Eli a Friends of Kabondo member working at the CBO’s Tree Nursery

During the month of April-May we had the privilege to be visited by members of Friends of Kabondo members. Eli and Chairperson Margareta stayed with us for two weeks and worked with us on various project. In this particular picture Eli is working at Karopa CBO Tree Nursery situated sat the Ologi springs at the foot of Rori Hills. Thanks for the support that we have received from the friend of Kabondo a Swedish organization working close with Karopa Integrated CBO to change the lives of people in Kabondo.

By James Ojwang

Project Manager.

Interlocking Compressed Soil Block

KAROPA ECONOMICAL INTERLOCKING SOIL BLOCKS
Let’s build cheaply and save our trees!
Let’s use compressed Soil bricks!
Karopa CBO promotes Eco – Blocks for building houses, Tanks and any other walls.
While using interlocking compressed soil block you’ll be able to save at least KES 27 per square foot on wall, a cost you would incur on course laying while using mortar(Sand,Cement and Water) when building using burnt bricks.
Interlocking blocks saves on the agony of having to plaster outside the wall that even pushes the cost much higher. The blocks also come with groves known as ‘’keying’’ known to cost even more.
The duration for building is shorten as one needs not to worry on waiting for the walls to harden before making more courses of blocks layers unlike for the case with the burnt bricks that one has to cure the walls and is restricted on the courses to be layered per day.
The walls has the best finishing that only needs Varnish to shine even more.
Contact Karopa Integrated CBO for the best interlocking compressed soil blocks.
For the best quality bricks!
Test the soil to know it elasticity and to determine the ratio of the stabilizer (cement) and the soil.
Use all the best soil but not black cotton soil
Make sure you use the ratio as realized during the test; your measurement unit must be specific and used to the latter
Soil capillarity is very important while mixing the stabilizer and the soil not too wet and not too dry: use your hands to test i.e. it should not wet your hand neither should it scramble when you squeeze a ball of the soil mixture in your palms
Compress the blocks and lay them on a well levelled ground away from run offs. Test your first compressed blocks by putting on a leveled ground and stepping on it using a flat shoes, if the upper protrusion part doesn’t sink down but you have a crack a cross the block then you have the best block, proceed for more blocks but should it sink then discard and check your mixture content and machine adjustment.
After 12 hours cure the blocks twice a day and stack them after 24 hours and cover them with a water tight transparent polythene paper and let them stay in that condition for 28 days as they mature for building
Remember to lubricate the machine with used oil occasionally for efficiency.

To purchase the interlocking blocks or to hire the machine and laborers kindly contact Karopa Integrated CBOEmail: karopaintergrated@yahoo.com, P.O Box 66-40109 Sondu or Project Manager James Ojwang on jmsojwang@gmail.com Telephone 0724273199

July -September 2017 CBO Report

Reports on the CBO Projects.
July – September 2017.
We are at the end of the second last quarter of the year 2017, Kenya has experienced a lot hot political temperature and high cost of leaving. The situation began mid this year when the official political campaigns began for the 8th August elections. The elections was peaceful and smooth until presidential elections were declared indicating that the incumbent had won only to be disputed by the opposition and challeged the outcome in the supreme court. A court verdict was read on the 1st September that nullified the presidential results as null and void after finding illegalities and irregularities during the transmission of the results shamming those who had praised the election as free, fair, credible and verifiable especially the international bodies, these brought life to the opposition that had been declared to have lost the election.
The Supreme Court has therefore ordered a new presidential election in the next 60 days from the date of results nullification being 31st of October the last day to hold elections. At the moment there seem a stands off on the reforms needed to be taken by the electoral commission. The two sides participating in the elections cannot agree on the way forward on the reforms we therefore see a constitutional crisis ahead and seek for peace in Kenya as we’re challenged during the coming elections.
Despite all the above challenges the weather has been moderately good with rainfalls falling at intervals of times of the year. The following projects have got their undertaking as follows.

Tree Nursery
We had the challenges finding seeds at the beginning of June as suppliers were unable to provide us with the seeds we later got the seeds and now they have been planted in the tree nursery. Soon we shall start potting the seeds in the tubes to grow to the height that they can be transplanted in the field from then they will attract market and start earning money to the project. We have the following seedlings at the tree nursery at the moment Keapples, Paw paw and Eucalyptus grandies and a few Moringa seedlings after giving most of the moringa seedlings to the farmers around the tree nursery site (Ologi Area). Notes about Moringa tree is now made showing its uses and benefits this will help to promote Moringa tree planting.
We estimate to have over 15,000 – 50,000 seedlings by end of November for sales.
From the assessment these project should be able to stand alone and not depend on other projects as it will pay its own costs whenever they arise. It is remembered that the tree nursery has taken care of labour costs at the fish pond since it pays the fish pond attendant who doubles as the tree nursery care taker.

Fish Farming.
Our fish are growing pretty faster than the first we reared, we anticipate to harvest by the end of November. We shall look for a proper market locally as we have many fish eaters around. From our observation in the pool of water we are able to notice that almost all the fish survived thus we expect a close to 800 fish in the pond. This is seen whenever feeds are taken to the fish as they spread on the water surface.

