Friday, December 2, 2011

Is the Government doing anything in terms of the Curent Run off Utilization?

This is a question that worries most Kenyans today. The heavy rains are here and come next year, of which is unpredictable, we might again be out on the run hit by another deadly drought, calling for an international intervention in terms of food insecurity!
I believe the right time to combat future food insecurity and water frustrations is now. The current down pour if properly harvested and stored in shallow dams or reservoirs in most of our drought mostly affected areas, then come next year, farmers shall be in a position to utilize the same for farm irrigation as as they await for the unpredictable rains.
Think about this and drop us your opinion on the comment box below this post. Remember that your opinion will highly contribute towards the betterment of this country today for the current and the future generations in terms of food security and poverty reduction.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Arina Cluster Group holds a Farmers Field day in Central Kanyamwa-Ndhiwa

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 was a day that shall remain to be remembered by many in Central Kanyamwa in Ndhiwa District. Arina Cluster Group, a self help group, in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture and CEFA through C-MAD that had previously established a demonstration farm of about an acre, called in for community members around this area to attend and learn better skills on the new production techniques to maximize on their production and furthermore adapt to the unpredictable climatic conditions.
The exhibition plots at the site entailed groundnuts production, sunflower, bee keeping, local poultry, kales and so many farm activities that were actually in there best conditions. Both the group members and experts from various departments were there to answer questions from the eager community members who got enticed with the production techniques that they had acquired.
So far, field days have proved to be of great impact to our target groups and we would like to continue encouraging to develop the culture of furthering  'farmer-to-farmer' exchange visits with an aim of information sharing and exchange.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CARD donates a Condom dispenser to Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre

Promoting safer sexual behaviours has been the most important area of prevention for organizations and departments dealing with Health, the National AIDS Commission and partners.   However, changing sexual behaviour is not easy and Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre being a centre that gets highly visited by a number of community members from diverse environs, it got pin pointed as one of the best located 'safer sex gadgets' (condoms) dissemination point.  
There is evidence that many Kenyan of reproductive age engage in unsafe sexual behaviours including having multiple sexual partners, cross generational sex, polygamy and cultural practices involving sexual intercourse.  
Such practices put men and women of all ages at risk of contracting STIs including HIV/AIDS, as well as unwanted pregnancy . Despite high knowledge amongst Kenyans that unprotected sex can transmit HIV, most men and women do not perceive themselves at risk of HIV nor do many know their HIV status.   
All these factors have contributed to high HIV prevalence rates, increased rates of STIs and high maternal mortality rates, and thus prompting many health programs to focus on both behaviour change and condom distribution, dispensing and promotion as the key strategy to manage these health problems.  

The Healthy Choices Training Session at the Maarifa Centre

The Healthy Choices training sessions is a programme that is being carried out at the courtesy of ‘Community Action for Rural Development Organization (CARD) that is providing factual and in depth information on Reproductive Health with specific focus on safe sex as the most effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections including HIV/AIDS.  
We realized from research and close consultations with our youths that such forums are what community members here are missing yet it marks the major spine as to why most youths fall prey to unsafe sex or contract diseases. Most of them shun from confining such issues into their guardians since there is no room for discussions for such in their family set up. As Maarifa Center, we are convinced this knowledge is of vital importance to the youths we are serving.

CARD is one of our new close affiliates and having had a moment of ideal sharing with the organization on their activities,we agreed over a working programme from which they begun this programme on ‘Healthy Choices for a Better Future’. It is targeting youths from the age of 18yrs – 24yrs. The seminar was hosted by Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre from 14th – 18th November 2011. This is a programme that will continue for the next six months or more. The training has so far involved more than 122 youths from this area in the past four sessions.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finally we sent you out to serve

