Posts tagged as: fellow

I Want to Transform Lives Through Charming Snakes

Photo: Fadhili Frederick/Nation

Snake charmer Haji Mwachambuli is pictured here with a python.

Snakes hardly conjure up the image of making a living but for Haji Mwachambuli, 29, snake- charming has been his source of livelihood for the last 20 years.

Haji performs his snake-charming acts to tourists and to curious crowds at weddings.

The father of three from Mwamanga village in Diani charges an average of Sh4000 per show.

He learned the trade from ‘Master’ Hamisi Arafat in the latter’s homestead aptly dubbed Jungle Park, where he took Daily Nation. http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/1190-1190-5p56avz/index.html

The homestead is sub-divided into various sections where crocodiles, chameleons, tortoise and snakes are kept.

The snake section has been partitioned into smaller cubicles where some of the world’s most poisonous snakes are housed.

SPECIAL SKILLS

Haji says dealing with snakes requires special skills which he has mastered from the lessons he learnt from his master.

He is not just a snake charmer, but is also a healer of sorts, as neighbours often call upon him to treat snake bites.

“This one is a green Mamba – it is so poisonous that once bitten you need to see a doctor in 90 minutes. This is a Boom Slang, it is not as poisonous as the others. Next is the Puff adder next to it spitting cobra. If the spitting cobra’s poison enters your eyes, you become blind,” said Haji as he showed Daily Nation around the snake park.

“I hail from the community of snake charmers. Though it is not something everyone can do, I feel blessed to have excelled and mastered the art. I am proud of my talent.

“I want to transform the lives of my fellow youths who have been affected by drugs. As it stands now three of the youths who used to take drugs are now recovering. I usually have sessions with them and encourage and try to bring them back to normal,” he added.

But it has not always been smooth sailing for Haji.

A few years ago, while performing a snake-charming act for his audience at Bidi Badu Restaurant in Diani Beach, something strange happened to him unexpectedly: a snake stuck inside his trousers!

Haji is also an upcoming musician and an events MC.

Kenya

States Split On Funding Mechanisms to Bail Out EAC

East African Community (EAC) partner states are divided on the proposed financing mechanisms to bail out the… Read more »

Stakeholders Challenged On Education Quality

Kilwa — Decision makers and Educational stakeholders here have been advised to participate fully in raising the quality of education by solving the challenges haunting the sector.

Kilwa District Commissioner (DC) Christopher Ngubi agai made the call at the climax of the Education Week held under the auspices of Action Aid and Kingonet.

At the commemorations, students got an opportunity to present the challenges they face through poems, plays and songs to parents and actors. Pupils at Kilwa Masoko, Nangurukuru and Kiganda highlighted poor infrastructure like toilets and private rooms for girls as among factors behind many girls to frequently abscond School.

“What has been presented by the students here should not be taken for granted, this also goes to the research findings by Action Aid that show huge shortage of toilets in the schools,” said Mr Ngubiagai.

According to the research findings, Kilwa lags behind in terms of academic performance, and the program was designed to improve the quality of education in the district.

Out of the 30 schools in the programme, 25 schools possessed permanent toilets and the remaining five had tempo rary facilities. One toilet hole in the schools was used by 135 pupils in some schools and 90 pupils in others contrary to standard of one hole for 20 girls and 25 boys.

Female students, especially those in puberty, are the most affected by the shortage of toilets in schools, the study noted.

“While others are walking, we should run…my fellow leaders in Kilwa, let’s work to see that the toilet problem is solved in the district,” observed the DC, appreciating Action Aid for their efforts to improve the quality of education in the district and calling other stakeholders to prioritise education sector in their operations.

Tanzania

Magufuli Defends ‘Anti-Evil Crusade’

President John Magufuli yesterday defended his bold measures to clean the country, saying the initiatives are inevitable… Read more »

Trial Against Rwandan Terror Suspects to Be Heard in Camera

Photo: Cyril Ndegeya/The East African

Some of the suspects accused of terrorism at the High Court of Rwanda in Kigali.

