World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1st. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights. December 1st is an opportunity to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS, as well as a reminder of the education and commitment needed to eradicate this disease. OHR is hosting a large World AIDS Day event at the new Ekialo Kiona Center at Kitawi Beach.

World AIDS Day logo

World AIDS Day logo

The Ekialo Kiona Center will provide access to resources to encourage young people and residents to get tested and know their HIV status.  It is centered around improving access to care and increasing education through free high-speed internet access, as well as a library and study room.   World AIDS Day and the opening of Ekialo Kiona Center provide a chance to generate enthusiasm worldwide to work towards an end to HIV/AIDS and is the beginning of an opportunity on Mfangano Island to stimulate discussion, reduce stigma, and connect this island community with communities around the globe.

First Rock concert in Mfangano history

First Rock concert in Mfangano history


The OHR-GMCP Initiative for HIV/AIDS represents a unique partnership between the Organic Health Response and the Global-Micro Clinic Project (GMCP).  GMCP is a global organization that seeks to catalyze integrated health solutions around the globe using the power of an organic social network.  The partnership recognizes a shared vision for activating the force of social solidarity to implement sustainable community health strategies.  Through this partnership OHR is providing the necessary institutional, physical, and human infrastructure on Mfangano Island, Kenya that will support GMCP to implement the worlds first Micro-Clinic pilot for people living with HIV/AIDS.
This pilot program and partnership represents a best practices collaboration with a focus on scalability and expansion for similarly affected communities across East Africa and the globe.  In the past year, OHR has recruited a diverse team of  public health expert, researchers, and student volunteers in the US and UK to contribute energy towards health experts, research, and service projects for OHR and GMCP.  “The OHR-GMCP Initiative for HIV/AIDS” now represents a coalition of staff and volunteers based in the US that will support a local partnership between OHR and GMCP on the ground in Kenya.


New Murals Brighten Walls at EKC

Walls and domed ceilings at the Ekialo Kiona Center have found splashes of new colors. Eva Goetz, a local artist from Maine USA, has spent the last few weeks on Mfangano hosting a painting workshop at EK for Sisterhood Exchange Program artisans and kids. The large concrete spaces in the center have been transformed by EK’s first community mural! Over 20 community members participated, including constant hand fulls of on-lookers!
A huge thank you to Eva for sharing her love and talents with our local artisans. Check out Eva’s work on her website, 108angels. Additionally this mural would not have been completed without the paints and supplies generously donated by Artist & Craftsman.


Academic Collaborations

Michele, Teja, Chas, Dr. Adero, Richard, Marco, Nancy, Nadine, and 1/2 of Jenna

A group of students at the University of California San Francisco have proposed a research project to measure the potential impact of the Organic Health Response on the overall health of HIV-affected communities on Mfangano Island. Their scientific evaluation will evaluate program effectiveness and determine potential scalability of OHR pilot programs for similarly affected communities across Lake Victoria, sub-Saharan Africa, and beyond.

The overall objective of this study is to gather comprehensive qualitative and quantitative data in four general Domains to establish a community-wide health baseline for the long-term evaluation of OHR’s indigenous HIV/AIDS initiatives on Mfangano Island, Suba District, Kenya. Broadly, the four Domains of this baseline investigation include: Health Literacy, Attitudes and Support; Utilization of Biomedical and Traditional Health Resources; and Nutrition and Water Security; HIV/AIDS Disease Status.

This baseline study aims to:
Establish systematic health baseline within Mfangano East sub-Location, Mfangano Island, Kenya.
Inform the development of systematic program evaluation and monitoring strategy for OHR pilots.
Generate hypotheses for subsequent collaborative research projects for Kenyan an US graduate student teams.
Inform the ongoing design and implementation of OHR and FACES health interventions on Mfangano Island.