We are finally glad to send out 30 outstanding youths who have been undergoing an intensified training on the the use of the 21st century media tools to communicate their ideas, exhibit their potentials and finally take action in their communities in these marginalized areas of the globe and all these happened under the capacity of ALIN, hosting of Team Kenya organization and at large, the sponsorship of Adobe Youth Voices programme;
The graduates team, under the oath of support towards development have given us their word to be the watch dogs and the voices of the weak in our society from which they will fully utilize their acquired 21st century media mediums skills to ensure that whatever happens in their communities will remain globally exposed and documented for future reference.
Looking at the teams efficiency now, it  cuts across media ethics, copyright laws, ICT skills and finally both photography and video editing skills.During the ‘pass out' event, we recognized the presence of supportive partners, Team Kenya Organization (both members from Kenya and the UK) who had hosted this training from our first session to the final.
Finally five video projects, under the theme 'voice of the weak', were produced the trainees and it highly reflected on how both women, children, girls and the aged have been ran over by the powerful and influential members of our society by taking their little resources through illegal ways but still walk Scots free with it in broad day light. The videos also major on the good practices that have been undertaken by the 'weak' and has so far changed the lives of the wider society.
These youths have further formed group that ensured that they had a legal structure that was going to look into the daily coordination of the teams activities and ensure that there was no disintegration after the training for them to have a better platform from which they can access the available resources.
The two partner organizations, both ALIN and Team Kenya, assured the team, after consultations, to count on their support always once they retain their unity and remained focused. Otherwise, so much was reached to that is going to take these youths to better heights. The group agreed to be meeting twice a month on the 9th and 23rd of every month to deliberate on their own agendas from where they shall decide on the IGAs too. Long live ADOBE, ALIN and Team Kenya organization.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Second Adobe Youth Voices Team on Board

The previous team of the AYV finished their training last Friday, 21st October 2011, with a final release of 3 videos and a bank of photos as their final projects. In realization of their lack of proper knowledge on computers skills, Mr. Modestus Owuor has decided to move them to better heights by training them on the major computer basics at the Maarifa.
Clicking at the same moment, today marked the 1st session of introduction of the second class of 15. Today's team begun in high spirit and has shown great will to be as good their previous colleagues in terms of performance and cooperation. This program is going to run for the next two weeks from when we shall come together again (the 30 plus the 2 Educators) and brainstorm on the future plan for this programme and the skills acquired.

Did you Know that Kenya relies 68 percent on wood for energy?

The undersigned information is of grave importance to anyone who is environmentally concern. In honor of the Noble Prize Winner Hon. Wangari Maathai, of whom i am sorry i am not going to refer to as the late since her legacy lives on, both me and you can support the good work that was begun by the Green Belt Movement.

An environmental conservation organization reveals Kenya’s heavy reliance on wood-fuel and warns that the country faces disastrous effects if conservation efforts are not taken a notch higher.
The chief executive officer of Green Africa, Dr Isaac Kalua warned that climate change effects would get worse if people continued engaging in harmful environmental practices.
"We rely 9 percent on electricity, 22 percent on petrol, 1 percent on renewable energy sources and 68 percent on wood fuel as sources of energy and it has been documented that charcoal is the second most popular form of energy," he said.
Kalua revealed that the continued reliance on wood fuel as a source of energy was posing a threat to the already diminished forest cover in the country.
"Efforts of conservation need to be taken up by all stakeholders and given a multidimensional view if we are to take Kenya back to what it was a decade ago," he said.
Kalua noted that documented figures of destruction of the environment needed to be broken down and interpreted easily for people to understand environment issues better.
"We cannot keep on talking about conservation until that old lady in the village is able to understand what 68 percent reliance on wood fuel means in regards to the harm done to the environment," Kalua said.
Kalua explained that the conservation efforts of tree planting were being watered down by the continuous cutting down of trees.
He decried that the 9,500 secondary schools in the country relied heavily on charcoal and firewood for their energy needs leading to massive loss of forest cover.
"Every school uses wood fuel equivalent to 53 trees on a daily basis, which translates to a loss of 183 million trees through secondary schools alone," he said.
He reiterated that with the country’s forest cover standing at 1.7 percent against the global requirement of about 10 percent, there was need to plant more than 6.4 billion trees.
Kalua remained optimistic that ethical issues on the environment would be contained with the establishment of the court on environment similar to one in South Africa.
"The minister of justice and constitutional affairs has assured us that the court will be in place by end of August," said Kalua.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Adobe Youth Voices Training Progress in the Rurals

Adobe Youth Voices aims to empower youths in underserved communities around the globe with real-world experiences and 21st century tools to communicate their ideas, exhibit their potential, and take action in their communities.
Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre has taken a unique angle in this training by providing for youth out of school an opportunity to learn of this skills just like the rest who are lucky to have been or are still in school. Most of our youths in this programme dropped out of school at different levels due to diverse reasons ranging from lack of school fees, unwanted pregnancies, poverty and a majority of them are orphans.

It may be unfortunate that we never considered the school going team in this program. We have a strong belief that being out of school, for those who aren't in school, should not deny them an equal chance to learn a few skills just like their fellow youths. Watch out for their testimonies at the end of the training  in November 2011 for more info about their lives and the new changes.