Eco Blocks.
This has been a new project that is aimed to reduce the cost of building through the use of compressed soil blocks in Kabondo and entire Homa-bay County, the project will also reduce the usage of tress in burning the soil bricks. The project is at the moment constructing a model toilet to show case the structure that comes out of an Ecoblock it is for the community to see that it is possible to build cheaply using the soil blocks.
We try as much as possible to answer the many questions that people have asked about the soil blocks like can one build slowly the walls as he or she waits to make the roofs. We also let the community to learn the whole process of making the blocks to building of houses. Our village masonries have the opportunity being exposed to the new building stone so as to grasp the idea of building using the new technology.
Karopa CBO will therefore embark in marketing the new building technology to the county government, constituency development offices, hospitals, schools and other institutions not forgetting the community at large.
A document on Eco block with procedures, calculations and pictures is under construction to be used as a marketing tool for the project.
The CBO has leased a land where the Eco Block Machine is kept and demonstration of the activities of soil blocks is taking place. The space is big enough for other projects that are Soil block related and other income generating activities to the CBO. The board of Karopa is therefore at liberty to come with creative ideas that can make the CBO tap more income.
Agribusiness
As earlier noted in the previous reports, these particular project has had many challenges in past due to weather, pests and diseases beyond the CBO’s control on various crops from Sweet Potato to the recently harvested maize and beans. The previous maize harvest was not better either since it was destroyed by the army warm that destroyed maize fields in the entire Kenya. This season we have planted sorghum a drought and pest resistant crop. We hope to receive a good harvest from the investment, it’s regrettable that we have been investing a lot resources in this project and receives little income from the project. The board has therefore decided not to proceed with this project in the coming years thus this season is the final year for the agribusiness as Karopa tries to narrow down to only profit making income generating activities.
Proceeds from the sales of the harvests will be used manage the farm from now till the harvests of the sorghum.
I will pen off now hoping for the best for our projects and good corporation with our partners, other reports will come from the CBO board communications as well.
Reported by
James Ojwang
Project Manager.
Karopa CBO

Report by trainer Paul

Report of progress for the first period of the TAK project.
ATELA AND OTHORO.
NAME OF TOT: MR PAUL OPIYO
NAME OF PARTRON: MADAM LORNA. ATELA School
NAME OF PARTRON: MR JECTON. OTHORO School
 The TAK programs in school began in November 2017 with ambassadors recruited amongst the pupils in the schools which had been involved in the program. Since then I have been handling two schools of the six in the program Atela and Othoro.
 A chronological activities and events have taken place in these schools almost simultaneously and according to the goal of the project were to create strong ambassadors who will stand out to educate and talk free about the effect of HIV/AIDS.
 To achieve this, a timetable was set for the training session with the ambassadors in their various schools. The major objective of this session was to meet and discuss freely about this deadly disease and its effects.
 The participants were also trained to become good leaders and economic empowerment was imposed on them through introduction of kitchen gardening and poultry production as a way of creating a sustainable and food secured people in the society.
However the following activities including sessions were done as follows:
1. The ambassadors were exposed to a thorough training on HIV/AIDS and other emerging issues on its environs.
Some of the issues discussed were:
a. Self-confidence
b. Leadership
c. Adolescent
d. Sex and sex education
e. Relationship
f. Human rights (child rights)
g. Gender and gender equality
h. HIV/AIDS
i. Stigma and discrimination
j. Child abuse
k. Nutrition
l. Poultry
m. Kitchen gardening.
n. Sexual related diseases
Economic empowerment activity.
2. Kitchen gardening
 The aim of the project was also to make the participants to be empowered through small farming practices at the school which was also to be extended to their homes by the ambassadors after having been trained on the importance of the local vegetables on nutrition and health.
The following seeds for the local vegetables were introduced to the ambassadors;
a. Kales (sikumawiki)
b. Osuga
c. Cow Pease (boo)
d. Dania
e. Spinach
 These seeds were planted in the school in the plots prepared and maintained by the participants.
3. Poultry project.
 As part of economic empowerment to the ambassadors, a poultry project has been introduced in the school for the ambassadors. They were first trained on poultry keeping and proper management.
 The schools were given five poultry each for the ambassadors to carry out the project as a team and the structure was to be erected in the school where the participants can take care and monitor the chickens very closely with a lot of care. This would help them gain enough knowledge to manage poultry on their own in the future.
4. Environmental conservation
 The ambassadors were also exposed to knowledge about conserving the environment through planting of water friendly tree. This has been achieved by giving each and every ambassador tree seedlings to go and plant at their homes, the school also got some trees to be planted.
Some of the stories from the participants are;
This is quoted from an extract written by a participants

