World Radio Day 2018

World Radio Day 2018

Kenya News

“Radio reaches the widest audience in the world!”

In an era of dramatic advances in communications, radio retains its power to entertain, educate, inform and inspire.’’ The words of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in his message to the world as it celebrates World Radio Day.

This is the 7th edition since its inception in 2012 following its declaration by UNESCO General Conference, thereafter it was adopted as the international day by the United Nations General Assembly.

Radio was first discovered in 1902 and since then has served as a main source when listening to news and music.  Radio stood witness to some of the greatest events in history and brocasted live events. For instance on July 31st 1982 during the attempted coup that saw legendary radio personality Leonard Mambo Mbotela inform Kenyans on the events that were unfolding. This was 36 years ago and up to date radio still remains relevant even with the emergence of new technologies in television, film, among others.

As the world marks World Radio Day under the theme; Radio and sports for peace and uniting communities, Kenya Community Media Network- KCOMNET organized celebrations held at Kivuli Center home to Mtaani Radio a community radio based in Dagoretti sub-county, Nairobi County.

Present at the event were different stakeholders representing various organizations, sporting entities and various representatives from community radios in the country to discuss matter sports and peace building and the importance in the development of the community.

According to Anthony Ngare, the deputy Director of Expression and Media Development Information and Communication Programme at the UNESCO, he indicated that one of the attributes that makes radio effective is the fact that it has the ability to reach different people regardless of their social status and also been a key component in spreading peace in different communities. Alfred Kibunja a team building professional in addition added that sports is key in a community as it promotes teamwork, essential values that unit us towards a better Kenya.

Through the incorporation of sporting activities communities have been united and empowered as well as giving voice to the marginalized communities.

What makes radio cool is the element of surprise and its uniqueness to enable one create mental pictures in addition to its ability to communicate to one person.

Education of Re-integrated Beneficiaries

Education of Re-integrated Beneficiaries

Kenya News

January is normally characterized by children heading back to school for the first term of the year in Kenya.

It is no different at Koinonia Community Rescue Centers who this year have successfully ensured that 58 boys and girls they have  joined school with the youngest joining pre-unit while the oldest joined standard seven, one joined high school while two others have joined technical institutions.

The two rescue centers; Mother House and Ndugu Mdogo have this year recorded a 95% successful reintegration process of 48 boys and girls.

The rescues are managed by six social workers who have ensured the children, who were rescued from the streets and vulnerable situations early 2017, are successfully rehabilitated and get to resume their education. The rehabilitation process is not an easy as it requires a lot of patience in dealing with the children and other elements so as to attain the desired outcome.

Social workers have taken the children through various activities and counselling sessions to successfully rehabilitate them effectively. The process has been successful due to the involvement of parents in their children lives as well as having frequent home visits.

As 2018 kicks in social workers will be hitting the streets once again to rescue more children who will be rehabilitated and reintegrated back to their families.

Children are a blessing to the universe and it the role of adults to ensure they get a good life so as to become better citizens and make the world a better place.

Universal Children’s Day 2017

Kenya News

Children are one of the most treasured possessions on earth.  Kenya joins the world in marking Universal Children’s Day on the  20th  November.

This is a day aimed at creating awareness on children rights and preventing their exploitation.

Research indicates that about 80% of children living in Child Care Institutions (CCI) are not orphans but have been placed there due to other reasons such as poverty, neglect or domestic violence. Grace Mwangi , Country Manager at Give a Child a Family states that such factors push factors that distance a child from its family thus ending up at CCI’s or the streets.

Koinonia Community is one such institution that looks to rescue and rehabilitate vulnerable and street children and ultimately ensuring that they are reintegrated back to their families as a family is the best place a child should grow up in.

Koinonia Community has organized a three day children conference as a build up activity towards Universal Children’s Day. During the three days they have organized activities in line with this year’s theme ’’It’s a Kids takeover’’.

Hundreds of children, current and former beneficiaries of the institution gathered together to share their experiences of growing up in a CCI and at home. Plenty of times adults get to determine what happens in the lives of children however it’s always wise to get feedback from the children themselves. This conference gave the children an opportunity to open up about the benefits and challenges of living at home and at a CCI. In addition they got to share their preferred recommendations that they would wish to see implemented both at home and at the CCI’s. This way guardian can make informed decisions about children.

The conference was moderated by peer educators who are former beneficiaries of Koinonia Community. They used this opportunity to share their experiences that shaped them to becoming responsible individuals. Additionally the children were taught about their rights and responsibilities as the two go hand in hand.

John Kamau  high school student and one of the peer educators  believes that through upholding children rights they will be able to get quality education as well as achieve their dreams .

Scaling the Heights

Scaling the Heights

Kenya News

She is graceful and her laughter lights up a room. 15 year old Grace Njeri* is among the over one million candidates sitting for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams in the country. She is also among hundreds of children under the care of Koinonia Community.