Overview of Adobe Youth Voices Programme

Launched in June 2006, Adobe Youth Voices is the Adobe Foundation's global signature philanthropy program designed to provide youth in undeserved communities with the critical skills they need to become active and engaged members of their communities and the world at large. The Adobe Foundation invests nearly US$7 million per year in the Adobe Youth Voices program, primarily through training, educational resources, and grants. The program also leverages software donations and employee volunteers from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
With a focus on empowering youth, Adobe Youth Voices supports young people in and out of school and encourages the use of cutting-edge multimedia tools to communicate and share their ideas, demonstrate their potential, and take action where they live.
The Adobe Youth Voices global network currently includes more than 500 sites and a large, expanding number of grantees and organizations in 32 countries. Since its inception, Adobe Youth Voices has engaged over 27,000 youth and 1,500 educators in schools and out-of-school programs.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dairy Goat Farming as an Adaptation to the Economic strains

Ndhiwa 2011 Community Open Day

Open days are community shows, whereby people from diverse economic disciplines, occupations, interests and specialization are brought together in a forum where they exchange knowledge in regards to their areas of expertise. 

During open days; groups, CBOs, extension service providers, organizations, farmers, companies, banks, businesses, individuals etc. are invited to come and exhibit their products and services so that they interact, ask questions and share their knowledge and experiences with community members.
The information generated is directed for consumption by communities who happen to be in need of the same for their social and economic empowerment.

There is fundamental call for a free flow and exchange of information from the book shelves, minds and practices of experts to the community. The knowledge generated in the process, serves as empowerment to tackle the challenging issues arising from food insecurity, climate change, poverty, education, health, environmental degradation, just to mention the least and that is why our this year's theme: Action Against Poverty, correlated

The magnitude of knowledge pool needed, calls for concerted efforts through networking, partnerships and collaboration by all actors in development, towards achieving the common call of tackling community needs and challenges. Thanks to all the partners like Sukari Industry LTD, CEABUD constructions LTD, Cooperative Bank of Kenya, Adok Timo Bank and any other person who saw this day be a success of which it was.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Riat Sukari Industry Staff visits the centre

We were glad to have a courtesy call from the Riat Sukari Industry top Staff.
The team was highly glad in the realization of the existence of such a resourceful centre set up for the community to access diverse developmental information at no fee at all.
At the centre, they managed to share talks with the community members present at the centre who were so much in anticipating to learn directly from them on how far the construction has gone and also on how they could be part and parcel of the sugarcane out-growers this being the first industry and sugar company in this district.
They confirmed that the company is going to begin working as from October 2011 and the most interesting bit of it all is the new technology of production from where you can use only 400 seed canes to plant a whole acre unlike in other areas where tonnes have gone into much wastage.
The company will be here on the 21st September 2011 during the community open day and they will learn the people on how it is done. See you then. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Partner on Board

Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre is glad to introduce you to our new partner named CARD, an organization that basically focuses on the lives of youths and involves them in learning and realization of the importance of behavior change.
We are are working towards officiating the working partnership officially next week and we assure you of more updates...the photo was taken during CARD's Community Facilitator request to meet some of our youths for a brief meeting.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bridging the Gap

For those who managed to watch our short video 'Youth and Farming', you will realize that as much as we are out to encourage such practices in our youths, it has to begin from a certain point. The point is here and more is on the way.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

ALIN Awarded 2011 Access to Learning Award by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation yesterday presented its 2011 Access to Learning Award of $1 million to the Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), which provides knowledge and information through a variety of innovative channels in remote communities throughout Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Members of these communities use the technology and other tools at ALIN’s Knowledge Centers to gain information to improve their health, increase their incomes, and better their lives. Microsoft, a partner of the foundation in its efforts to help public libraries connect people with relevant technology and skills, will provide ALIN with a donation of over US$270,000 worth of software and technology training curriculum to help the organization serve the local community.
For more on the award click
Watch video here:

Sports for a Purpose Video

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sports for a Purpose

In July 2011, Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre saw the need of exploring 'sports for a purpose' since this centre of late holds up to more than 200 pupils from than six schools from the surrounding.
These pupils visit this center's free library on a daily basis and since most of our programmes are adults targeted, we felt the need of coming up with something that could finally accommodate their desires and also set them a platform for learning and sharing, sports came out so strongly.
I remember at one moment, the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan said, "Sport is a universal language that can bring people to together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status," and today, i approve of this for the platform has enabled us, as a centre, with the most minimal resources to unlearn our children of the unrealistic beliefs and the acquired poor perceptions where girl child was perceived of lesser value as boy child and also on their universal rights as children. 
Looking at how the two sexes correlate today at the centre after a lot of talks and counseling by guest partners who have a lot of knowledge on children, its quite amazing of their degree of accommodation.
As we celebrate this achievements, i would like to acknowledge the great support received from Team Kenya, Ndhiwa Ministry of Youth and the three community volunteers Romanus Omuto, Paul Obeto and Modestus Owuor and any other person of whom could have seen into the home coming of this.

