We are thrilled to announce we are now a grantee of Awesome Without Borders! A chapter of the Awesome Foundation, AWB gives $1,000 no strings-attached weekly grants to awesome initiatives worldwide. OHR has received this grant to support our Health Navigators Program in Kenya.
A much needed link between patients and treatment.
Western Kenya’s Mfangano Island is home to both a large HIV population, and little healthcare. The Organic Health Response (OHR) decided life on the island would be more awesome if people had access to better treatment, and we couldn’t agree more!
OHR is the pilot behind the Health Navigator Program, an exciting initiative to improve the island community. The program helps meet the critical need for reaching timely and effective healthcare for over 20,000 residents, with an emphasis on assisting expecting mothers and the seriously injured.
This summer, OHR will recruit and train 10 local healthcare workers as the region’s first Health Navigators, intersecting patients at the critical crossroads of their illnesses to be one part emergency first responder, one part community organizer, and one part patient advocate. Acting as a ship and bridge between the island and mainland, and between patient and provider, Navigators will assist all parties in making the safest decision, while providing experienced emotional support to distressed families.
OHR’s model is remarkable, and well underway to change lives on Mfangano Island. With a little more support to cover training workshops they can turn the race to greater health into a marathon, and AWB is more than ecstatic to help make that happen.
Thanks to Big Ideas @ Berkeley, EK-FM can now “scale-up” its broadcast hours from 5 to 12 hours a day! Out of 186 applicants, our team was chosen to participate in the final round of the “scaling-up” category competition.
EK Youth Radio has 3 goals on the horizon:
(1) Upgrade solar-power and production equipment to double daily broadcasting hours and improve media content.
(2) Initiate a community workshop series to improve dialogue and participation in radio among marginalized populations on Mfangano (particularly women & youth).
(3) Strengthen relationships with regional and global community radio networks and popular education movements.
In the recent months, blog posts from EK-FM Youth Presenters have been featured on Craig Newmark’s (Craig from Craigslist!) blog, craigconnects.org. Each piece explores rural technology, globalization, community radio, and it’s connection to Mfangano Island, Kenya.
I Could Not Press the Computer Keyboard Buttons..
Proud to Be Suba!
The Future of EK Radio
Local-Global Youth Development
This week, Organic Health Response started the construction of the new Ekialo Kiona Emergency Boat! Local Abasuba boat builders will carefully construct this custom design boat using generations worth of local expertise.
This process will be broken into three phases:
- Fundi Phase (local builders): Build boat hull and cross beams
- Carpenter Phase: Install custom boat flooring and seats
- Finishing Phase: Painting and outfitting of canopy
The new EK Emergency Boat is set to sail by July 1, 2014. In the meantime, stay posted and watch our video to learn about the boat building process and emergency needs on Mfangano.
Watch our new video highlighting OHR and Microclinic International (MCI)’s microclinic program, the Mfangano Health Net (MHN)- Microclinic Program. This is the world’s first microclinic program for people living with HIV/AIDS.
A big thanks to Cailley Frank-Lehrer for creating this video!
Recently, EK Radio Presenters have been writing a blog series for Craigconnects.org. This week, EK’s “Naz” writes about her experience as a young Suba woman on Mfangano Island. She reflects back to her first time in the EK computer lab and highlights how such technologies as computers and radio can connect Suba youth to our global world. In her words, “…it gives me more reason to be Suba!”
East African Magazine Highlights EK Radio’s Come-back for the Olusuba Language
“All over the world, indigenous communities are being assimilated into more populous neighbours, and oral traditions are fading with the passing of each generation. One of these East African communities is the Suba — a Bantu-speaking community on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria, which over the years has been heavily influenced by the predominant group in the region — the Luo. So much so that the Suba language, Olusuba, is listed among Africa’s 300 languages consigned to extinction by the Unesco Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger of Disappearing…” “There are those, however, who are helping to preserve Olusuba — chief among which is a radio station in a small community centre on the island’s southern shore.”
Read the entire article here.
To learn more about the Ekialo Kiona Youth Radio Initiative by visiting our webpage.
Our scholar family is growing! Welcome 2014 EK scholars.
2013 and 2014 EK Scholars
Saturday 4th January was a very big day for Organic Health Response and the Ekialo Kiona Center. Parents and scholars were overjoyed and could not believe that their sons/daughters had qualified to be among the few lucky ones to be supported through the EK Scholarship program.
One student, Calvin, was flanked by his mother and grandfather. The old man could not believe such a noble program existed in Mfangano Island. He declared in the Suba Language,
“It’s my first time to be here at Ekialo Kiona. I have heard so much about this center, but today, I have walked to this place [over 25 kimometres] to witness the wonderful development programs they have brought in this community. I can’t believe it, may God grant you wisdom and long life to continue supporting this community.”
The five newly enrolled scholars got the opportunity to meet the four old students who were enrolled in the program from 2013. Our family of scholars grew from four to nine. We feel that this is a remarkable increase in just two years of this program’s development.
OHR volunteer, Mae Hanzlik, spent the summer on Mfangano as part of the Nourish group at the University of Minnesota. Mae talks about her experience this summer in a recent blog post.
Here’s a tidbit from her post:
“So, how’d you spend your summer?”
Those six words unleash a rush of emotion, passion and nostalgia for me after I spent this past summer on a little island in Kenya. Mfangano is an mountainous island on Lake Victoria. It is an island where there is limited electricity and only one dirt road that connects the small villages. Transportation is by foot, boat, bicycle or motorcycle. The citizens of the island live in basic mud homes with no running water. Additionally, the HIV/AIDS infection rate on the island is estimated to be over 30%, which is due to the culture of poverty where fish is traded for sex.
Read the full post here.
Also take a moment to view a short video explaining the project, here.