Grace was admitted to Koinonia in 2009 when she was only 6 years old. Life at home had become unbearable after her father abandoned them and her mother became the sole bread winner.  Life in the city became too costly and they were forced to relocate to the rural area. A few years after their relocation her mother passed on leaving her in the care of her grandmother. It was during this time that she found a new home at Anita Home, one of the Koinonia centers that cares for girls.

At Anita Home she met other girls who had been through difficult situations at home and / or in the streets.  Njeri* has been improving academically over the years, reading from her grades. This has gone a long way in helping secure a well-wisher to cater for her education. As she sits for her KCPE she hopes to score highly and join a reputable high school. This is not the only thing that she is looking forward to, as she is among 15 Koinonia Community beneficiaries who will be reintegrated back to their families at the end of the year. This is not an easy journey for her or the other 14 teenagers. However the Families to Families project has been conducting workshops throughout the year to enable a smooth transition. The workshops have equipped the teenagers with skills and prepared them for the impending transition in their lives.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Njeri’s dream is get into the hospitality industry where she can be of service to different people.

Child Family Reunification Meeting

Child Family Reunification Meeting

Kenya News

The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) is just around the corner, set for the first week of November. Children from various centers- Kivuli, Tone la Maji and Anita Home will also be taking part in this year’s examination after which they will be reintegrated back to their families.

Throughout the year parents have been attending seminars to enable them prepare mentally and physically towards the arrival of their children from the centers. During the seminars parents are equipped with information on ways in which they can become responsible parents and how to build a solid relationship between the parent and the child.

The last seminar of the year took place at Shalom House on the 30th of September, which was conducted by Ambassador Edwin Tiego, a mentorship coordinator. In the session he did emphasize the importance of the role of a parent in the life of a child which he illustrated through a narrative of how  a pilot is able to steer an airplane from one destination to another.  The pilot is able to achieve this effectively through instructions issued to them from the control tower. The control tower is this instance symbolized the role of a parent in the life of a child. A good parent is one who is able to issue effective direction and morals to their child which they can emulate to become responsible individuals.

It is important to note that in life one is bound to make mistakes and children are no exception, for this reason parents should be able to correct their children in ways in which the children can learn from their mistakes and avoid them in future. There is also the need for parents to reward good behavior as a way of shaping behavior.

Mr. Tiego encouraged the use of the 3F’s in parenting –Firmness, parents should be firm in the decisions they make in regard to their children while at the same time being Fair in the kind of punishment they give their children and most importantly be Friends with their children as that is the only way they will detect any changes in their children lives.

Psycho-support Parents/Guardians meeting

Psycho-support Parents/Guardians meeting

Kenya News

Koinonia Community have been at the fore front impacting the lives of community members through the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of children from the streets.

A family set up is the best place for a child to grow in thus the need for children to be reintegrated back to their families. The reintegration part greatly involves parents being able to build a relationship with their children that will deter them from heading back to the streets.  It is due to this cause that Koinonia Community organizes forums for parents and guardians to be guided on ways in which they will relate with their children once they return home.

Pycho-social support is important as it helps parents understand the important role they are expected to play in the upbringing of their children. It also helps parents explore and find practical ways in which they can do this. Pycho-social support sessions include having one on one counselling sessions with the parents to get to understand the different challenges they are going through, after which they are helped to come up with practical solutions. One such session was held in Shalom House, on Saturday 29th July 2017.

Many of the children rescued from the streets have absentee parents or some live on the streets with their children. It is important for the guardians to understand the value of being a responsible parent as it guides a child to being a responsible citizen in future. Parents are encouraged to be engage with their children as well as looking for alternative means of survival that will not result in their children heading back to the streets. There is bound to have disagreements between parents and their children and parents should ensure that they solve such with sober minds.

The discussions were moderated by various counselors, Jane Njeri, Grace Mwangi , Robert Kheyi  and Sammyl Mwangi. The sessions will continue whereby parents and guardians will be guided on ways they find meaningful employment or have start up businesses.

Recognizing the Best Performers in Koinonia

Recognizing the Best Performers in Koinonia

Kenya News

Success cannot be achieved unless someone has the vision and desire- the words of Mr. Harrison Kyalo, Koinonia Community Administrator during the 2nd edition of Koinonia Recognition Event that took place on 28th July 2017 at Paolo’s Home in Kibera.

This is a day set aside in the Koinonia calendar aimed at honoring individuals and projects that have performed well in attaining certain goals as a means of motivation, in the last year.

The recognition had been based on two sections the Income Generating Activities (IGA’s)/Social enterprise and Social Projects, which were further classified into five categories- Innovation and Growth, Improved projects, Family Involvement, Resource mobilization and networking and Finance Managements.

Best performers in the Social Enterprise category included;

Kivuli Trailoring School – Quality of Service and Compliance award.

Shalom House and Baraza Café – CSR and Community Service award.

Riruta Health Project – Finance Management and Sustainability award.