By Robert Mbaraga

The trial of the 44 Rwandans accused of having links with the terror group Al Shabaab and the Islamic State will be heard on May 2 in camera, a court in Kigali has ruled.

The special chamber of the High Court of Rwanda that tries international crimes upheld the prosecution’s plea that an open hearing would compromise national security.

In its plea, the prosecution raised fear that a public hearing would lead to more radicalisation and cause clashes among the families of the accused because “some of the accused were apprehended because of information provided by their fellow suspects.”

The defence lawyers had insisted that the prosecution explains what it meant by national security, arguing that all persons connected to this dossier have been arrested and detained and cannot thus cause any security threat.

On their part, the accused said that only a public hearing would be fair.

“All our pre-trial hearings were conducted in camera, and our families have never had a chance to know the details of our charges. Our trial in merit should be heard in public and this will help our brothers avoid what we are charged with,” one of the accused told the court.

The accused said that they would appeal against this ruling.

The Rwandan criminal procedure law allows the court to order that a case be heard in camera “when its public hearing may be detrimental to public order or good morals.” The same law does not, however, define public order or good morals.

The court set the next hearing for May 2. This date could, however, be affected by the appeal filed by the accused.

The three-judge bench also ordered that the case be disjoined for minors and be heard by a specialised chamber.

Four of the 44 are below 18. Their trial will now be heard by the Gasabo Intermediate Court.

The ruling on the two main objections which had paralysed the trial for almost two months, now raises hope that the fate of the 44 terror suspects will finally be known.

They have been in detention for more than a year.

The details about the charges brought against them have not been made public, but their indictments indicate that they are charged with complicity in a terrorist act, membership to a terrorist organisation, formation of a criminal gang, formation of an irregular armed group and conspiracy and incitement to commit terrorism.

Rwanda

East Africa’s Cecafa Moot Joint Afcon Bid

The Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) is in slumber as club and national teams’… Read more »

Support Swimmers, They Have Bright Future

WINNING medals in major global events is a dream for many sports persons the world over. And, countries invest their sportsmen and do whatever is possible for them to make their fellow citizens proud. It is against this background that Tanzania has embarked on a renewed campaign to make sure local athletes win medals.

The campaign, which received huge government support, aims to restore the nation’s pride in athletics, this time focusing much on Club Games in Australia in 2018 and Tokyo Olympic Games of 2020.

The campaign, most often reportedly to concentrate on athletics as major medal hopefuls, followed by boxing as a sport that previously helped Tanzania win it medals in major events, is promising to succeed if the government continues to back it.

Out of focus, despite doing fine at the moment, is swimming whose athletes have shown remarkable progress in recent days. It was reported recently that eighty records were broken in the National Swimming Championship held at Haven of Peace School in Dar es Salaam.

Very impressing, were two upcoming athletes, Sonia Tumiotto and Collins Saliboko who dominated most of the races. The swimmers, who are products of Saint Felix School in United Kingdom, have managed to break more than five national records in the event that featured more than 200 swimmers from Dar es Salaam and upcountry.

Sonia broke 10 national swimming records while Collins broke six of them. Aliasger Karimjee, also a student of the UK- based, Saint Felix School, managed to break two records for swimmers 17 years and above.

It was good to learn that athletes attributed their success to good and professional trainers at the school, whom they said, helped them to succeed. Something worth to focus on as per the swimmers’ revelation is proper diet.

They said apart from training, they were provided a balanced diet as per consultation with dietitians. Since most of the young swimmers are still in tender ages, we would like them to start training seriously with psychological focus on the Club Games and Olympics.

The swimming body should work closely with these youthful record breakers and their parents to groom them into future world stars. We would also like to advise the athletes to train hard after school hours, keep competing in many competitions while keeping focus on coming games.

Tanzania

Report Exposes Rot in the Govt

The National Audit Office (NAOT) has tabled reports for the financial year ending June 30, 2016, which expose losses and… Read more »

Liberia: Bwi Starts Training Farmers in Agriculture

By Webmaster Admin

AgriCorps Founder Trent McKnight sees farmers and students studying Agriculture Science as the noble ones that want to feed the nation

Some of the farmers who participated, and the students, want the training go across Margibi to include farmers in other districts

The administration of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, Margibi County has introduced a new program in Agriculture Science.

