Surrogacy

By Bridged Faida

‘A couple just won a case about rent- a womb’

Surrogacy is not a imaginary issue any more, a judge recently ruled. It is real and many Kenyans are resorting to it for medical reasons and the state ought to protect such arrangements.
Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person or the genetic parents. Women are usually unable to have a baby because they might have medical complications that make pregnancy impossible. Those who carry the pregnancy, whether for a fee or for free, are known as surrogate hosts and the owner of the baby as the commissioning couple or genetic parents.

Traditional surrogacy: surrogate mothering can be accomplished in two ways, Most often, the sperm is implanted in the host by a procedure called artificial insemination. Here, the surrogate mother is either the genetic mother, or gestational mother, of the child. This method of surrogacy is sometimes called traditional surrogacy.

Gestational surrogacy: Less often, when the intended mother can produce fertile eggs but cannot carry a child to birth, the intended mother’s egg is removed combined with the husband’s or another man’s sperms in the process called the vitro fertilization, and implanted in the surrogate mother. This method is called gestational surrogacy.

For money or for charity?
Surrogacy arrangements are also categorized as either commercial or self- sacrificing. In commercial surrogacy, the host mother is paid a fee plus any expenses incurred in her pregnancy, while in self – sacrificing surrogacy, only the expenses incurred are paid.

Too posh to push? There have been growing concerns that this procedure, designed to have couples who would otherwise not have their own babies, is also being adopted by Nairobi’s nouveau riche, the type that has been pejoratively described as “too posh to push”. Medical experts, however, warn that surrogacy is not a procedure of convenience as a last recourse.

Kenya’s first test – tube babies that were delivered in Nairobi in 2006. Surrogacy in East Africa country, while still shrouded in secrecy, has been picking up with surrogates being paid as higher as $18,000 (ksh. 1.5 million).

There is a growing list of young Kenyan women who are renting out their wombs to carry other people’s pregnancies, with some being paid as much as Ksh. 1 million ( $ 12,000 ).
The trend that has in the past been seen as a resolution in developed countries for infertile women seeking to have their own children is increasingly gaining acceptance in Kenya.

Statistics shows almost 30 babies have been born in Nairobi by surrogate hosts, and these statistics are from just one clinic, the Nairobi IVF Centre Ltd, Fertility clinic. Here services offered include wide range of Assisted Reproductive Technologies, including IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) Egg and Sperm Donation. Gestation Surrogacy, Embryo and Sperm Cryopreservation, Intrauterine inseminations (IUI) Ovulation Induction and others. The Nairobi IVF Centre ltd is located in modern Medical Centre on Landmark Plaza, Argwings Kodhek Rd.

Most surrogate hosts experience the pain that immediately after delivery the baby is given to its parents; there is no any chance of her to see the baby.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

THANK YOU MOM

Image

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.      

 

 

The Kenyan Marriage Act 2014, Will it Survive the Courts of Law

R. Muko.
For more pls visit here

marriage rings

 

On 28th April 2014 President Kenyatta signed the Marriage Bill into law. The  Marriage law had the intention of bringing together the various existing laws existing in the country into one coherent legal document. The law replaces various other laws which have been at the moment repealed they include: The Marriage Act (Cap 150 ), The African Christian Marriage And Divorce Act (Cap 151), The Matrimonial Causes Act (Cap 152), The Subordinate Court (Separation and Maintenance) Act (Cap 153), The Man Marriage And Divorce Registration Act (Cap 155),  The Mohammedan Marriage Divorce and Succession Act (Cap 156) and the The Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act (Cap 157).      

According to section 3(1) Marriage is defined as a  voluntary union between a man and a woman. Section 3(2) gives marriage partners equal rights. The age of consent is set at 18 for both man and woman. Any marriage must have two witnesses present excluding the person officiating it. The law recognises marriages under Christian tradition, civil tradition, customary law, Hindu tradition, Islamic tradition. All these marriages though recognized and must be registered (Sec 6(1)). Practices of other recognised groups or faiths may be notified in the Gazette (Sec 6(1)(f)). Accordingly Christian, Hindu or civil marriages are monogamous (Sec 6(2). Islamic and customary marriages on the other hand are potentially polygamous (Sec 6(3). Custody and maintenance of children remain under the Childrens Act.