1. Participant One.
‘’Last year we were told that there will be a project in our school called health awareness club, I was interested and after two weeks Karopa team came with white people and gave T-shirts which was colour blue written Karopa,books,pen,rubbers and pencils.
After that day we started to learn about many things like;leadership,self-confidence,adolescent,gender equality,HIV/AIDS,stigma,human rights,discrimination and many others. I like this project because it helps me know my status of HIV. We went to Oriwo and narrated our poems to the people and they were happy. Then they tested us there.
This project is good because we were given chicken to take care and we were taught many things about keeping chicken it is very good the chicken are five. We are also taught about small farming and we planted vegetable like, kale (sikumawiki),boo(cowpease),dania,spinach,osuga.i was given my garden I like it so much my vegetable are big and I have harvested and took home to my mum.
I love myself and the project I enjoy the karopa integrated cbo and nice project.’’
2. Participant TWO
‘’ First I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the leaders of karopa cbo and white friends from Sweden for bringing us this project called aids awareness club.it has help me know myself and my status of HIV. First I started this club when I was in standard five.it is so interesting.
When we started we were given books pens and t-shirts. Wazungu was also with us from Sweden they encouraged us to be good people. Another good thing we talked about HIV/AIDSs, stigma, discrimination, gender equality, human right, leadership and many others like diseases.
We were given hens to keep in our school for the club. They are five and are very good and healthy. We also plant vegetables like osuga, spinach, boo, kales Dania. Everybody has his or her garden. My garden is doing good even I have harvested boo and took home. I like my samba so much I also like this project so much and enjoy to be in this club because we talk about how to take care of ourselves and we lough a lot because sometimes our leader from karopa is looking very funny and make us lough’’
3. Participant THREE
‘’ I have always loved the aids awareness club since it was started last year. We have learned different things that talks about our lives and how we can protect ourselves from getting HIV/AIDS and STIs. We have been taught about many things like; self-confidence, human right, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, poultry keeping, nutrition and small farming.
We have planted vegetables like osuga sikuma wiki, boo, Dania, spinach etc. We have kukus to take care of at our school and they are five. In fact the project is good and we should continue with it and I beg the people of karopa and friends from Sweden to continue with their good work so that many people also join and get the knowledge about these things.
Through this project I have liked to protect myself from sex until I am above eighteen years old so that I would remain safe in my life. I love the project so much because I have also learned how to do small farming even at home .This is a good project, God bless all the TAK team.’’
4. Participant FOUR
‘’Before saying anything I would like to say hi to you then I can proceed with my speech which says that I am very happy with whatever you have done .this project was amazing at the being but it continued boring and a wake it up again. I would like to appreciate all TAK teachers and my fellow members too. Much to say is that I enjoyed being in this project.
Meanwhile as I saw it was treasure like project and it helped many people a lot. You have been teaching us wonderfully and were learned, taught me ever you taught were held tightly in our minds and will never be let out. Our first topic was leadership and the characters that a leader must have, secondly we learned about self-confidence, for long time I was not confident but by the time I joined the project I become confident enough. I felt shy even to talk to my teachers and my friends too.
I really thank you so much for that wonderful job we have done .thirdly we defined word by word at a time. Then lastly on HIV/AIDS and how it can be transmitted and how it can be prevented too. What I learnt is that HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. When it enters the body it destroys the body system.it is the dangerous monster that led to death of many people.
We have been provided with some special seeds and poultry to take care of. Then there are some special seeds that we planted. They really did well, our farm is fertile.by the way a farm is a piece of land that carries many things. Did you that the farm is the ugali, meat, and vegetable etc.no farm no unga no life.in our farm we planted many kinds of plants but that has the highest quality is vegetables such as kales, kunde, etc. The farm is evergreen and helps many people without it we cannot survive and that is all. I don’t have much to say this can satisfy you thank you…..
Nb. to teachers I pray for you so that may my Lord bless you and so you pray for me. Lastly I thank you for being with that heart of treating us equal you did not hate half and love half. This is the project I loved most.’’

Other stories from the participants.
1. ‘’My aunt who lived in Mombasa was a very nice woman. She was cheated by a man who promised to marry her. They had a good relationtioship at beginning she did not know what was to come out of it. Some months later she got very ill and was admitted to the hospital where she was found to be suffering from HIV virus.
The virus grew from stage to stage and she was put under medicine and she became weak every day. She was abandoned and suffered a lot of stress and many diseases entered her body and she became thin. She died a few months later and was buried at home. We lost a very loving aunt because of this deadly disease called HIV/AIDS.
Thanks to karopa and friends who brought this program of HIV/AIDS where we learn about the causes and effect of this disease. Through this we are now strong ambassadors to fight HIV/AIDS because it is a killer disease.’’
“AIDS KILL, BE CAREFUL THANK YOU.”
2. Aids is real, it has killed many and we have lost our beloved ones.it is dangerous disease; those who are fat become thin and grow weak.
There is no cure for AIDS so we should take great care of our lives and for our siblings we should always be aware so that don’t get AIDS.
“AIDS IS A KILLER; AIDS IS ADESTROYER; BE AWARE OF IT”