The program aims to enlighten the minds of local farmers and gardeners on agricultural practices, which will continuously be demonstrated with presentations and students/farmers classified into several distinct groups. Each of the groups will discuss topics such as the protection of crops from disease and pest attacks, successful farming during the dry season, and how to add nutrients to the soil.

The first ever National Diploma in Agriculture (NDA) extension program, over the weekend, hosted a day-long seminar that brought together farmers, gardeners and BWI students.

The idea for the NDA seminar, according to Abraham Wowah, BWI’s Post Secondary and Professional Program (PSPP) Coordinator, stemmed from the establishment of the PSPP as instructed by BWI principal and chief executive officer, Harris Fomba Tarnue, a year ago.

The NDA came about as a result of the PSPP wanting the senior students majoring in agriculture to put into practice what they have learned in the class a few months ago.

Mr. Wowah said the NDA’s primary focus is to access difficulties the students face as well as to evaluate them to overcome future challenges in the field of agriculture extension.

“It seeks to acquire feedbacks from the public as to the students’ performances and to also capacitate senior students, who are subsequently preparing for the job market,” Wowah added.

He said the PSPP came into existence based on the instruction from Mr. Tarnue to integrate the agriculture vocational training program with the NDA. The program, he said, also offers short-term courses in computer literacy, labor union affairs and entrepreneurship.

Saturday’s seminar was facilitated by Mrs. Anna Glenn, AgriCorps Fellow, who has been working with the program since September 2016. She is assisted by her husband, Nathan Glenn, a teacher of an agriculture extension class. Mr. Glenn organized and also co-facilitated the seminar.

In separate remarks, the couple said they were gratified to work with the students and the small group of farmers who attended the training. They both are of the opinion that the program will grow to the next level of farming.

AgriCorps Founder and head of Agri Fellow at BWI, Trent McKnight, encouraged the participants to stay focused, “because farming itself is a noble enterprise, even though to grow more food to feed the family and the nation is challenging.”

Mr. McKnight urged them to consider themselves very important, nothing that if food is in short supply, the nation would suffer and the people will starve.

In 2013, McKnight founded AgriCorps, a Peace Corps type organization that connects American agriculture volunteers to the demand for school-based agricultural education in developing countries.

He is a lifelong rancher and businessman in Throckmorton, Texas, USA, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Agricultural Economics and Comparative Politics from Oklahoma State University and The London School of Economics, respectively. He is a past national president of the Future Farmers of America.

He has served as an agriculture advisor to the U.S. Military in Iraq, agricultural economist to the United Nations in West Africa and chairman of the United States Department Agriculture Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Committee. Agriculture, rural Texas and international development are his passions. He is assigned at BWI playing similar roles in the Agriculture Department.

At the end of the seminar, BWI awarded each of the participants a certificate of participation.

Nyeri AP Officers Forego Meals to Feed Starving Families

By Nicholas Komu

Administration Police officers in Nyeri have opted to forego a meal per day to feed starving families in parts of the county.

In a show of their service to all motto (Utumishi Kwa Wote), the officers have taken up the sacrifice as they launched a food donation and distribution campaign in the county on Wednesday.

The drive which is a partnership between the Administration Police and the clergy in Nyeri seeks to collect food donations from residents which will be distributed to needy families in areas affected by famine.

According to the Nyeri County government data, over 24,000 people are facing starvation following prolonged drought.

Most of the people in dire need of food come from Kieni Constituency which is the food basket of the county and also classified as a semiarid area.

A decline in the amount of rainfall and the number of wet days recorded in the county in the last one year resulted to a drop in harvests.

SHORT RAINS

The short rains which started on the fourth week of October 2016 were erratic and short-lived.

While most food stuffs are still available in the markets, prices have shot up making them unaffordable to most people.