Sections 86 to 87 of the new law describes a number of marital criminal offenses. They include giving false statement in the notice of intention to marry or notice of objection. According to the law in section 76 (1)  promises to marry are not binding as they do not constitute a contract. However section  76(2)  provides that a party may recover damages if he or she suffers a loss because one has refused to honour a promise to marry. Other offenses include Marriage to persons under 18 years,  Marriage of persons within prohibited marriage relationship.    Marrying someone without the person’s consent,  Unauthorized persons celebrating marriage relationship,  Marrying without witnesses, Celebrating marriage where one party is below 18 years; not giving a notice of intention to marry, or  a notice of objection to the intended marriage has been given and the objection has not been withdrawn, dismissed or determined. The law also prohibits marriages considered incentuous or where parties to the marriage have a close blood relationship.The offenses carry penalties of fines of Kshs 10,000 to Kshs. 1 million and 3 to five years imprisonment.

According to section 14 parties to civil marriages (only) can agree to live apart for one year (Sec 14(1). This agreement needs to be  filed in court, court can vary or set aside the agreement where circumstances have changed. Widowers may also elect to marry or stay un-married. The duration of the marriage may last until death, presumption of death, annulment, divorce within Kenya or abroad. In solving matrimonial disputes provisions are made in accordance with the various marital traditions for example Christians may seek for reconciliation, civil partners may petition a court, the customary partners may appeal to conciliation, Hindu partners may appeal for annulment. However in all situations the appeals are made to the courts. The courts may also order a spouse to maintain the other where there is presumption of neglect. 

The greatest weakness of the 2014 Marriage Act is that it allows men to marry multiple wives. Men are allowed to add other spouses without any due consent from their wives. This clause if not changed will cause untold harm to many families as various males will choose a second wife in order to constrain the women bargaining powers in the relationships. Others will do so while in essence they are not able to sustain the existing families; the law has infact admitted the abdication of marital responsibility from men. It has also made women more vulnerable to the partiachal machinations prevalent in the Kenyan society.

The major weakness of the law will in the long run contribute to its debunking. While therefore a good work has been done to consolidate the different marital structures within the country, the extra addition in the law allowing men to marry as many women they see fit while not taking into account their wives’ feelings, will certainly be defeated in the courts of law as it is against the rules of natural justice.

Mediation between two farmers having a border dispute (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

R. Muko.
True stories of successful alternative dispute resolutions in the Abyei Community collected from AHRS in Sudan. Difficult environments such as Abyei in most cases have undeveloped justice systems hence the local structures (family, church, friends etc) do play a great role in conflict situations. A case of a land dispute is presented below.

Two farming neighbours Fadi and Adamo bordering each other were involved in land border dispute. According to Fadi, Adamo had encroached in to the side of Fadi as a result of his farming activities. Fadi in order to find a solution to the problem approached Adamo to discuss this issue. Adamo on his part was insistent that he had farmed on what was rightfully his farm.
Fadi and Adamo in time experienced a stalemate in their discussions. Fadi then decided to seek the assistance of Jose to help them sort out their stalemate. The first thing after listening to them, Jose advised them to pursue non-violent means to solving their issue. He then accompanied them to their farm and found that it was true that the border had truly been interfered with and it was not there.
Jose then asked Fadi “up to which point does your land extend?”
Fadi pointed to a place that was immediately disputed by Adamo. “That is inside my farm!” claimed Adamo.
Jose then asked Adamo the same question he also pointed saying “my farm extends from here to there”. Fadi on his part retorted “lier, your farm does not extend that far. You are trying to steal my farm! Please desist from pointing inside my farm.”
At this point Jose realized that that the issue was becoming very complex, as both disputants were claiming a right on what could have been rightfully someone else’s farm. At this point he decided to adjourn the meeting promising the two parties that he would communicate with them after he had consulted.
Jose decided to seek for advice from his church. It also happened that Fadi and Adamo were also congregants at this church. After deep consultations, he was advised to call both Fadi and Adamo. They obliged and narrated their stories infront of a church committee created to help them solve their dispute. The committee then chose a member of their church Nekesa to assist Jose in finding a solution to among Fadi and Adamo.
The two representative church committee members after this first sitting decided to visit the farm under dispute. They examined the two farms and truly found out that there was no clear demarcation. Both Fadi and Adamo were claiming that the other had encroached into his farm.
After some long discussion it became apparent that both Fadi and Adamo had planted sorghum but they separately had planted breeds of different colors. With this information in mind the two mediators Jose and Nekesa suggested that it was not possible to solve the dispute until the sorghum matures. This suggestion was agreed by the two disputants. After the sorghum had matured, the two disputants Fadi and Adamo approached their mediators Nekesa and Jose and converged to solve the border problem.
Nekesa told Jose “Hey Jose look here there is a mixture of red and yellow sorghum in this section of the land.”
“Yes, yes, I see and I think that the solution to our problem lies in this section.” Said Jose. Turning to the disputants he told them “This is the portion where the mixture of sorghums is. Having listened to your submissions, and according to our observations let us work on finding a solution.”
The two disputants Fadi and Adamo also agreed unanimously that the border was passing around that area. The four both the disputants and the mediators then determined the rightful border to the satisfaction of all. They erected beacons or clear marks to separate the two farms. They also took pictures, an agreement was then drafted and the disputing parties signed it. Fadi and Adamo signed it to signal their agreement while Jose and Nekesa signed it as witnesses. The agreement deed was made in four copies for the two disputants and also for the witnesses.