Some of the challenges that cuts across the groups. (Both negative and positive).
 Participants feeling shy during session during the first months of the project but later the participants gained courage
 Building self-confidence on the participants was difficult.
 Teachers did not see the project as important at the start but later embraced the project
 Constructing of poultry house was a big challenge to the schools, most of the schools used an extra class as the chicken house.
 Feeding the poultry was also a big challenge after the project office stopped offering the feeds to the schools after the three months period ended, anyway the schools later arranged on how the chicken got feeds.
 Transfer and drop of the participants. (One drop at othoro and one transfer at Atela).
 The participants now have confidence in discussing and sharing their opinions freely a thing which was lacking in the beginning.
 The economic empowerment brought about good mind of self-reliant.
 Many teachers could now feel that the program was good and wished it could continue in their schools.
 There has evolved a positive change of attitude towards the organization (karopa) and willing to know much about the project.
“REMARKS”
The program has brought a lot of impact to the ambassadors, the schools, teachers and the community a round. It has also impacted well on the reputation of karopa as a civil society organization capable of rolling and handling such project. The attitude around the organization has also been raised at a good percentage from the locals and the stakeholders around including the duty bearers.
The success of this project in the first round is pegged majorly on the good coordination amongst all parties of concerned with this program both from abroad and from within. Thus the TAK team, the TAK staff, the board, the TOTs and partrons,the school heads, the participants, the parents and the community at large. These parties are greatly indebted to Kropa as the main actor.
The phase two of the program we hope would be more vigorous than the first period because a lot of modalities have been put in place and the past negative challenges realized could be corrected early before the start of the overall activities.
Reported by
Paul Opiyo
TAK Trainer- Othoro and Atela Schools.

Report by Trainer Wendy

TIME TO ACT KABONDO
END OF FIRST YEAR REPORT
REPORTED BY: MERCY WENDY

INTRODUCTION
“A journey of thousand miles starts with one step…”
Being recruited as ToT in September, I appreciated the fruitful training by GP which was the foundation that took me through the first year of TAK. It was wonderful introducing this project to the young participants, our main aim was to be ambassadors of change by fighting stigma and sensitizing other peers and community at large on zero new HIV infections.
GENERAL PROGRESS
I started by getting to know their expectations from the program. They gave different ideas touching both their social, economic and personal lives. We carried a survey using a questionnaires to test what they think and know.
I introduced the topics and activities to be covered during our one year stay in the partner schools i.e. St. Christine School and Kango Primary School.
We covered the following topics:
• Self- confidence
• Leadership
• Adolescence stage
• Human rights; based our study on Rights of children
• Stress and stress management
• Gender equality and gender based violence
• Culture and cultural practices
• Child abuse
• Sex and sex education{ sexual orientation, healthy and unhealthy relationships, abstinence and delayed sex, sexual transmitted infections and finally sexual violence}
• HIV and AIDS
• Stigma and discrimination
Activities during these sessions include:
• Classroom and round table sitting arrangements
• Outdoor classes
• Life stories and experiences
• Songs and dance
• Taking of short notes
• Questions and responses
• Drawing of pictures relevant to the topic of discussion

We later implemented the kitchen gardening and poultry project. The participants got training from Julius who is an expert on food value addition this made it easier for them to effectively take care of the chicken.
They made the vegetable nursery beds themselves and learnt to plant seeds in them and also do a transplant. Each participant received two seedlings from the Karopa’s tree nursery project and they planted at home.
Home visits came almost at the last and we managed to visit a number of homes and most of the participants got tested and even some parents.

KANG’O PRIMARY SCHOOL
It has been very interesting and enjoyable being in this school. All the teaching staff right from the head teacher welcomed the project and fully took part in most of the implementations.
They gave the easiest and enough time for meet- ups and could not interfere with any participant during this time. This gave great morale to the participants. They kept consulting every issue concerning the project and this was an encouragement.
Both the kitchen gardening and poultry is a success in Kang’o and they selected a big classroom for the poultry with a medium chicken house built. The room is always clean.
They gave me the best cooperation that everybody would wish to get. Kudos! Kang’o.

Challenges at Kang’o
Language was an issue but I did most of my teachings in Luo for them to understand.
At first almost all of them could not talk but at the end quite a number became free to share.
I had one girl who felt odd amongst her fellow because she had a child but with time she accepted her status and opened up to the entire class that she had a one year old baby boy.
Again we had one transfer from the school to another but we got a replacement.
Distance also was a challenge with very poor roads that you could not risk taking a motorbike.
ST CHRISTINE EDUCATION CENTRE
I joined St Christine after resignation of one of the TOTs. They were far much behind compared to other schools. The participant showed a great cooperation and a heart to learn every day.
This was an interesting jovial, bright and energetic group. Almost all of them did not show any form of shyness but they freely share what they feel and know.
They were very interested in the project and could ask very many questions during the sessions. At the end some were able to share very sensitive stories and they went as far as sharing the knowledge to their fellow classmates who are not in the project.
The patron Mr. Augustine also did his best to ensure things are put in place.