Nyeri County AP Commander Njue Njagi, speaking to the Nation, said that the move to distribute food was initiated by junior officers on the ground who witnessed first-hand the effects of the famine.

“We felt it was a good initiative and when we consulted the other officers they agreed to support the mission and forego a meal to feed their fellow Kenyans,” said Mr Njue.

REMOTE AREAS

The AP unit of the National Police Service was established to operate in close proximity and in interaction with the civilian population which, according to the officers, has pushed them to participate in the programme.

“Very many people are starving in some of the remote areas where we are posted and we see it every day.

“So we decided to extend our service to all motto by mobilising others who are well up to donate food,” said Corporal Tabitha Maina, one of the officers in the drive.

The AP commander noted that even though they had received food aid from the government and well-wishers, it still is not enough to mitigate the ongoing food crisis.

“People have come out to give food donations but, currently, it is not enough so we appeal to others to also join by giving whatever little food they can,” he said.

The law enforcers and religious leaders will also use the programme to preach peace during political campaigns and ahead of party nominations.

Kenya

400 Tanzanian Medics Apply for Jobs

Tanzanian doctors who have applied to work in Kenya yesterday broke their silence, explaining their expectations of… Read more »

We Need to Find Missing Tuberculosis Patients

opinionBy Robert K. Majwala

Uganda once again joins the rest of the World in commemorating the World Tuberculosis (TB) Day; an annual event that honours the day that Dr Robert Koch announced his discovery of mycobacterium tuberculosis, the germ that causes TB, in Berlin Germany in 1882. This day is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis remains an epidemic, as it was 135 years ago in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries.

Globally the number of new TB cases is equal to the number of new HIV cases per year and TB kills more people than Malaria and HIV. This year’s World TB Day theme is, ‘Unite to end TB’; and the slogan is, ‘Find the Missing TB Patients’. We actively need to find the missing TB patients if we are to deal with the TB disease in Uganda.

According to the 2015 Uganda National Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey, Uganda has an annual prevalence of 253 TB patients per 100,000 population, translating into about 90,000 TB patients per year. However, according to the 2016 Global Tuberculosis report, Uganda notified only 43,736 TB case patients in 2015, which was only 49 per cent of the expected TB patients in that year.

Furthermore, this is complicated by emergency of drug resistant TB, a complicated strain of tuberculosis, whose treatment is very costly. Treating resistant TB requires about Shs18 million (about $5,000) for up to 20 months; with severe side effects. According to the Uganda National TB and Leprosy Programme records, in 2016, only 420 drug resistant TB patients were notified out of the expected 2600; suggesting that up to 84 per cent of all the drug resistant TB patients were not notified. These patients continue to be a danger to the public and continue to spread drug resistant TB in the communities where they reside.

The current state of affairs calls for renewed efforts to address the TB epidemic. Given that the available public health actions are missing more than half the expected number of TB patients as well as up to 85 per cent of drug resistant TB patients, there is an urgent need for innovative strategies to improve TB prevention, TB case finding; TB treatment to completion and management of drug resistant tuberculosis.

In order to find the missing TB patients, there is a need for concerted efforts engaging multiple stakeholders – government, development partners, implementing partners, civil society organisations and the community need to improve TB case notification. Funding for TB programmes needs to be prioritised by the government. Currently, government funds only 4 per cent of all the resources needed for TB prevention, treatment and care including drug resistant TB; with development partners contributing the greatest proportion (76 per cent). The remaining 20 per cent of the resources needed to tackle TB is left unfunded. This situation calls for renewed advocacy for TB, just like it was for HIV in the early 1990s. There is a need to teach the general public about the signs and symptoms of TB in order to create demand for TB diagnosis and treatment across the board. This will help to reduce stigma associated with TB diagnosis.

All partners need to support efforts geared towards systematic TB case finding, focusing on the most-at-risk groups for TB including; prisoners, people living with HIV/Aids, people with diabetes, children below 15 years, men, refugees and internally displaced persons, pastoralists and nomadic communities; people in hard to reach areas including urban slum residents and urban poor, and contacts of persons confirmed to have multi-drug resistant TB, among others.