Note: Please, you too can make a difference in the lives of these children by donating any sporting equipment that can support us support them, it can either be  new or used. It all begins with you and me. Search for all the unused playing kits today in your home and you could change the life of another upcoming Kenyan who haven't had a similar opportunity. Contact us today and we shall be so glad to deliver it on your behalf.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Padi Bora

It is evident that Team Kenya, a partner of Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre (ALIN), is doing this entire community more than just good. When i visited their offices in Ndhiwa, i was surprised! Have the privileged to read this for yourself and you will begin looking at things from a completely different window...

Padi is a Swahili word which means pad while bora means better. 
The project is about reusable cotton sanitary towels. The main objective of this project is to provide an alternative to the expensive disposable sanitary towels that a majority of the girls cannot afford due to the high poverty levels in the region.
The long term goal of the project is keeping the adolescent girls in school throughout the school going days. This is because a majority of girls tend to stay at home when they are having their periods because they lack an effective material to protect themselves during menstruation.
During the month of September, focus was put on creating awareness about the cotton reusable sanitary towels (Padi Bora). The awareness raising was carried out alongside puberty and reproductive health education. Free samples were given to a few girls. 
In addition, other samples were given to the teacher in charge of the girls in the schools to be kept for emergency in case a girl unexpectedly experiences her periods while at school, then she will not have to ask for permission to go home and lose out on education. The puberty and reproductive health education sessions indicated that a majority of the girls don’t have factual information regarding their sexuality. 

Interview with the Beneficiaries 
Arina as one of the partner school was chosen due to concerns over the number of girls who drop out of school before sitting for their first national exams. In fact, this is the only year that Arina Primary School has registered 3 girls for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams. A big number of girls drop out of school before reaching standard eight. Some of the girls are already mothers at tender ages, others have been forced to move in with new families after losing both parents, and some have been tormented by separation of parents and family conflicts. A majority of girls in this school come from poverty stricken families and thus have either resolved to survival sex or work for other people to earn income. These girls find it difficult to survive in school and hence resort to early marriages. In summary, these girls face the following problems:
  • Lack of motivation as no girl in that school has ever reached standard eight. Poverty, killing the morale of studying due to predictable lack of secondary school fees
    Mockery by villagers who feel that girls are better off married than educated.
  • Forced marriages, considering that many families depend on bridal wealth through dowry.
  • Quite a number of girls stay at home during their monthly periods and hence miss out on school. Eventually, they drop out of school because they are embarrassed. 
We are going to have this project captured in video by 17th August 2011 and you will be able to hear from the beneficiaries. 

For details click

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reviewing the Team Kenya and Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre (ALIN) partnership

In the NGO world, we work for different organizations at a time, but when it comes to the strategic approach of impacting the lives of the targeted communities, we are called upon swallow our pride and explore the spirit of team work by putting together our resources towards the common goal.
Having worked together for a period of more than two years now, both Team Kenya and Ndhiwa Maarifa saw the need of working as one and involving each other fully into the activities of each organization. After four hours working partnership review, we resolved that we are going to involve the Team Kenya Sponsored students in our forthcoming Adobe Youth Voices training as from mid this month, we are also going to assist them document and publicize 'Padi Bora' a locally made sanitary towel that can be reused for more than six months by washing and how much it has helped keep most girls in schools unlike before of when they had their days they had to remain home, together we are also going to conduct civic education on the demerits of the post election violence for the forth coming elections through sourcing for the violence videos and showing them to the community through projections, our vision kids shall also be privileged to access various learning and sharing platforms at Karibuni ECO cottages and come December 2011, we shall have a unique beauty pageant with various categories.
Not all that we deliberated can be mentioned here, but i would like to encourage each one of us that working with the community is not a competition as other organizations look at it, i remember one person once said that, "what brought you here won't take you there"'.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Developing Good Relationships With Media

