Archive for December, 2008

The Year 2007 what a year….

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

We never thought we will make it to 2008 it was clear we were headed for a mass genocide, greater than Rwanda. Those were the REPACTED member’s words during the end year meeting at the Nakuru Players Theatre.

After the 27th December 2007 disputed presidential elections results in Kenya, just before the violence in Nakuru REPACTED team members were assembled at the Nakuru Players Theatre discussing how to reach out to the victims of the post elections skirmishes in Njoro, Kuresoi, and Molo through the Holistic Helping key person in Rift Valley Province Dennis Kimambo. Dennis had already mobilized some support from well wishers. Collins travelled to Kuresoi one of the most volatile area to find out how the situation was on the ground. In Kuresoi Collins met a friend of REPACTED in peace building and transformation Laurence Achami.

We left home in peace for the office at the theatre little did we know that going back home was going to be hell, and indeed it was, while we were busy combing the grassroots in other volatile regions hell broke loose in Nakuru. It took each one of us hours to reach home instead of the usual few minutes. We spent weeks talking through phones since the local administration declared a night curfew for Nakuru residence.

We still possessed the spirit to solder on with our normal community theatre activities but this time in IDP camps what a challenge after some normalcy returned in the town. We could not do the normal community outreaches in the community because there were no audiences in the community and any noise was treated as a disturbance. We changed strategy and employed other forms of community outreach like video shows in the video dens, focused group discussions, and included peace messages in the normal health talks. Thanks to Sara Piot and Georgia Arnold of MTV Staying Alive for understanding the situation. The organization concentrated on one on one peer education sessions, educative video shows, and focused group discussions in the community. The work was very expensive and wanting especially the IDP outreaches, it was an emergency that needed an extra budget thanks to the APHIA II project rift valley for supporting the extra outreaches in the IDP camps.

Everything calmed down after signing of the peace deal by the two principals Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga led by Kofi Anan. During the conflict we realized one thing, the power of the internet social forums like the personal blogs which took over from the main stream media, the internet is a powerful tool of communication. We actively made a good use of the internet after the mainstream media was blacked out by the government. Most of us with internet enable phone could still communicate effectively and post news to the web for the world to read and get the real story. Thanks to David Sasaki Oso of the Raising Global Voices for the phone you left behind when you visited REPACTED the phone (Sony Ericsson W8 10i) played a serious role after Dennis was robed a phone in the skirmishes while on a night mission to saving two REPACTED members who were trapped in the war zone, we used the phone to take pictures.

We resumed our normal magnet theatre outreaches with mobile VCT. The organization through team work managed to mobilize a good number of community members to access the free counseling and testing. It is not normal to test more than 120 people in a day for four VCT counselors. with the grant from the Staying Alive Foundation and the Raising Global Voices, we did up to 16 magnet theatre outreaches in a month, weekly skills demonstration forums, two youth symposiums and two youth events, Along the year 2008 REPACTED managed to train 30 change agents and five youth leaders on leadership, peer education and the use of digital media-photography, video shooting, blogging and most current encouraging positive bloggers from the community. The organization through collaborative efforts managed to effectively and consistently reach out to 10,000 young people, distributed 30,000 male condoms.

We still have challenges in blogging since it is a new phenomenon to the community though it is picking up. Thanks to Eduardo Avila of Voices Bolivia for the workshop when you visited REPACTED. The bloggers still talk about some of the skills you shared during the workshop. The members agreed to do something about the content by introducing interactive blogging within the REPACTED community theatrical outreaches. Interactive blogging will be more of community magnet theatre style or “interactive theatre of blogging” ok great thinking lets wait for 2009 for more information. More positive bloggers will be introduced next year…ok.

Ok the year was a great year to the organization has Kimambo Dennis attended the international AIDS conference in Mexico meat one of my great friends of REPACTED Lova. Thanks again to the MTV Staying Alive Foundation for the great support. Dennis Kimambo and Esther Ogema also attended training in Zambia and James Karongo attended training in Tunisia thanks to Family Health International and National Organization of Peer Educators. Collins Dennis Oduor also attended the Citizen Media Summit in Hungary. All the trainings and the conferences boosted greatly the capacity of the organization from management, information communication technology, monitoring and evaluation, and leadership creation.

Although we got a lot of difficult in accessing the prisons…. shame to the bureaucracy … this year we managed to do 15 community theatre outreaches in the prisons. Sammy and Ongaro both prisons waders and Voluntary Counseling Testing-service providers made sure that through the welfare office we access the prisons. This time it was the other way round a good number of the prison waders accessed the VCT services. Youth open mic festivals, Miss and Mr. Red Ribbon and poa festivals were a great event for the youth, the youth love music and performing arts hence the festivals were a great success.

Way forward- The members agreed that next year will be a year of holistic service to the community. It will be the year of social change and transformation in all the programs. Through the spirit of teamwork REPACTED members are more than willing to bring about change we believe in and save the community from the social injustices by creating a healthy nation through creative arts and digital media. To cut the short story long wait for the year 2009…..