There is need for massive investments in better and newer diagnostics for TB screening and diagnosis, while ensuring their continued functionality. Results from the 2015 Uganda TB prevalence survey suggest that when a chest X-ray was added to smear microscopy, this helped to identify 33 more TB patients compared to the 30 patients that were identified with symptom screening alone. Thus, the addition of a chest x-ray for TB screening has the potential to increase more TB case patients and should be considered. Other newer technologies including the geneXpert technology, if deployed optimally and supported with consumables and demand creation for TB, have the potential to increase the number of TB patients diagnosed.

There is an urgent need for TB capacity building among health workers at all levels. Nationally, the number of smear negative and extra pulmonary TB case patients has been declining over the years and this is attributable to lack of enough clinical acumen to diagnose TB by health workers. A training curriculum needs to be developed and implemented in a phased manner until all health workers have been trained.

In conclusion, finding missing cases requires concerted efforts at all levels and by everyone. Renewed efforts are needed by all stakeholders at every level. Just like this year’s World TB Day theme and slogan, let us all unite to find missing TB patients.

Dr Majwala is a Public Health Fellowship Programme Fellow – Field Epidemiology Track, attached to National TB and Leprosy Programme, Ministry of Health

Uganda: We Need to Find Missing Tuberculosis Patients

opinionBy Robert K. Majwala

Uganda once again joins the rest of the World in commemorating the World Tuberculosis (TB) Day; an annual event that honours the day that Dr Robert Koch announced his discovery of mycobacterium tuberculosis, the germ that causes TB, in Berlin Germany in 1882. This day is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis remains an epidemic, as it was 135 years ago in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries.

Globally the number of new TB cases is equal to the number of new HIV cases per year and TB kills more people than Malaria and HIV. This year’s World TB Day theme is, ‘Unite to end TB’; and the slogan is, ‘Find the Missing TB Patients’. We actively need to find the missing TB patients if we are to deal with the TB disease in Uganda.

According to the 2015 Uganda National Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey, Uganda has an annual prevalence of 253 TB patients per 100,000 population, translating into about 90,000 TB patients per year. However, according to the 2016 Global Tuberculosis report, Uganda notified only 43,736 TB case patients in 2015, which was only 49 per cent of the expected TB patients in that year.

Furthermore, this is complicated by emergency of drug resistant TB, a complicated strain of tuberculosis, whose treatment is very costly. Treating resistant TB requires about Shs18 million (about $5,000) for up to 20 months; with severe side effects. According to the Uganda National TB and Leprosy Programme records, in 2016, only 420 drug resistant TB patients were notified out of the expected 2600; suggesting that up to 84 per cent of all the drug resistant TB patients were not notified. These patients continue to be a danger to the public and continue to spread drug resistant TB in the communities where they reside.

The current state of affairs calls for renewed efforts to address the TB epidemic. Given that the available public health actions are missing more than half the expected number of TB patients as well as up to 85 per cent of drug resistant TB patients, there is an urgent need for innovative strategies to improve TB prevention, TB case finding; TB treatment to completion and management of drug resistant tuberculosis.

In order to find the missing TB patients, there is a need for concerted efforts engaging multiple stakeholders – government, development partners, implementing partners, civil society organisations and the community need to improve TB case notification. Funding for TB programmes needs to be prioritised by the government. Currently, government funds only 4 per cent of all the resources needed for TB prevention, treatment and care including drug resistant TB; with development partners contributing the greatest proportion (76 per cent). The remaining 20 per cent of the resources needed to tackle TB is left unfunded. This situation calls for renewed advocacy for TB, just like it was for HIV in the early 1990s. There is a need to teach the general public about the signs and symptoms of TB in order to create demand for TB diagnosis and treatment across the board. This will help to reduce stigma associated with TB diagnosis.