Why does the Marriage Bill Discriminate on Account of Mental Illness? Where Are My Human Rights?

By Maina Mucuthi

The marriage bill can be downloaded from here

When the new constitution 2010 was passed, everybody Kenyan citizen got their right to life and non discrimination enshrined and guaranteed in this document. Upon further analysis of the document, at no point did it clearly desegregate people suffering from ailments. This could have been as a result of the realization that ailments can afflict any person and they are momentary in nature. Additionally, the drafters of the constitution could have understood that having an ailment is not reason enough not to enjoy all the rights enjoyed by others not having ailments.

The 11th parliament has been very vocal in telling anybody who cares to listen that they are the supreme legislation body and it is their primary responsibility to make laws for Kenyans. They have also been very vocal in making it clear that in their legislative role, nobody should tell them what to do or purport to school them on how they should conduct their business. Despite the election of capable and learned people into the August house, I stand to disagree with some of the work product of the august house – specifically the marriage bill as currently drafted.

Clauses 5, 11, 12, 66, 73 and 89 of the bill are discriminatory against persons with mental illnesses. According both to medics and from the definition offered by the Oxford English Dictionary, mental illnesses include but are not constrained to Dyslexia among others. Dyslexia is characterized by difficulty with learning to read fluently and with accurate comprehension despite normal intelligence.

The Users and Survivors of Psychiatry in Kenya (USP) have said that the clauses deny persons with mental conditions and disabilities the right to marry and found a family while perpetuating stereotypes about people with mental conditions. The group further says that the bill establishes discriminatory grounds which not only violate persons with mental health conditions and disabilities but also opens up more avenues for abuse of others in vulnerable circumstances. “Categorizing “incurable insanity” as a ground for divorce will serve, and already serves, as tool for the powerful side in the marriage to abuse the other side, whether or not there is a disability or illness.” USP say

“You take away the right to marry, you take away the choice to self-determination, right to own property, ability to engage in commerce, operate bank accounts, right to health, who to live with and other liberties that enhance the quality of life for all Kenyans on an equal basis with all the other citizens. We will be creating a subclass in society of superior and inferior citizenship which is unconstitutional and against international legal obligations that bind Kenya as a State in the world.” USP add. I agree with this lobby group when they further say that mental illnesses/disorders are categorized as Non-Communicable Diseases as they have the potential to be long-term and chronic but it is not always the case. These conditions are manageable if affected individuals can live a normal life with the right support systems, policies and access to consistent medical bill.

“This bill seems to imply that having a mental illness or condition such as depression or anxiety is full time. The nature of illness in the human body is unpredictable just as our humanity is, and if this Bill had gone through public participation as envisioned in the Constitution they would have received an education on the same from the persons affected, their families and professionals as stakeholders to the life changing consequences that emanate.” USP say. Finally I ask, does it mean that because I am ill I do not qualify to enjoy all the rights like other Kenyans? Am I a lesser Kenyan just because I am ill? If I have learning difficulties, how does that make me a bad or poor husband such that I do not qualify to enjoy the institution of marriage?

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