Challenges at St Christine
Recruitment in St Christine was not well done as almost ¾ of the participants were candidates. They were always so busy and this gave hard time for meet – up
Not all the teaching fraternity here was involved in the program. Some teachers could not understand and even go as far as not giving time for the classes
I faced some frustrating sessions where participants are taken out of the session even after ten minutes to attend to other classes. This killed their morale and even some thought of leaving.
Sometimes the candidates were locked outside for remedial classes because they were late and I was forced sometimes to go and apologize for on their behalf.
I had two participants who transferred to other schools and one who decided to leave claiming to have lost interest.
We agreed on the appropriate day and time but I could not understand what the problem was. Setting the kitchen gardening project wasn’t easy as the participants couldn’t get time to be in the farm. I think all these challenges will help us to prepare well for the next year.
General challenges as a TOT
Distance and poor roads made it difficult to be in one of my schools more so during extreme weather. We lacked protective clothes like, gumboots, umbrellas and a portion of medical cover or first aid procedures in case of mirror accidents.
The secondary target group, that is; families to the participants was not fully involved. This is because there was no project that was directly touching them and this made them to keep a distance and made communications non effective.
The age bracket defined in the project could not be realized as most of the participants were between 13yrs to 16yrs
Our projects; poultry, kitchen gardening and tree nursery delayed so much. This was because the schools were slow to prepare the necessary requirements and the purchase of the seeds also delayed.
A lot of questions and complains came up on the sustainability of the poultry project. There was no clear communication on how the chicken will be taken care for in terms of medication and feeding. Till now they still don’t understand how the laying and the hatching process will be done to realize continuous productivity.
The TAK office assumed that all TOTs must be living around the office of in the office and so they decided to just provide fare from the office to school not considering that some of us might be coming far away. We had to sacrifice the little we got as allowance on transport and airtime if in case we want to communicate to both patrons and parents.
CONCLUSION
I got the chance to take Othoro ambassadors for an Aids day and it was a great experience both to the organization and the participants themselves.
It was an involving year with a good start. We have learnt a lot by socializing with these young adults. I would not wish the projects in the founders’ schools to die. We should put strategies on how to continue bearing fruits in these schools by continuous support, monitoring and even visits.
To all who made this year a success….thumbs up! Forum syd, FoK, Karopa, thanks for the cooperation. Shoulders high to my fellow TOTs and the Field Officer for the team spirit.
Am proud of myself too for being part of the implementers of the first year TAK program. Am still ready to work tirelessly until our goal of ‘zero new HIV infection’ and ‘No stigma and discrimination’ is achieved.

Mercy Wendy
Trainer.
St. Christine School and Kango School

Report by Trainer Judith

END YEAR REPORT ON TIME TO ACT KABONDO/TAK
Good things
The journey to the field was good and enjoyable but for the first time, the participants didn’t show interest after introducing all the topics to be covered during the sessions, and the worst thing of all them thought I would be strict on language, i.e. use English or Kiswahili
Familiarization
After two weeks we got used to each other and the participant started to interact freely in mixed language and they could share a lot of their experience with me, some went as far as telling me how they live with their parents, guardians, brothers and sisters after introducing the topic of culture practice, and violence at home and HIV status disclosure
Case study 1
Lilian not her real name who is 12yrs old in Kanyangwara told her story that her dad died i some two years back and left them (2 children),then after sometimes she could see a man walking in their house every evening but leave in the morning so one day after 3months she could hear her mum quarrel with him every now and then but sadly enough one morning in their presence while taking breakfast that broke the silence and openly told the whole family as a form of disclosure that he has been on drugs for the last 5years which left the whole family in suspense and full of stress
So in short Lilian learnt more with full interest why disclosure is very important and she dearly discourage Luo cultural practice of wife inheritance
Challenges
In Oriang primary school I met so many difficulties .I started very well in first topics and participants flocked my class and even none members of the TAK program but towards the end after introducing HIV/AIDS topic participant got challenged and some disappeared and missed my class after consulting my patron I realized that some of them were positive and afraid to attend the lesson that made me remain with a total of 10 pupils out of 16 participant ,We had to counsel the those who ran away from the project and only a few came back to the program thus we recruited new participants into the program. The positive Children were refered to the health centers where they pick their drugs.
In Kanyangwara, during rainy seasons I found it difficult to move to and from schools to the main road again the distance was too far.
About the poultry keeping, it did not work well since the participants were expecting to have more chicken, the end of topic most of them felt bad but had to accept to keep the few chicken they had been given, these chicken were kept in the school.
On tree planting weather affected our activities since some trees dried off but some germinated and grew after the participants watered them.
Impact of the programme
The program created good relationship between the participants, teachers and parents as a result of the topics covered some of these people did not know their rights, some were not aware that children can interact and express their feelings freely
It empowered them on their know how in very many areas like health issues, income generating activities, leadership, gender equality and how to go about peer influence
Sustainability
Participants in both two schools; Kanyangwara & Oriang we agreed that they will be ambassadors to spread the information on HIV/AIDS both in schools and community at large and they will always work hard to keep on planting trees, vegetables and poultry keeping to help their parents in schools and life progress they also promise to depend on themselves through hard work as form of sustainability

