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Update from the field

Jambo Rafiki,

Our first week in Nairobi was intense and wonderful. Our dear sister Lin Wafula, founder and director of Project Africa, organized an event that only a magician would be able to manage with success, and she did. Lin recruited more than 600 women from the slums of the Makadara district to attend the Woman To Woman workshop on reproductive health. It was an absolute amazing day, with a plenary session, talks from experts, and mini-science cafes to address more specific issues related to women’s health. We were able to hire the same women from Makadara to cook for the event and the almost 700 women and their children were well fed and happy. Women danced, singed, and shared experiences. Once again, these wonderful women reminded me the immense power and strength that are inherent in every single woman. What an amazing day with our Rafiki in Nairobi!

After a very intense week in Nairobi, we started the 14-hour train journey to Mombasa, then by ferry to Likoni and to Lungalunga by matatu. It has been two weeks now since we arrived in Lungalunga and we have conducted two summer health camps already, one in Godo and the other in Perani; we still need to conduct the last one in Lungalunga. We count with the services of public nurse Ms. Josephine Matini who has been coming with us on boda-boda (motorcycle) since the very first day so now the women from the three communities feel comfortable with her and have started seeking her advice. We have hired Ms. Matini to work with the Mobile Clinic throughout the year to serve the same three communities.

A last event, however, has gone beyond my expectations and I am thrilled to inform you that stretching my donations and my grants, and thanks to Project Africa that is providing the facilities, we have managed to create a permanent health post in Lungalunga for our Rafiki who work with Project Africa. We are waiting for the approval from the Minister of Health, and we are hoping to launch the health post on July 7, the same day we will officially launch the Mama-Toto Mobile Clinic. That day, all our Rafiki from the three rural communities will get together for a big celebration with dances and songs.

The success of this health initiative and the urgent need for medical services and health literacy in the area is moving me fast and forward, and as soon as I get into the States, I’ll make all the necessary arrangements to turn the “Health by Motorbike” Initiative into a non-profit organization.

My students and Sofia have helped immensely organizing and teaching the health sessions. I am very proud of all of them, and even surprised by the way they have adapted to the very harsh conditions we live in; after all, they understand how privileged we are.

All is well and it will be better.
Love from remote Lungalunga
Ara

Comments

jadefrank's picture

Rafiki to Rafiki

Dearest Araceli,

Thank you for this exciting update - so that we too can celebrate in the success of the mobile clinics and can trust that the lives of our Rafikis are improving as they have access to health care information and services.

We are savoring your words and dancing with you in these accomplishments - that are a dream realized between visionary women - you Araceli and our dear Lindy... as well as the resilient Rafikis and all those who support this urgent initiative.

Say hello to my dear Rafikis in Lungalunga - Dorcus, Judith and Florence. I sent some letters recently and hope that arrive soon.

Hugs,
Jade

JaniceW's picture

Hongera!

Such exciting news, Ara. Nimefurahi. I can't wait to see Sofia's pictures (say a big hi to her for me) and to hear news about my rafikis, Damaris, Dolphine and Jacinta who are all in Lunga Lunga. I can only imagine the amazing events Lin put together (give her a big hug) and the celebrations of song and dance. I wish I were there with you all and look forward to your return so we can chat about turning “Health by Motorbike” into a 501(c)3.

You have all come together to create an amazing service for the women in rural Kenya and I know many lives will be improved significantly for having better access to information, health services and diagnostics. It is truly a success story and we thank you for sharing each moment with us all.

Ninakupenda. Salamu za upendo, Malaika!
Janice xx

nkinyanjui's picture

Awesome!

Araceli, that's awesome its great. I wish i had joined this site earlier, would have been great to meet up in Nairobi! The work you have done for Lungalunga is such a blessing to the people, i can only imagine. ITs going to make a difference to so many women in Kenya you have no idea, what great impact!

Thanks for this post to!

Ciao

Naomie

Araceli's picture

Welcome to our lives!

Next time I'm in Nairobi I'll contact you to meet in person. Yes, what a shame we haven't met. One of my students is still in Lunga Lunga supervising the distribution and proper use of mosquito nets through the Mama-Toto Mobile Clinic.

Let's keep in touch, and welcome to the PulseWire and to our lives.
In sisterhood
Ara

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