Domus Marie School –   HR Opportunities and Dedication award.

Shalom IT Center – Innovation and Growth award.

 

Best performers among the Social Projects included;

Anita Home – Best care practices (Behavior, Education and Talent Development) award.

Families to families – Family involvement and Empowerment award.

Rescue centers – Finance Management and Sustainability award.

Tone la Maji – HR Opportunities and Dedication award.

Paolo’s Home – Resource mobilization and networking award.

It was also important to recognize the efforts of projects and social enterprises that had shown great improvement in the last one year.

Most improved social enterprise were Riruta Health Project and Domus Marie, while most improved social projects were Anita Home and Paolo’s Home.

Best performed and projects that greatly improved this time round were awarded greatly in that they issued with vouchers, gifts in addition to certificates for the projects and individual certificates for the members in the best performing projects.

At the end of the event one thing was clear that it takes a team to succeed. Janet Nyongesa, the manager at Paolo’s Home urged her fellow colleagues to work with passion for the children and the community as that is what Koinonia Community has envisioned to fulfill since inception.

Reintegration Seminar for Parents

Kenya News

Reintegration is the process through which children that have been successfully rehabilitate from the streets are introduced back to their families. The reintegration process focusses on three key points; retention of a child in the family setting, safety and wellbeing of the child.

Families to Families is a Koinonia Community project mandated to help both parents and children through the process of reintegration. A family setting is the best place for a child to grow in thus the need for reintegration as a human being is incomplete without a family.

The 1st Saturday saw the first parents reintegration seminar held at Shalom House, the key aim being to help prepare them on the coming home of their children. Kenneth Kariuki, a family counselor talked of some of the influences that affect children that may lead them in having deviant behavior. The influences include media, social media, peer pressure, religion, gambling, music, fashion, community and most importantly parents. Many at times various children run to the streets to seek refuge due to these influences as well as improper parenting where a child may feel unloved and unwanted. It is therefore important that parents have a convincing power towards decisions their children make in their lives. This is important as failure to which they may end up being misguided.

For a child to be comfortable in being reintegrated back to the home it is important for the environment to be conducive  a home where the child feels loved, where the child can freely express their opinions, the parent to always be available for the child and being a good role model. As a result children can talk freely to their parents about various challenges and changes in their lives and in turn parents are able to note the various changes in their children.

Parents were urged to always offer good parenting to their children through loving them and being supportive to their children. This process of reintegration is set to continue until their children are successfully reintegrated back home in November, a journey that parents, children and Koinonia Community will happily travel together.

International Day for the Street Children 2017

Kenya News

International day for the street children is marked annually on the 12th April since 2011 to create awareness on the millions of street children in the world so their rights may not be ignored.

Koinonia Community in partnership with Amani and the MAECI project worked together in ensuring that street children in Nairobi have a remarkable day, through the Koinonia Street Kids Tournament. The past two weeks street children from different areas in Nairobi have been practicing twice per week for the ultimate final of the tournament that took place today at the Joseph Kang’ethe Community Centre in Woodley area, Nairobi County.

Eight different teams took part in the tournament; Adams, Mutindwa, Santiago, Van Couver, Anita Home, Majengo Base, Kawangware and Riverside in football and in the 100m race. Each team brought the A game and were all hopeful in winning, however the matches  after the normal time play ended on a barren draw and had to be decided by a penalty shoot-out. The ultimate winner for the tournament for the boys’ side was Van Couver and on the girls side Anita carried the day. All the teams were awarded with jerseys and footballs that will enable them in their sports activities, winners were also given trophies for their hard work.

Through the tournament it has created an opportunity for street children to interact and bond with other children from different areas. This year will see the publication of the United Nation’s General Comment on children in the streets, which states that every child has rights regardless of their gender, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, abilities or any other form of distinction. This will go a long way in giving guidelines to governments in ensuring street children’s rights are recognized.

Word Health Day 2017

Kenya News

On the 7th of April every year the world celebrates World Health Day, whereby this year the key focus is depression themed as let’s talk. Depression is one of those terms that one uses when they are feeling sad or miserable about life, where by these feelings fade in due time but if they persists over time it could be a sign of one being depressed.

Depression is a treatable condition however about 50% of the cases go untreated as most people still don’t understand it or the stigma associated with it. Kenya is  ranked 6th by the World Health Organization in a report released early this year, about 1.9 m cases reported in 2016. Number of people with depression has increased by 18% since 2005. Depression cases are highest in Nigeria, followed by Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo comes in 3rd  in Africa. Globally about 300 million people are affected by depression.

Depression varies from person and can be as a result of one or more reasons such as loss of a loved one, life events, anger, physical conditions, anxiety, medication side effects, use of drugs, childhood experiences etc. Statistics indicate that more women are affected by depression than men, also higher in older people

Depression can be controlled through engaging in physical activities, storytelling in young children as it eliminates anxiety, counselling in cases of life events, acceptance of physical conditions and living positively.