Thanks

REPACTED believes in the spirit of networking, collaboration and partnership we therefore would like to appreciate, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, the Raising Global Voices Online, the Nakuru Players Theatre, APHIA II Rift Valley, Partners for Progress, Act Alive, Vices of Roses, National Organization of Peer Educators, ADRA Kenya and the National AIDS Control Council.

http://mcjex.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Today 45 years on after Kenya attained indipedence i want to say kudos to this year, 2008 will always be memorable to REPACTED in January we were moving into the secon face of the Staying Alive funding period and we were delyed because of the violence that rocked this country ealier on.  This year a man with a Kenyan father was elected to the highest office in the world.

But that will be a story for another day today if cocus on Vincnt Omindi a rapper who found his way to REPACTED after the violence i encourage you to read his blog which is the ttle of this message i write it again here http://mcjex.blogspot.com/ REPACTED has helped him to move and get a good start after the violence after reading his blog today i am urging all of you to support REPACTED to help him record n album so that he can continue the good work that he is doing using music for change in our country. We are fundraising about $1500 t be able to get him to a studio to recod the album.

looking forwad to hearing from all of you.

WORLD AIDS DAY- MR. AND MISS RED RIBBON 2008

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

miss red ribbon

The event started off with a word of prayer from of the participants, then followed by a brief introduction history  of the event  by Collins Dennis Oduor of REPACTED  before the introduction of the event MCs James Karongo and Moses Mwangi. The entrance of the day’s MCs James Karongo and Moses Mwangi and a brief speech about the history of Miss Red Ribbon, it’s challenges, aims and objectives. Voice of roses, one of the hosts kicked off the occasion with a tantalizing dance. This was followed by a choral verse prepared and presented by B.I.G aka Big Africa arts group. As the judges were preparing themselves for the task ahead, Pamoja Band played some requests and Sauti  Afrique serenaded all the mothers in the house with a harmonious song appreciating women’s contribution to life. The judges for the day were Joab Omondi Otieno from Rift valley Institute of Hair Dressing, Rose Ndanu Morris Programme Co-ordinator I-Cross, Steve Waweru, Head of Marketing Tracom college, Jane Wamaitha Kigotho Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and technology JKUAT.

After a brief interlude the final song from Sauti Afrique and voice of roses the long wait ended and the models were finally called up on stage and formally introduced to the audience.

Lawrence Mwai, Abdalla Abdullahi, Daniel Mwangi, Uhuru Cleopas, Peter Ayiera, Nassir Omar, Peter Onyango, Jane Adero, Sylvia Wanjiru, Nancy Njoroge, Elizabeth Maina, Naomi Maina, Asha Kipng’etich, Alice Njoki, Jane Wahu Chege, Mary Njoki, Maureen Akinyi, Diana Abwayo and scholastica Juma were to fight for top honors of the miss red ribbon 2008. Uprising comedians staged an act before the first category Casual wear was launched. The crowd was quickly on their feet as they cheered their favorites enthusiastically as the models walked through the run way show casing their collection and designs.

 

 

 

 MC JEX entertained the guests with a rap song on the importance of healthy living and Makry Group presented their award winning Choral verse on drug abuse as the contestants prepared for the next category, of official were a few surprises in this category as the models emerged looking crisp and clean in suits. It was clear that at the moment stigma was completely missing in the hall has both the positive and negative models shared the stage in the colorful category.

 During the intermission Voice of roses took the stage followed by SAWWA dancers from REPACTED who showed a little of what they are made of. Friends of Lake Nakuru made a cameo to spice things up. The Models then rolled out in Traditional wear as the pageant progressed without incident or accident. The traditional wear well brewed and finished to the African cultural test was a show of courage in fight against stigma.

 Genesis Arts Creations did their trademark Salsa dance before the crowd was left shell shocked when Recording artiste, Mejja, of Calif Records popped in through the main door. He dropped his hit single Kwani jana kuliendaje among others. The single on the danger of alcohol has a predisposing factor was thematic. SAWWA dancers returned one last time closing the world of entertainment for the day before the Pageant continued.

 In the Creative category the crowd saw how far the minds could go when imagination runs wild. Peter Ayiera dressed in big leaf, what thrilled people ware cloths made out condoms it was a design worth watching.  Everything was slowed to a crawl when the evening wear category as the contestants took their time on the runway. Beauty is what you see and feel, the audience felt beauty in the air, evening wear both classic, creative and modern.   

When the judges made the cut Abdalla Abdullahi, Scholastica Juma, Peter Ayiera, Naomi Maina, Jane Wahu, Peter Onyango and Alice Njoki were declared to be in the final seven.  They then proceeded to question time where the final seven were required to dig deep into their knowledge of HIV/AIDS issues.

There were speeches from Ian Wanyoike of National Organization of Peer Educators, Hannington Onyango of National Aids Control Council and Dr. Haile Girmay  of UNAIDS. Dr. Haile talked about the history of aids in the last twenty years, he also said that we should test before Monday during the world aids day, he also reminded the audience present that it will be the twentieth world aids day celebrations. He started with a dance which he used to pass his message across. He also insisted that we should all know our status. Sarah Kamau of Christian Children’s Fund gave the vote of thanks. Peter Ayiera was declared second runner overal and Alice Njoki was crowned the miss red ribbon 2008 Peter Ayiera was crowned Mr. Red Ribbon 2008.

The role of the two winners will be to organize outreaches in the community with the main goal of eradicating stigma in the community.