Reported by :
Judith Atieno
Trainer Oriang and Kanyangwara Schools

Field Officer Report on TAK

4TH QUERTER AND FINAL REPORT BY FO.
Hi everyone…. It has been nine months since my employement at karopa tak project aiming at 192 boys and girls made local ambassadors with the power to create social change and less HIV/AIDS stigmatization within kabondo.in August 2016 as the tak project field officer with roles and duties expelled in the work description.
A journey of hundred miles starts with one step and as for the TAK project we started by recruiting tots, tots training at global platform in Nairobi for two weeks, identification and supplying engagement letters to partner schools like Othoro, St.Christine, Kanyangwara, Kang’o, Oriang’ and Atela, finding the patrons from the partner schools, mapping and engaging potential partner organizations such as MOH,DASCO,DCC,JAM,ACTION AID,MSF etc, developing of curricum and questionnaire and more activities.
We started the TAK program with a massive launch that was scheduled at Othoro health center’s ground where several guests, TAK office, six tots, participants, participants ‘parents and karopa members attended. The tots got their respective schools to take through. They were as follows:
Kang’o………. Richard Omondi
St Christine…… Faith Adhiambo
Oriang’………. Mercy Wendy
Othoro………. Winnie Atieno
Atela………… Paul Opiyo
Kanyang’wara….. Judith Atieno
After the launch we started by introducing different topics of study. We did elections for the participants. We proceeded by giving the questionaires on all the main goal of the project to test what they knew and getting to know their expectations.
Some three tots decided to leave immediately we started sessions giving no better reason for resignation. We found it wise therefore to continue with the remaining three tots. They took over as follows: Paul Opiyo doubled (Othoro primary and Atela primary), Mercy Wendy….( St Christine school and Kang’o primary) and finally Judith Atieno…(Oriang’and Kanyang’wara primary)
They did the following topics with the participants:
• Self confidence
• Leadership
• Adolescence stage
• Sex and sex education
• Culture and cultural practices
• Gender equality
• Child abuse
• Stress and stress management
• HIV and AIDS
• Human rights
• Stigma and discrimination
All these were accompanied by many activities like; drawing, singing, dancing, telling stories, writing notes, asking questions, outdoor classes and reading story books. We also got the privilege to attend the World Aids Day with Othoro primary at Oriwo having gotten invitation by DASCO and MOH of Ramula sub district hospital.
Setting the cooperated empowerment projects came after where we gave all the schools five chicks and vegetables seeds. The participants went through training by one Mr.julias obonyo on poultry keeping and covered the following topics:
• Roles of indigenous chicken in household economy
• Gender and indigenous chicken farming
• Poultry production systems
• Cost benefit analysis
• Disease and control
• Record keeping

We provided chicken feeds for a short time and then handed over the responsibility to the school, participants and the patron. The participants did the vegetable nurseries and planted vegetables.
On April holiday we went around for home visits. We walked to the participants’ home talking to their parents about the benefits of their children being in the program and again taking the parent’s consent to test the status of the kids and even willing parents parents were tested voluntarily.
POSITIVE CHALLENGES
• I had the best and cooperative tots; that is Wendy, Paul and Judith. They worked as a team giving me the easiest time and delivered all they were to give to the participants
• Some schools were fast in setting up their projects like Kang’o
• There is a great improvement in participation in all the schools and the shyness has been dealt with in most participants
• Participants are very active and ask a lot of questions
• Most sessions had excellent attendance
• There is an improved cooperation and relationship between the schools and Karopa
• It was a wonderful experience when some participants could come out and share stories. One from St Christine shared a story about his dad’s condition who is living positive
• During an invitation to the World Aids Day, the participants came out by themselves and accepted to be tested. This was also seen during home visits when some parents also volunteered for the test
• St Christine took the session with their fellow participants. They trained their fellows of standard six to standard eight on some topics they covered during TAK sessions
• We worked as a team making things smooth and easier.

CHALLENGES
• Getting to learn and accept each and every tots personalities was a challenge. Some could not deliver well and some could not share what they think hence leading to resignation of some of them
• Three of the recruited ToTs to take part in the implementation of the project resigned giving no better reason for resigning
• Language barrier as most of the participants could only speak and understand their mother tongue better.
• At times there were short sessions time because of remedial classes, co-curriculum activities and other school related activities
• Shyness from the participants hence some could not share their ideas or ask questions
• Diverse changes of weather, sometimes a lot of sunshine that made it difficult to set the tree nursery and the kitchen gardening
• We faced transfers of participants from one school to the other and some schools we couldn’t make a replacement. We also had few cases of drop out because of loss of interest.
• Some patrons had difficult times as they were the only teachers involved in the program. Some teachers could not see the importance of being part of the project.
• Setting the poultry project took time as most schools could not construct the poultry house and continuity of feeding was also a challenge
• Some schools did not show good cooperation spirit hence killing the morale of trainers and some participants
• Some schools were too far and with poor roads this makes it difficult to reach.
• Many more pupils were willing to join their fellow in the project. We were forced to recruit a twin sister whom we realized fought back at home because one was in and the other was out of the project
• Some pupils who are not in the project gave a name tag to the participants and this killed the morale of the participants and some wanted to drop
• There were many cases of missing items like; pens, note books, files and t-shirts

