The Rafiki Almost Three Months old: Our Quarterly Report
It is almost three months since we started this magnificent club with an aim to establish global friendships that will empower women through letter writing. In our three months of networking and building friendsships we have achieved quiet a lot and I think it is important to inform the Club of our status so far.
Rafiki Club on worldpulse wire is a growing club with our current membership standing at 65 active members. We have several other members who are not yet registered here on the network. InKenya rafiki clubs are now running five clubs courtesy of Project Africa in two mission stations.
In Kwale District , Rafiki clubs have been opened in Godo and Lungalunga where as in Kakamega district rafiki clubs are present in Ilesi, Shianda and most recently a new club was opened in Amalemba.
Membership of women in these stations ( excluding girls) are as follows Lungalunga (11), Godo (25) ilesi (50) shianda (22) and Amalemba (15).
At least every woman in our projects in Kenya has writen a letter to a Rafiki here on our pulsewire network or at least to those who have provided their addresses. Since the number of women in the Club is higher than the number of international rafikis, there are those of us who have received letters to at least four rafikis. We understand that to some of us it may be heavy to have more than one rafiki. However, we also wish to request that you may bear with us since in this beginning it is important to give all the women a chance to write letters. Our hope is that eventually we will recruit more rafikis such that each one of us can only have those rafikis that they can comfortably write too.
Letter writing in Kenya has been warmly welcomed by the women in all rafiki Clubs. In Lungalunga, it is reported that by the end of May 2009 at least 21 letters have been received. I hope that those of us who started with us remember mama Ann Muthui (Rafiki to Elsie) she got the oppotunity to write for the first time with read story on http://worldpulse.com/node/7153. Today, mama Anna Muthui has been able to write five letters (see attached handwritten report from Lungalunga and Photo).
We put up on our club a call for those who would like to support rafiki with donations both in cash and kind. As at 30th May 2009, Project Africa has received USD 85 in cash donations and 20 pens and pencils and books sent to the women. Our expenditures have been mainly on stamps which a big part has been covered by Project Africa and donations from the women who would not want to write letters and fail to have them posted. On behalf of Project Africa, I want to say a big thank you to those of us who have so passinately contributed to the success of this cause through your donations.
Recently, I posted on the Rafiki Club journal the success story of mama Damaris Munini ( rafiki to Janice W) here is the link http://worldpulse.com/node/10411. This is just one of the many reports that we have so far received from Kenya and many more from our pulse wire community. examples of these are worth mentioning hereby because they will motivate us to continue in this pursuit for empowerment. The Godo club, reported of a number of illiterate women having joined the club. Now, with the help of a club member Margaret Mwangangi, an adult education literacy class has been started in Godo. Amongst the most promising students in this club are 30 years old Mali , 32 years old Umazi and and 32 years old Mlongo who have shown such a desire to learn how to read and write. These three women are among those had never held a pen to write but now they are improving intheir lireracy program. We have been inspired by Margaret's initiative to coach the illiterate women even in her private home. This action has implored us to consider having margaret as a fulltime coordinator in Godo earning a monthly wage of KSH 4000 equivalent to USD 50.
From the donations raised the rafiki program has now printed 3000 letter sheets, and 1500 envelopes. these have been designed with a logo ( The rafiki club wwith a statement "A Project Africa program empowering women through global friendship". In the coming days therefore, expect to receive a rafiki letter written on a letterhead and a white envelop with logo the rafiki Club. Please send in your comment on these printing development so we may know where and how to improve.
It is Project Africa's goal to make sure that all women in the project get involved in enterprise development. Our approach for every program is to ensure that women learn by doing and earning. We have therefore considered involving potential and enterprising rafiki women in Kenya in cottage industries that will help raise income which will later afford the Program self sufficiency. In this regard, Project Africa volunteers and Women in the tailoring school like mama Damaris munini have designed a rafiki bag. Production of this bag will commence in June 2009. We hope that in our June reports we can announce the progress made. We call on all rafiki members to consider purchasing a rafiki bag and help rafiki grow.
Funds raised from the sales of the rafiki bag will pay the women producers a monthly wage and will cater for other costs like in stamps and other.
I already mentioned to this club the idea to have rafiki tours. We are planning everything possible to ensure that the first rafiki tour will be a succes. Currently, there are a number of rafiki who have privately chosen to travel to Kenya and meet their rafiki as they enjoy their summer holiday. It is our hopw that they will share with us all the outcomes of their meetings. Meanwhile, i hope to inform you of the progress of this new activity for the rafiki club.
In summary, it is my hope that this report will serve as another avenue for all rafiki members to monitor and evaluate the progress of our initiative and the impact thereof. in case of any questions, additional information and/or objections. all embers are welcome to comment.