The key to working effectively with the media is to build good relationship with journalists. Find out which local reporters write about issues that relate to your work. Get to know them , find out what sort of stories they are interested in. Then when you have a story you can send it directly to them, and follow up with phone call. This is often more effective than sending out general press releases.
  • Most journalists, except the few who are involved with very specialised and technical fields, are interested in stories of individuals' experiences. Avoid sending lengthy, dull reports and policy documents into interesting short stories focusing on the people involved.
  • When press conferences are necessary, keep them short and be very clear about the message you want to give. Do not bore journalists with long speeches about your organization.
  • Press releases should be short and contain the most important information in the first paragraph. Journalists are often more likely to use a story if it is already written in the style and length of artcile appropriate to their publication.
  • It is very helpful for organizations to have a dedicated staff member who can deal with the media. The person is usually known as Press Officer or Information Officer. He or she should be trained on how to communicate with the media and be able to develop useful relationship with them. If your organization cannot such a post, a senior person in the organization for carrying out the this important work.
  • Although it is a good idea to take the initiative in sharing information avoid making constant demand for media attention. Do not organize unnecessary press conferences or media lunches or try to attract cheap publicity for your organization, as this may mean the media may not take you seriously.
  • Never allow your organization to be pushed into a situation where you have to pay for stories about your good works to be printed or boadcast. Be carefull about any gift you may make to journalists.
  • Respond as quickly and as accurately as possible to queries from media organizations. Be honest.
  • in difficult situations, don't be afraid to refuse to answer a question. Try to avoid unhelpful responses such as 'No comment'. When in doubt, ask for a time to provide a better and accurate response. Be firm but polite.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Community Benefits from First Aid training at the Maarifa Centre

Ndhiwa constituency counts itself lucky as Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre links 43 group representatives with First Aid Africa; a humanitarian organization working primarily in East-Africa to improve access to education in First Aid amongst the wider population. From research, statistics indicate that every year, millions of deaths and infections could be avoided with a small amount of medical knowledge and equipment.
In Africa, the need for First Aid is perhaps most obvious, yet access to even basic equipment and training remains poor. First Aid Africa is a not-for-profit organization which aims to provide, and encourage access to, first aid equipment and education in first aid.
Both we, Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre and First Aid Africa, believe that access to the simple yet life-saving knowledge of first aid should be available to everyone regardless of age, gender, race, religion or social status.
The organization’s mission is to equip as many people as possible with the knowledge, skills and equipment to respond in an emergency, and ultimately, save or improve a patient's quality of life.
The 43 chosen community members are meeting for four weeks on every Wednesday for 2 hours as from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm and the greatest bit of this training is that the people are being trained by professionals at no fee and their after, the qualified shall be issued with an internationally recognized certificate.
In Kenya for one to access such trainings today, the least you are expected to part with is Kshs. 5000, excluding your travels, accommodation, meals, e.t.c First Aid Africa chose on Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre as their community entry point due to the communities trust on this centre and its broader perspective of its daily clients.
The training is of much relevance to the community members here since there are frequent accidents at the domestic levels and access to immediate medical facility is usually next to null depending on their proximity such.
The training touches on very practical situations that require immediate first aid skills like snake bites, small and deep cuts, shocks, burns, unconscious causality e.t.c. and they also issue them the first aid kit.
As Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre in collaboration with First Aid Africa, we are going to ensure that the current trainees continue training more people both at the centre and in various schools by initiating a first aid team at the centre and it become one of the centres activities. Through this we are going to sustain this knowledge and still pass it on to multiple generations.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Where Uganda meets Kenya!

With due respect and hospitality of the Kenyan people, Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre was glad to host Mr. Bosco Okello, Awach field officer, in an experience exchange programme organized by ALIN headquarters'.
The field officer was able to learn much from the center's daily running and even moments of sharing with the advisory committee members and the community at large.
ALIN promotes information sharing of this kind to enable both the community members and visitors to learn from each others experience. We were able to learn so much of the Uganda's culture and governance with much appreciation of their modern agricultural practices and techniques. It was our pleasure having you here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kenyas' Budget at a Glance

Faced with the current challenges of rising food prices, the government is investing billions of shillings to expand and construct irrigation projects country wide and transform agriculture into business.
The government will spend 10.2 billion in financial year 2011/12 for expansion and construction of new irrigation projects countrywide including Ndhiwa. Completion of these projects will assure food security for Kenyans on sustainable basis. Kenya has a huge untapped potential for irrigation agriculture estimated at about 1.7 million Acres. To date only 20% of this has been utilized.
The economic stimulus programme irrigation projects successfully brought an additional 40,000 acres under rice cultivation in Bura and Mwea, maize in Hola.

To deal with food insecurity once and for all, the government will invest huge amounts of money to expand and initiate various irrigation projects spread throughout the country. Kshs 8.6 billion is a conditional transfer to National Irrigation Board to complete all the ongoing irrigation projects. The completion of the ongoing projects will increase will bring under irrigation a total of 36, 100 acres of agricultural land that will benefit about 560,000 households, while the new projects will bring under irrigation about 16,000 acres in the 2011/12 out of 70,000 acres we plan to complete in the medium term. This intervention will benefit about 300,000 Kenyans.