WAYFORWARD
 We intend to increase the age target from 12years to 16 years and pick from standard four to six
 We are looking forward to set a project directly touching the parents
 There will be a link to keep the founder schools on going and sustainable
 We will try to consider the distance to the new schools.
 We intend to ensure that all teachers in the new schools agree and accept the project before signing an MoU
We had a meeting with the patrons and the ToTs on 10th July and we resolved that:
– Before setting the second year of the TAK projects schools should understand the project goal and what is expected of them
– The empowerment projects should be clear; that is, the support the project office will offer towards the projects especially poultry and when to leave the responsibility to the school
– Some schools experienced challenges on poultry like many cocks and less layers, death, we agreed to take into considerations extreme cases.
CONCLUSION
All the patrons were very happy and stressed that the project has brought a big difference in the life of these young leaders. There is improvement in behaviors and personalities. It has increased activeness even in their usual classes.
They are willing for more cooperation and promising more success compared to this ending year. I thank everyone who dedicated his or her time, energy, knowledge, resources and prayers for the success of this first TAK year. May the Lord bless you as we prepare to implement the second phase of this project…
Thankyou and God bless all.

Prepared by Martin Njoga

Field Officer

Karopa CBO

Sustainable Development Goals Training in Narobi 12-16 June 2017.

ACCOUNTABILITY AND MONITORING OF THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS) TRAINING IN NAIROBI KENYA 12TH – 16TH JUNE 2017
Training attended by James Ojwang

On 12th was the reporting day of all the delegates from different countries which include Uganda, Tanzania and the host Kenya. On this day there was introduction of the courses to be covered which are:
 SDGS goals, indicators and monitoring
 UN and UN model
 Tools for youth led accountability
 Principles of accountability
 Data driven strategies
 Community field survey
 Social media and other advocacy tools
 Right based approach for SDGS
and registration and making of payments
The training was organized by AFRICA YOUTH FOR SDGS and ICYAFRICA. Participants were taken through the 17 sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). Goal 1 to Goal 5 were the most important goals affecting most of the African Countries as was highlighted by the participants drawn from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda which were emphasized are:
 Goal 1 – No Poverty
 Goal 2 – Zero Hunger
 Goal 3 – Good Health and Well-being
 Goal 4 – Quality Education
 Goal 5 – Gender Equality
 Goal 6 – Clean water and Sanitation
 Goal 7 – Affordable and clean Energy
 Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
 Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
 Goal 10 – Reduced Inequalities
 Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
 Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
 Goal 13 – Climate Action
 Goal 14 – Life below Water
 Goal 15 – Life on Land
 Goal 16 – peace ,justice and strong institution
 Goal 17 – Partnerships for the Goals
All these goals were drafted in 2015 in New York by head of states in the world after the Millennium Goals’ period ended 2015 after being in place since 2000. It is estimated that by 2030 the world shall have solved problems of poverty and hunger through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Participants showing placards of some of the most important SDGs affecting their home areas and places of work/Organization, on the extreme right is James holding Goal 4 Quality Education

Community field survey was also carried out as a topic and three groups visited different places within Nairobi. My group visited Woodley area Nairobi where we interviewed 9 people where 3 men, 3 women and 3 youth concerning their understanding of the SDGS and their related problems are ranking them. among the listed problems are
1. Poverty
2. Corruption
3. Leadership
4. Natural resource conflicts
5. Quality Education
According to the results the most proiety goal is SDG4 which is quality Education and corruption was the most listed problem
The principles of accountability were also emphasized and these include:
University
Transparency
Equality
Participation
Action –oriented
In addition there are various types of power in accountability space:
 Covert, hidden power
 Conditional, internalized power
 Overt, visible power
The above picture shows participants analyzing the data that were taken from the field during three hours survey of the most goals affecting the Africans. My team had the opportunity to visit Kibera Slums in Nairobi and among the issues that came out strongly to be of great challenge to people living in Kibera were as follows: Poverty and hunger, Corruption, poor leadership, Natural Resources Conflicts and Quality Education in that were the areas that affected most.
We used a complex of data analysis tool as so to equip the participants with the knowledge of more understanding of problem analysis thus when get back to our organizations we can use the knowledge identify the most urgent SDGs to tackle as an organization.
All the Participants were tasked to represent at least one country in the world using a UN model summit on a case on goal 2 on Zero hunger. I had the opportunity to present The Republic of India position paper on THE UNIVERSAL RIGHT TO FOOD. It was a challenge as I had to make a quick research on polices the Indian government had put place in combating hunger in India. These policies include the following: Targeted Public Distribution system (PDS) which ensures availability of essential commodities like Sugar, wheat, rice, cooking oil among other things. India also has a policy to feed those who are poor and living alone by giving a certain amount of food per month to such people among other initiatives.

On Friday 16th June, the training came to an end with the awarding of certificates to participants and well-wishing the safe jounary to all those international delegates.
ACTIOL PLAN:
All the participants were encouraged to go back to their organization and discuss about the SDGs, train and educate the community about the SDGs. They were also encouraged to carry a campaign on SDGs. I will sit with the board of Karopa and plan our when the members of the CBO shall be trained on the SDGs.

