Saturday, July 20, 2013

Introducing Our Great Leaders!

This week we had a variety of examples of how local leadership is making a difference in the community and the organization. Our relationship with local and regional government is growing even closer, and we have some strong leaders within our organization to thank for that. Each member of the NGO seems to have a growing investment in the success of the projects, and is excited about the developments in the community. We feel this can only lead to sustainable leadership- one in which the community invests in itself for a brighter future.
Isaya Mwila leading the Big Committee
 (Kamati Kuu) meeting on July 5th, 2013

Isaya Mwila has been with the NGO since 2009 as head house-father of the older boys home at the Igoda Children's Village. Our Children's Village has six homes built around a valley to resemble a small neighborhood (rather than an orphanage/institution), and the older boys live in house number 3 with a married couple- Isaya being the Father figure. Over the years Isaya has grown into a leadership role, and this year was named chairman of our new department system, and head of administration.
On Monday he brought all of the notes from the recent 'Kamati Kuu' meeting to the administrative ward office to be distributed to leaders throughout the district. These biweekly meetings include all heads of our departments coming together to form a Big Committee who discuss and plan the projects of the organization. Sharing the minutes from these meetings should increase communication even more between our NGO and leaders in the community. Throughout the week Isaya also helped communications between all departments run smoothly so that the organization can run at a most efficient level.
Letisia Kanyika is head if our health department. She has a nursing certificate, and she manages all health issues that come up within the NGO regarding the sick in the villages, the children at the Children's Village, and she helps medical volunteers to serve those most in need. She brought Faumia, a 14-month old girl who was very malnourished, to a nearby private health dispensary. She had stayed over night Sunday night and would stay with the patient for the next few days until another member of the Health department came to take her place.

Sijali Kitalika is also in the health department and on Tuesday she helped escort two children, Nache and Meshack, to Mafinga to receive their 2nd line of HIV medication (currently only available at the district). A relative of Faumia came to Kibao as well to help in her care.

Rehema Mgimwa, 28, has a certificate of child-caring and has worked as head-house parent at House number 2 of the Children's Village since 2010. She is also a valued part of the administrative team and helped on Wednesday to explain all contracts to the guardians at the children's village. 

Rehema Mgimwa is head of
the guardianship department
 at Igoda Children's Village

Charles Mwagala has been a house Father at house number 1 since February 2011, and he is head of our "Building and Development" department. On Wednesday, he made a comprehensive plan to continue construction of Dr. Leena Pasanen's housing, and organized delivery of building supplies to keep the project moving as Dr. Leena Pasanen will be moving in full-time this October! On Thursday the 11th, Charles made a budgeted plan to help renovate classrooms at Ikaning'ombe primary school. This work has enabled the NGO to get accurate estimates of building costs for all our projects this year.
Charles Mwagala is bringing even more structure and
 efficiency to the organization's building and development projects

Charles and Isaya also met on Thursday with Dr. Ndenga and Father Duma of Mdabulo Mission to start a committee for the health facility. This committee will ensure that the public private partnership improves the service of Mdabulo Hospital. We are excited about the developments of this partnership as we look for funding to complete construction of the facility.

Yusto Chumi in the Igoda Primary
 School library
Yusto Chumi has been our 'teaching librarian' at Igoda Primary School since 2008, and is head of the education department. He's responsible for sharing all of the educational needs of the children from the children's village, and for communicating all of the developmental needs of our education projects. On Friday, he joined a meeting at Luhunga secondary School to help facilitate the library project to be run by the school itself. We are excited that Luhunga Secondary and its community has asked to take on more responsibilities in running its school instead of depending on regular assistance from the NGO. The school has already started a program on its own of adding a girl's dormitory. This is to protect the female students from the dangers of having to make the long walk to school in the evenings. The community has already contributed money to build the beds for the dormitory, and will soon contribute to the ongoing food costs. The school has asked the NGO to hold another seminar about teenage pregnancy and its negative effects. This was done once in March and has helped raise awareness for the students and community that teenage pregnancy is a major deterent to community development in the villages of Luhunga and Mufindi.

The initiation of the department system (consisting completely of pre-existing NGO staff) has helped bring an even closer relationship between the community and the organization. Ultimately, it will be through this local leadership that the projects will truly make their lasting positive effects.

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