All partners need to support efforts geared towards systematic TB case finding, focusing on the most-at-risk groups for TB including; prisoners, people living with HIV/Aids, people with diabetes, children below 15 years, men, refugees and internally displaced persons, pastoralists and nomadic communities; people in hard to reach areas including urban slum residents and urban poor, and contacts of persons confirmed to have multi-drug resistant TB, among others.

There is need for massive investments in better and newer diagnostics for TB screening and diagnosis, while ensuring their continued functionality. Results from the 2015 Uganda TB prevalence survey suggest that when a chest X-ray was added to smear microscopy, this helped to identify 33 more TB patients compared to the 30 patients that were identified with symptom screening alone. Thus, the addition of a chest x-ray for TB screening has the potential to increase more TB case patients and should be considered. Other newer technologies including the geneXpert technology, if deployed optimally and supported with consumables and demand creation for TB, have the potential to increase the number of TB patients diagnosed.

There is an urgent need for TB capacity building among health workers at all levels. Nationally, the number of smear negative and extra pulmonary TB case patients has been declining over the years and this is attributable to lack of enough clinical acumen to diagnose TB by health workers. A training curriculum needs to be developed and implemented in a phased manner until all health workers have been trained.

In conclusion, finding missing cases requires concerted efforts at all levels and by everyone. Renewed efforts are needed by all stakeholders at every level. Just like this year’s World TB Day theme and slogan, let us all unite to find missing TB patients.

Dr Majwala is a Public Health Fellowship Programme Fellow – Field Epidemiology Track, attached to National TB and Leprosy Programme, Ministry of Health

Women Take Battle Against Male Dominance Online

By Jacky Habib

Kenyan women have set out to tackle their representation in the media and at event panels.

They have taken the fight against male dominance to the cyberspace with an initiative dubbed Say No To Manels.

A “manel” is a term used to describe a panel of all-males– highlighting the underrepresentation of women as experts.

To solve the problem of women’s noticeable absence on panels, Ory Okolloh, Sophie Gitonga and Nanjira Sambuli established a database of women experts across Kenya.

LIP SERVICE

“In Kenya, the ‘gender rule’ has gained much lip service. That, as we see time and again, does not translate into reforms or the requisite action to make women’s representation a reality,” Sambuli says.

In September, they opened an online form for woman to register themselves or their colleagues as authorities on any given topic in order to make their expertise and availability known to event organisers and the media.

Since last May, technology activist Nanjira Sambuli has been urging people to reject all-male panels.

She started the hashtag #SayNoToManels and #SayNoToManelsKE, which call out media organisations and events that are male-dominated.

400 EXPERTS

The hashtags also encourage people to include women’s voices.

“When organisers are asked why this [lack of women] is so, many often trivialise it, or give an excuse about there being no women available, or say they don’t know of women in the particular area of expertise to invite,” Sambuli says.

The public database is meant to counteract this issue.

Since its launch, almost 400 experts have signed up from disciplines ranging from technology to health.

While the database founders have not formally reached out to media or event organisers, they often use their Twitter account (@SayNoToManelsKE) to call out groups for hosting all-male panels and direct them to the database.

COMMENTS

They say people have been finding it organically for the most part, having fielded several inquiries from those looking for women experts.

One of the women on the database is Crystal Simeoni, a tax justice expert who regularly speaks at and attends high-level events.

She says she often hears condescending comments about her presence in certain spaces.

“At the African Union or United Nations, the reaction from men is ‘What is a pretty person like you doing here?’ and I say ‘The same thing that you are, what do you think?'” Simeoni says.

MEN DOMINATE

According to the Media Council of Kenya, men are 10 times more likely than women to be used as a source of news in Kenyan media.

The Council further notes that men are central to most of the news stories in print (72 per cent) and electronic media (46 per cent).

In addition, it was found that most media organisations do not have a gender or diversity policy or strategies in the workplace to create gender balanced reporting, making it likelier that they will rely on male sources.

James Ratemo Communications and Information Head at the Media Council of Kenya says journalists are often pressed for time and male sources are seen as the go-to experts.

TRAINING

“They want to find subjects who are readily available and typically don’t think about gender. They can easily find men who are willing to talk.”