The great match in the slums of Kibera Nairobi on the Day of African Child DAC. We were accompanied by thousands of school children and volunteers from different organizations. A walk to celebrate the Day of African Child 2017 in Kibera Nairobi. The walk started at DC ground to Kibera grounds where the celebrations were held

A ssesion at the Multi Media University Nairobi on a presentation of SDGs dala analysis.

A happy moment with Kids during the Day of African Child/DAC.

Reported by James Ojwang
Project Manager,
Karopa CBO.

MMLD Training in Arusha Report

Middle Managers Leadership Development Programme (MMLDP)
Venue: MS-Training Center for Development Co-operation, Arusha Tanzania.
Duration: 1st – 5th May 2017
Attended by: James Ojwang for the Karopa Project Office and
Mercy Wendy for the Board of Karopa CBO
Thanks to the financiers (Friends of Kabondo) for this training that enabled James and Wendy to take part in this wondering training in Arusha for one week.
The training was summarized into three major components that is leading self, leading others and leading the organization. The participants were to understand themselves leadership skills as required of them for the running the operations on an organization.
The participants were taken through the concepts of management and roles of middle managers in leadership. We also went through leadership styles that includes transactional, transformational, democratic and lazes faire where we found that democratic is the best leadership style that embraces everyone in the organization in decision making thus promotes high productivity in the organization.
We were motivated about values and ethics in leadership where as an individual leader one has to have his/her values and ethics that depicts who s/he is before putting the values and ethics of organization. Self-discipline starts within an individual before practicing the organization’s values. It is therefore very important for a leader to have a positive image and a leader has to visualize what he/she wants to achieve in the organization. A leader has also to develop emotional intelligence that can help the leader to manage oneself and one’s relationship in mature and constructive ways. These emotional intelligence includes the following self- awareness, Self- management, Social awareness and relationship management. In leading self in leadership an individual should be able to formulate vision, mission and objectives achievable in an organization.
Leaders in an organization should also be empowered to develop personal assertive skills. This helps these leaders to thrive even when under pressure

In leading others in an organization, middle managers should be able to develop good communication skills and proper elements of communication. The managers should be able to form team work with leaders. These teams should have clear roles of operations. While forming the teams the manager can adopt Tuckman 5 Stage theory i.e. forming, storming, and norming, performing and adjourning. The manager should be responsible when the team is doing well or when the team is not doing well to effect the changes that will yield positive results in the organization.

On the management of the organization all the leaders should be able to understand the Vision, Mission, values and Organizational Strategy. For all these to be realized the managers with all the stakeholders should be able to carry out SWOT analysis and strategically plan the activities and the functions of an organization. The managers can use the management tools like Kotters 8 steps for leading organizational change that includes create a sense of urgency ,build a guiding coalition ,form a strategic vision and initiatives, enlist a volunteer army, enable action by removing barriers, generate short term wins, sustain acceleration and institute change. Application of each step to the change process in the organization is very important. Middle managers should be able to understand or know sustainable changes within the organization. The middle managers should therefore create a learning process in an organization where the senior staff pass knowledge to the junior managers and staff

During training we also went through dynamics of decision making, decision making models and styles. Also tackled was gender and feminism in the organization and feminism leadership, this goes with power dimension. We also learnt principles of feminist leadership as applied to roles of middle managers.

There would be an action plan by training fellow members in the organization about all that we learnt. This should be done as soon as possible.

Reported by
James Ojwang.

Ecoblock Training in Nairobi

ECOBLOCK MAKING TRAINING IN NAIROBI
On Wednesday 17th May 2017 James, John and Moses traveled to Nairobi at Makiga Engineering for a training on how to make quality soil blocks. We were taken through the machine parts, the machine assemblage and the positions the users should take while operating the machine. We were also shown the necessary tools that are needed during the block making process.
We learnt how to test the soil for the block making step by step, this an idea we failed when we had our first experience with the machine 2015. It was a challenge that soil must be tested for one week before use with a shrinkage plate and from the test one will know the ratio of mixture of soil and cement. The soil moisture content is another issue to be carefully watched, the amount of water in the soil mixture is tested by the hand by squeezing the soil whereas the mud should not wet the hand. It’s advisable to make the soil blocks during the dry seasons since very little water is needed during the soil stabilizing process. All the soil types can be used to make the blocks with exception of the black cotton soil.
After the production of the blocks curing is very essential this is done for one week and the blocks are stacked for use after 14 days from the day of manufacturing. It’s also necessary that the blocks are to be compressed in the house building site this to cut down costs on transport and unnecessary breakages of the blocks that may occur during transportation.
The compressed blocks are stacked for the time being a waiting the construction of the building. After building, the walls can be painted with Varnish to look neat.

The three trained persons will organize a training at Karopa in Kabondo to spread the knowledge of soil compressed block to the members of the community and the members of Karopa.
Prepared by
James Ojwang