Just Like Riding A Bike
We now have several projects going on in our village of Ol’Kalou! I am so excited to tell you about them. Over the next couple of posts I will let you know whats going on and how you can help, if you want to. First I want to tell you about our Bicycle Initiative. Its my little project that I feel will significantly and sustainably help with a huge health problem in our area. As I have mentioned several times our major work partners are our Community Health Volunteers that are hand chosen as local leaders by the Ol’Kalou District Hospital. Once picked these volunteers go through extensive health education training and are then sent on local health initiatives to the most rural of villages. Most times the families living there have no access to a health facility within a radius of five to six miles. In these areas there are no transportation options and in case of an emergency the families need to be educated on emergency care at the household level.
The Community Health Volunteers are committed to walk up to 10 miles a day up to five times per month collecting data, finding patients who have defaulted on medical appointments or medications, and to conduct health education to children, families and schools. With the aid of bicycles donations we propose that we can increase the catchment areas of outreach and improve retention rates of the volunteers.
With the aid of bicycles we are expecting an increase in communities reached from five families or schools per month/per volunteer to 10 families or schools per month/per volunteer. With the ability to reach double the households we are predicting a significant increase in health and hygiene standards at the household level. This will be accomplished through the increase in health talks educating families on safe water practices, household cleanliness and safe use of chemicals and stoves. The goal is to not only increase the number of healthy families but also reach more villages to educate them on safer sexual practices and through this education STI and HIV/AIDS information will be spread with the goal of an increase in STI and HIV testing. Another key concern in these communities is the availability of emergency medical care for child rape victims. It is expected that if we can reach more communities to educate the children on the location of the closest medical clinic we can significantly reduce the amount of deaths, injuries and infections due to violent rape assaults.
For the 50 current members we are asking for a cash donation for the purchase of 50 bicycles and if possible and additional 20 bicycles to keep at the District Hospital for future committed volunteers. The cost of one (1) adult single-speed bicycle in Kenya is 6,000 Ksh – approximately $70 USD. Considering this retail amount for a bicycle we are asking for a cash donation of upto 420,000 KSH – approximately $4,900 USD. Your donations will be tax-deductible and can be contributed via Beyond Poverty, the non-profit American based organization that we are affiliated with. The link to the donation page is: Health Volunteers Bicycle Initiative
It is my job as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Public Health Sector to locate and find ways to sustainably improve the standard of living within my community. I feel confident that I have found a simple solution to a large scale problem. The health volunteers in Ol’Kalou Constituency are hard-working, self-motivated and extremely dedicated to improve the health standards within their reachable households. It is my hope that with the aid of charitable bicycle donations we can maximize the time and efforts of the volunteers as well as increase the total population reached. With more families being educated on health and hygiene we can, together, decrease the amount of preventable injuries, infections and deaths due to lack of simple education.
Posted on February 2, 2013, in 1st Year!!!, Current Projects, Peace Corps and tagged Africa, Beyond Poverty, Bicycles, Bikes, Blogging, Charity, Children, Community, Culture, Doctors, Donations, East Africa, Family, Health, Hospital, Humanitarian, Kenya, Life, Marriage, News, Non-Profit, Peace Corps, People, transportation, Volunteer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.