In 2003 April I went to participate in work-camp in kathuni primary school in Machakos district Eastern province, the area is belong to Kamba people one of the most dry areas in eastern province the Kamba are known of they culture of long distance travelers and good wood carving.
Going to this place was another kind of culture shock for me and realizing how different people over go on their different challenges.
In July 2003 I was given my first opportunity to facilitate a work-camp in Dago Thim community in Kisumu district, the work camp was huge too with about 35 participant national and international this was my first time I had to stand in front of group and made a speech or make announcement in English, it was a big challenge for me and another eye opening moment for me, the community here are Lou and it was my first time to see the different kind of challenge which every one all over the world have this idea the Nyanza province is one of the most highest province in Kenya with many people affected or infected with HIV/AIDS virus, women been the most affected in community and majority surviving after they lost of the loved one’s been taken by epidemic disease we had an opportunity to share and discuss with many of women on they daily life challenges.
For the first time I go an interest in supporting women group activities and working with them hand to hand for their success, before the end of this work camp we had formed a Dago Thim women group and I was part of it and been the first heart project I got two sponsors a couple of my friend who were part of the work camp participant. I worked with the group for two year moving and coordinating from my friends who formed an NGO in France and the other NGO I was working with in Kenya.
The women had two kind of project to empower themselves by farming and poultry keeping which was sponsored by the French association(daelindia association France)
In the same year (2003) I got another promotion from my good impact of last work camp and I had to facilitate another work camp alone in Nyabirongo primary school in kuria district (August) which was not so big, but with group of 15 participant from Nairobi and other part of the world. The work camp give me an opportunity to understand the human in different angle, as the leader you have to look many things and listen to everybody idea better or worse and you need to be in the first line of everything.
In September 2003 I attended another work-camp organized by my organization and Nice Japan organization in Nzinia community Kitui district which turned out also to be challenging and different from other works camp I attended, the focus was to help the community build about 50 water tanks, sure this area was defiantly perfect for such project if you have ever gone to Kitui district you agree with me the community here need a lot of support in coming up with way of serving little water they get in rainy seasons.
Reaching in this community we were hosted in an Anglican church which was the first conflict in community. The project was aimed in support the everybody in community who could not be able to build their own water tank.
But one of challenges is the kind of tank which was proposed was to stand by the house and collect the water from the roof of the house but do the most poor people have a house with nice roof to collect the water?
We spend our first week arguing and trying to come with solution of where to build the tank and how the tank will be build because, one. The 50 members of community were expecting in three weeks to have tank and those 50 members were the only member selected by team of committee which even today I do not know how it formed it self.
The condition to have tank was you have to pay some contribution and the other challenge was most of the members the community who were involved were only the Anglican Church members so this was another conflict in community.
To get all this information I had to talk with few members of camp to join me and move in all the community talking and explaining to the community of the idea project which nice Japan and my organization had promised to support.
At the end of the second week it was agreed we build one tank which will server all community and which will not favour one side or a certain group and after evaluating our research we couldn't build a tank in chiefs camp some people in community believed the chief will favour some people, the church was not good idea because not all people in the community belong to that church market place was not fair because anybody can take advantage of the tank.
So the tank was to be build in dispensary which was sponsored by the church for community health center
By the end of the third week we had the first tank for community which we managed to build and the truth is everybody in community was happy and we didn't manage to build fifty tanks as they wished but the truth is there was miscommunication between the three partners which even today(2009) no other tank was ever build but community enjoy the one tank and go for water there and the health center have enough water for the sick people.
thanks for your time look out for more my voluntary experience .........