Towards transforming agriculture and livestock into business, the government has launched an Agribusiness and Livestock Development Fund, with an initial amount of Ksh 8.6 billion and Ksh. 400 million, respectively.
The Agribusiness Fund is a wider project of Ksh. 5 billion Impact Investment Fund under the Kenya Incentive Based Risk Sharing Agriculture Lending (KIRSAL) to be implemented over a four year period in order to leverage Kshs. 50 billion lending to agricultural sector and rural development targeting another 1.5 million small holder farmers and over 10,000 agribusinesses through out the country.

The operationalization of the project will empower and position the private sector players in the agricultural sector to deliver pro-poor economic growth, diversify our exports, expand employment, reduce poverty, and assure food security on lasting basis.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Do you know your Constituency

  • Homa-Bay county has a population of 963, 794 people.
  • Ndhiwa Constituency has a population of 154, 421 people 
  • Ndhiwa constituency registered voters 53, 993 (26, 430 M & 27, 363 F)people
  • Population Density of 249persons per Km2 
Watch out for more updates...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ndhiwa receives books from a community member

Mr. Onono Ligaye, a beneficiary of the centre’s resources, today gives back to the society through the Maarifa Centre.
Mr. Onono says, “as much as we benefit from this centre’s resources, supporting it with the little we have ensures that it grows to the best levels possible”.
Mr. Onono, donated 6 religious books hence blessing our spiritual nourishment shelve with 6 interesting publications from diverse authors.
Thanks Mr. Ligaye.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Aid International saves us off the hook

Sometimes it is until you see the peoples' appreciation on a provision that you realize how much our communities get desperate in need of certain resources.
The books we received from the Book Aid International has really given readers of all walks in the immediate society an open opportunity to quench there long awaited last for such information and knowledge.
This was a dream come true to most of the people down here, this being an area that is double stricken by both HIV/AIDS and poverty of the highest degree. The environment here is full of orphans and widows as a majority, both struggling in less faith to make their ends meet. Text books and story books are luxuries that never crossed their minds, but today the centre  sets an equal platform for all where poverty is no barrier to knowledge and information.

Monday, May 9, 2011

As we send you out

As we send you out, the free knowledge and skills that you have learnt and received from this centre, may you use it indiscriminately to serve and support the growth of the society.
The growth and future of this country is in your hands and remember that whatever you do today shall determine your tomorrow, otherwise, beware of HIV/AIDS as i wish you all the best in your endeavors.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Impact of Fire in relation to Farming in Western Kenya.

For decades now, the concept of clearing farms with fire has remained a common practice amongst the communities dwelling in the Western Kenya region. Fire is a decisive factor in cultivation: slightly burnt or unburnt areas are wholly unproductive.

This is an idea that have drawn this region tremendously back in terms of farm productions even though statistics indicate that a larger portion of this region is being used for crop production.
A fire of normal intensity of 45 C destroys all the soils nutrients and micro organisms that support the productions of this soils and that is why no matter the mass of acreage utilized for production, we still suffer of food insecurity. It would be a worthy campaign if both you and me take on this initiative of creating awareness amongst our people. This campaign requires no mass, but just a minute chat with a farmer can make a big difference. Let's meet in the field.

Ndhiwa Maarifa Receives' Books Donation from Ndhiwa Ministry of Education

Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre is privileged to receive a books donation from Ndhiwa Ministry of Education under the courtesy of Mr. Mboya to support the growth of this community library.
We have learned with time that the culture of corporate responsibility can only be achieved if both me and you can learn to appreciate and support whatever is good for our people.
I would like to take this chance to celebrate and appreciate all our friends and partners who have been with us through out this organization year as we usher in 2011. Your efforts shall be remembered forever for having made us what we are today. Thanks to Book Aid International, FORD Foundation, CTA, DFID and all our international and local donors of the year.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Community Benefits from Nets at the Maarifa Centre from Osano Maternity Nursing Home.

The intimate relationships between parasites or viruses, and their vectors, hosts and natural environment make this ecological web extremely sensitive to disturbances.Therefore, environmental and socio-economic changes, such as global warming, deforestation, commercial development and construction of water-control systems, are expected to exert a huge impact on the transmission of viral and parasitic diseases,such as Rift Valley fever, yellow fever, schistosomiasis, filariasis and malaria.
Theoretically, one infective mosquito bite is enough to acquire an episode of malaria. Clinical symptoms may range from mild, such as fever, abdominal pains, nausea and vomiting, to severe and life-threatening, such as anaemia, renal dis-function and cerebral malaria.
It is out of such research and experiences that Mrs. Emmy Osano  took the initiative of having a talk with the youths at the Maarifa Centre on the of malaria causes and impacts  to a society like this. After the short briefing, Mrs. Emmy served them with free mosquito nets  for the implementation surety of her desire to have a malaria free community. Thanks a lot for her motherly care!