Having a gender balance in reporting must be intentional, says Ratemo.

“When we leave it to fate, males will always dominate.”

To sensitise journalists on the importance of representation, the media council partnered with Unesco to train reporters across Kenya on gender mainstreaming.

THE GOAL

By increasing women’s representation, the goal is that women like Claire Kinyanjui will have fewer obstacles to navigate in the workplace.

Kinyanjui, a lawyer and entrepreneur is on the database as an expert in the areas of security, peace, conflict and law.

“Law is a male dominated field. I’ve had experiences where a guy was chosen over me,” she says.

“I’m a woman and I’m petite so people [look at me and] think I’m not capable. All these things I’ve gone through show me that it’s not an even level playing field, and it may never be.”

‘CALL IT OUT’

Kinyanjui joined the database a few months ago but has yet to be contacted about a speaking appearance or interview.

By participating in the Say-No-To-Manels initiative, she hopes to represent women in areas that are typically male-dominated, especially as some of her work centres around gender perspectives of peace and security issues.

Sambuli encourages people to “call it out” the next time they see a lack of women represented– by asking about it during the Q&A of a conference, tweeting or approaching the organisers.

“It should be, and must become, absolutely uncomfortable to sit in any space where issues affecting one half of the Kenyan population do not have representation,” Sambuli says.

TAKE PLEDGE

The Say-No-To-Manels organisers also encourage men and organisations to take a pledge that they will not participate or host all-male panels at conferences, in the media and boardrooms and when possible, recommend women instead.

The Kenyan movement to better represent women on panels coincides with an international movement to do the same.

The hashtag #AllMalePanels highlights events around the world where women experts are not present and resulted in similar databases of women experts being created in various other countries.

Jacky Habib is a 2016-2017 Media Fellow of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada at the Nation Media Group, Nairobi.

Rwanda: Students Use Drama to Fight Teenage Pregnancy

By Francis Byaruhanga

As concerns of unwanted pregnancies among the school-going teens increase, students from GS Remera Protestant in Kigali have taken to using songs and drama to show the dangers of early pregnancy to their fellow students.

Speaking during one such event at the school campus last week, Christiane Umuhire, the director of family promotion and child protection at Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, hailed the students’ efforts towards the fight to end the unwanted teen pregnancies.

“This performance showcased by the students is a reminder that the issue is alive and fresh, and calls for attention from the administration and other stakeholders,” she said, adding that packaging the messages in poetry and songs makes them easily understood by society.

For Mertilde Mukakabare, a member of Unity Club, communicating the evils of unwanted pregnancies through drama and poetry is an effective method because students communicate directly to their vulnerable colleagues.

She, however, advised that girls should be keen on the messages since they are the ones that are most affected by the pregnancies.

“Girls should say ‘No’ where necessary in order to avoid bad peer influence that could lead them into risky sexual behavior, drug abuse and other illegal activities,” Mukakabare advised.

She promised a helping hand and collaboration with schools and parents in the campaign against unwanted pregnancies and HIV/AIDS among teens.

“Ministry of Family and Gender Promotion is more worried about the lives of the teens and youth. That’s why we tour schools and sensitise students about the evils of the teenage pregnancies,” she said.

Edward Nkurikiye Umukiza, the head teacher of GS Remera Protestant, said they chose drama as a kind of mobilization to attract the attention of students.

Jean Darc Mukaniringiyimana, the head of the school’s parents association, urged parents and school authorities to work together in the campaign.

“Parents, guardians, tutors and teachers have to promote moral values at an early age,” he said.

Eric Mizero a P.5 student at GS Remera Protestant said the drama had awakened their minds about the consequences of unwanted pregnancies.

For Vestine Dushimimana, a student at the same school, such drama guides them on how to avoid temptations that could result into unwanted pregnancies.

“The messages in the play gave us the confidence to say ‘No’ when necessary,” she said.

The event also featured giving prizes in form of scholastic materials to students who participated in the different performances.

Featured Links

    Search Archive

    Search by Date
    Search by Category
    Search with Google
    Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes