensuring that orphans will always be protected and provided with basic necessities.

However, as I continue conversing with Lulu, she shows me her drawings. And she asks me

“Are they beautiful?”

“Yes” I answer. I stare at her drawings which are little sketches of a mother and a dad holding her in the middle. 

“I miss mum and dad” she says. I just look at her again and the lump in my throat swells more. And I am nearly pushed to tears

She leaves me and joins other girls to play. And I am left thanking God for the beautiful solace Anita Home offers to orphans. And I am happy that I remembered to spend my day with an orphan. 

Social Capital; A Perspective On Organizational Development

By Martin Ndichu
Social capital

Social Capital is almost a new concept in modern organizations, this is despite its long existence. Social capital refers to the networks, institutions and norms that mark and define the quality and quantity of interactions within individuals in a society, organization, project or business. In this context, social capital does not account for players within the network but acts to glue them together. It is evident that cohesion within any organization is a vital component for development and sustainability of that organization. This is mainly because of the effect it has on the degree of association of individuals or players within that organization or network.

There are several attributes that constitute social capital, these include; Trust, Reciprocity, Appreciation, Acceptance and tolerance among others. These attributes of social capital have an effect on organizational productivity and well-being of individual players and reduces the costs of doing business by facilitating coordination and cooperation within the organization. Trust among individuals within any context is vital in promoting transparency while on the other hand reciprocity of goodwill encourages continuity of healthy interrelations; it also eliminates the feeling of abuse among partners. Acceptance and tolerance of individuals within an organization regardless of educational background or qualification, disability, societal branding, race or religious affiliation goes a long way to promote self-esteem, self worth and organizational ownership by the individuals.

So what’s the impact of Social Capital on organizations? True to my word, organizations that nurture high-quality social capital have staffs and partners that demonstrate a high sense of obligation towards the organizations and collectively engage in the attainment of the ultimate goal of the organization. Such organizations experience low staff and partner turn over which in turn increases the prospect of success. On the contrary, organizations with little or no social capital exhibits low growth, poorly motivated staff with a high element of self centeredness. They worry much on what they get in return of their service to the organization than on the welfare of his fellows or the organization. This has the effect on the organization security both internally and externally, simply because most of the individual/partners may be unwilling to stand by the organization when it faces challenges of different kinds.

Building social capital can be fun and disappointing at the same time. This is mainly because it comes with a strong element of expectation. This is mutual, so as a leader in any organization as much as you would want to grow social capital within your fellows or partners ensure that the benefits accrued are mutual such that no one feels abused. Learn to note actions by your partners that desire your reciprocity and promptly act back. As an organization, appreciate the little efforts made on daily basis by your staffs because they may end up being the best they ever do before stagnating due to unmet expectations. Building social capital could constitute a big budgets such as increase in remuneration, luxury holiday and excursions, but could also be done in simple ways in the day to day operation of the organization. Try volunteering your special skills to an organization, mentor someone of a different ethnic or religious group, avoid gossip, Say “Thanks” to colleagues and support staff and the likes.

To pen off, a message to managers and officers in charge of project, human resource, public relations, chairpersons of youth groups, women groups, CBOs, NGOs, aspiring entrepreneurs and other organizations in general government included; observe the element of social capital within your networks and you will not have to worry about how to meet your goal, how you will accomplish your tasks or with whom to share your plans. Caution though, social capital is an investment of a kind so invest wisely and please have a fair interest rate that won’t hurt incase of bad debt!!…won’t you? All the best.      

 

 

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