How Can the Reading Culture be nurtured in a Community.

It only matters how much one values the degree of knowledge that a parent seeks for the best education foundation for his/her child.
Child’s reading promotion is a complicated systematic project which involves a complete process from creation, publication, recommendation to marketing and procurement.
The promotion involves participation by households, kindergartens, schools, communities, libraries and book stores and is affected by the reading atmosphere at the whole society.
Public library, as an important part of child reading, plays its unique role and indispensable part in the whole process and that is why Ndhiwa Maarifa Centre is encouraging parents to allow the young ones access the free library services at this early age to give room to the reading culture in these minds.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lake Victoria Chokes under the Water Hyacinth

Water hyacinth was introduced to Africa over a century ago, but it did not become a problem in Lake Victoria until the early 1990s.
It covered substantial areas of the coastline, particularly in Uganda, blocking waterways, disrupting hydro-power, and decreasing the profitability of fishing.
Hyacinth also provided refugia for some species from the introduced Nile Perch. It largely disappeared from the Lake in the late 90s, perhaps, but not clearly, due to the introduction of a weevil used for biological control. It experienced a resurgence in the early 2000s.
Now following a wet year, which increased nutrient runoff into the lake in 2010, the spread of the weed has been tremendous covering the largest bit of the lake.
Currently, the lakes pollution has been worsened by the continuous rotting hyacinth that has made this water pathetic to the lakeside communities.
HomaBay residents stand out to be the most affected since they rely on the lake as the source of their daily income and for drinking water too. As per the current situation, the economic standard of this town has dropped by almost 35% as compared to 1992.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Going it the Green way...

Each year, farmers in East Africa struggle from a shortage of tomatoes and other horticultural crops. Devastating rains cause the problem, and the fruit shortage causes tomato prices to shoot drastically higher.
Green house production is one of the technologies that were rarely realized in Nyanza province in the past decades, but as evolution and information hits on hard on technology, green house production has taken root in the region and soon after the first harvest, farmers shall reap what they sow.

Organizations such as Seminis, Amiran Kenya and APHIA II USAID  are answering East African farmers’ call for help by finding a solution to the devastating issue of climate by supporting the growing tomatoes in a greenhouse.  “I strongly believe this is the way forward for enhanced food security and farmer incomes,” says Peter Francombe, Seminis Africa Lead and General Manager in East Africa who has been a major contributor in moving this project forward.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A New Friend of the Centre

It is until when you have a new friend coming in from a different region, that you learn of how much you understand of your society.
Frida is a college student in Sweden taking African studies as a course. On her visit to the Maarifa Centre,  she was able to learn a lot from us especially now that she was on a research mission on the African culture and causes of the increased rate of poverty both nationally and locally.
From the 3 hour inter-ruction, i learned that being well versed with whatever goes on around your environs should  be the most credible thing one can ever embrace for you never know when you will be the point of reference. God bless Africa.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Could Climate Change Carry the Blame of the Day

Under the Economic Stimulus Package, the government has dug over 27,000 fish ponds in 140 constituencies, stocking them with more than 15 million fingerlings in the past one year.
An extra Sh2.87 billion has been allocated to the Fisheries ministry for additional 100 ponds for each constituency.
Millions of taxpayers money used to dig fish ponds in Nyeri County have gone down the drain because they were sub-standard.
But the Ministry of Fisheries and Development is in the second phase of another 100 fish ponds without any audit of the work previously carried out.
Water drains out of many fish ponds even as heavy rains pound the region while those with water have no fingerlings.
A number of them, especially in Nyeri Town constituency, are dry with overgrown weeds.
The ministry built 200 fish ponds in every constituency. It has now announced in the media plans to build another 100 ponds in the second phase.
The ministry has been allocated Sh2.866 billion this financial year under the Economic Recovery Poverty Alleviation and Regional Development programme for the ponds.
It will also build 300 ponds in every one of the 20 new constituencies countrywide.
The ministry’s public relations officer, Mr Patrick Odongo, acknowledges there was a shortage of fingerlings that left many ponds without fish.
“Ministry officials were misled by the committees in the constituencies in the larger Nyeri District,” Mr Odongo says.

The question is, several of this ponds have dried up all over the country and especially in Nyanza province, could this be due to the effects of climate change or sub standard ponds construction!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taking Farming as a Business

As much as statistics indicate that most youths have moved to the city in such for white collar jobs, Mr. Timothy Obabo proves us different.
During a visit to his farm, we were amazed at the extent of how his farm was encouraging in terms of production and performance.
Alongside me, were some youths and who have kept on reminding me that whatever they learned from this field, changed their opinions towards farming.
Today, Timothy's farm still stands out to be one of the leading farms in this region, he is a youth who is well educated and has been taking on farming as a business for the last 15 years since he came back from the city life.
There is a range of production going on on this farm, Mr. Obabo grows Kales, Cabbages, Tomatoes, Spinach, Paw paw, Pineapple, Bananas, Onions, he has Bees, Chicken and a fish pond just to mention a few; for sure this is a real farmer!
Even though everything might sound so wow here, Mr. Timothy too has his own challenges; in terms of finance, Mr. Obabo is focused in erecting a green house, getting a water pump generator for his daily irrigation and he believes that with this, he will be able cross this ocean of climatic change and losses. Anyone with any idea of how we can support this good course to the better is so much welcomed to contact.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Community Adaptation to Climate Change

Mr. Onono Ligaye is a 73 year old farmer, a member the Alin network; who saw an article on the Baobab Publication, sometimes last year, on runoff water harvesting and conservation and implemented the idea.

From last year December 2010, we have encountered a dry spell and most farmers here are still waiting for the rains. Unlike Mr. Ligaye, he has been using the water from his hand dug reservoir to irrigate his produce.

During an interiew with him, Mr. Ligaye who dwells 4KM away from the center, shared with us the benefits he has encountered since he initiated this project and in the short video, he gives us a message to pass to the rest of the farmers who still depend on rain; To watch the video click:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Accounting for every drop

It is out of the effects of climate change that most farmers in this region have failed to congregate their expected production outcome.

As a centre, our partners and the Alin organization, through publications, multimedia, field visits and through the intermediaries, we have taken the initiative of promoting an understanding of the climate change in terms of concepts, causes, risks and its implications on food security and agriculture after undertaking an expansive agricultural vulnerability assessment.

From the latest observations, it is has dawned into a reality to most farmers that new techniques of production have to be placed on board to encounter this climate alteration.

It is a relief at the rate at which most farmers have prepared their lands in time and are waiting for the first rains and to begin sowing. Can i we dub it 'ukulima pap! '

This kind of idea was not there at the beginning and most of the first rains got wasted in the name of farm preparations.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hosting Proffessor Ogembo

For the month of January 28th, we had the privilege of hosting Professor Onyango Ogembo of the Nairobi University as a guest at the center.

Even though the professor was on his way back to Nairobi when he paid us a courtesy visit, he spared a moment with the youth at the center and shared a lot in terms of career guidance and the importance of this Maarifa Centre.

Most of us were surprised of how much we assumed that we know yet we didn’t. In attendance was the IRD-K Executive Director, Mr. Robert Osano and the governor in waiting Mr. Philip Auko.

From this short talk, I realized the importance of inviting experts frequently for open talks for they psychologically nourishes our know how as a community. A resolution from this, we shall have to invite at least 1 guest a month to share such talks with.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Communities Perish in Wealth

Mango is a tropical fruit of great economic importance if its nutritional and economical value is to be considered. We realize that the importance of any product is only recognized when its value is realized by its producer.
For years now, indigenous mango fruit has been produced in the tropics of Nyanza province and its performance here has proved to be very credible. As nature dictates, all these trees usually fruit at the same period of the year, giving a fruity scent all over the village, it is the fruity month of December! The excess of these fruits can never be consumed by the immediate local market. We have grown to see communities here perish in an advanced poverty scale as they dwell in deep wealth. A third of these fruits from this region have rot in farms for the past centuries, yet no authority has had an eye to correct these! These efforts need to be appreciated and tapped for the growth of the entire economy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bringing the Library to the Community

In Africa, when an old man dies, it is a whole library that goes down. Ndhiwa Community Maarifa Center and the entire community highly appreciates the efforts made by ALIN, Institute for Rural Development Kenya and the Book AID foundation in seeing the installation of this one and only community library in this region.
With the reception of the secondary and primary school text books at the center, the idea is being appreciated by every individual who comes across the information from all corners. Most of our sons and daughters here come from economically challenged families. To most of them, owning a personal text book here is a bad dream.
We are glad that most of the students can now work on their school assignments from here and even borrow the books to work from home hence presenting them on time.
Our appeal now is to source for more resources and copies of these text books to enable us begin a mobile library down into the interiors of these community.