The world is in crisis. People are scared in our "rich" world because of many issues. But what's going in Africa, what happens in our project area in Kenya then? In the last days the virus with all consequences has reached also our local self-help Groups, students and schools, the people in the Slums and the People with albinism (PwA) in our MMH House in Bungoma County, Kenya, too. The situation is critical. A huge lack of hygiene awareness, lack of soaps and disinfection liquids, a terrible situation in the very rare primary health care centers and in most of the few hospitals. But it is exactly now that impact shows up, that pays off what we have invested in the past months:
It is simply great to see what is happening in our MMH House in Webuye, Kenya:
"I bought handwashing water vessels for the community, our PwAs who we have been trained in the past months on hygiene and Soap Making under the umbrella of Making More Health. Now we make disinfection sprays and liquid soaps. We discussed and our people decided to raise awareness about the virus and to help those who are in the biggest need of learning more and getting the respective materials and hints to stay healthy - The boda boda drivers who transport people (on their motorcycles) . They are at great risk as they come in contact with a lot of people."
As a boda boda driver said:" This is a unique gesture in the town of Webuye. The community and all our people really appreciate the MMH office for minding our health. So far nobody has thought about us!"
The local media people were surprised to see the hands-on engagement by the PwAs and to acknowledge how much they knew about Hygiene. Normally, PwAs are escluded from society and live in very poor conditions. Now they are the ones to help others. So far our community of PwAs (ca. 50 families in Webuye town of 20000 habitants) is the first "organisation in town to join hands" in helping to curb COVID-19. "A lot of people even from the provincial administration, and security agencies are now requesting for our support in the village to help the elderly and who are needy", adds Chris. "Saving and rescuing my community by making more health makes me proud." This is system changing.
Many times we define and discuss on how to measure impact. That's even more complex when it comes to social impact. There might be a lot of methods and theories around. I have defined mine: Impact is when people who we have trained start to train others and take care for them. When it's needed. In crisis situations. This means they have really understood the importance, give value to what they learned and want others to benefit from it, too. What do you think?
By Manuela Pastore