Nyamira South Deputy County Commissioner Julius Otieno has challenged local partners implementing projects at community level to plan on strategies of sustaining the projects even after leaving the community.
The DCC who was presiding over a wind up function of Faith and Community Initiative (FCI) by Nyamusi Umoja implementing Mwendo Project in Nyamira on Wednesday, observed that most partners implementing projects at community level end them without psychologically preparing beneficiaries, leaving them with unnecessary anxiety and false hopes of continued support.
“Prepare early enough an exit strategy which will make sure the beneficiaries are able to independently sustain themselves after the time frame of implementing the project comes to a close as the best way to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable groups of people in our communities,” the DCC advised.
“Your support as Nyamusi Umoja FCI courtesy of MWENDO project particularly those living positively with HIV/Aids in Nyamira County for the past four years is greatly appreciated because other than enabling them easily access timely regular medication, they also ensured that while at home their life was bearable as most of these children are under the care of guardians or single parents,” Mr Otieno said.
Rev. Bishop Robert Ombongi of Rangenyo parish appreciated the several trainings they underwent as the clergy and programmes were involved to co-partner in implementing courtesy of MWENDO project for the best interest of the child.
“Our church members are always living in denial of the presence of HIV/AIDS in our homes and the fact that the boy child is always on the receiving end of all the misfortunes which befall the girl child, MWENDO came in handy in training the clergy members and engaging them by providing hands-on approaches of handling this thorny issues to our congregants who shy away from discussing or even disclosing these realities to us as their leaders,” Rev Ombongi remarked.
MWENDO project coordinator Eric Chanua told the press that the challenge of stigma is still high in Nyamira and parents or guardians who discover that their children are HIV positive decide to remain secretive and seek medication from other counties far from home for fear of being stereotyped as promiscuous.
“Convincing people to come out and publicly declare their HIV/AIDS status for the four years we have worked in Nyamira was a daunting task and we had to restructure our approaches to access such children the reason why we decided to in-cooperate other relevant key stakeholders like the clergy, department of health services, the administration under the guidance of Department of Children Services (DCS) for successful implementation of this programme,” Chanua revealed.
“The programme of coaching boys to men and training the adolescent boys on their importance to be frontline ambassadors crusading against sexual violence against children was particularly very successful because most of them were attracted to sporting events which were our entry points,” MWENDO project coordinator said.
Chanua appealed to local partners who will pick from where they stopped to ensure they bring on board all relevant stakeholders in protecting children against all forms of abuse and violence and ensure they accessed rights.
By Deborah Bochere