Yellowmen of Kadongdong - Global Grant Sought

Wed 20th November 2019 at 19.00 - 21.30

At the club’s meeting on Wednesday, 20th November Yellowmen co-ordinator Eddie McCall gave a presentation about the Global Grant for which an application is now being prepared.

Eddie explained that the Yellowmen’s aim is to transform the health and educational standards in the Mbara area of Sekerr, Kenya, thereby improving the life chances of girls and women as well as the male population.

Global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in Rotary's areas of focus. By working together to respond to real community needs, clubs and districts strengthen their global partnerships. They are funded by combining club funds, District Designated Funds (DDF), the Rotary Foundation (TRF) world matching funds and in some cases funds from Co-operating Organisations. To qualify for a grant the project must have a long term sustainable impact and include activities that fit into one of Rotary's six areas of focus. There must be at least $30,000 (£23,300) invested in the target community, it must address an important need identified by the community itself and strengthen the community's capacity to meet its own needs. To receive a grant an application must be made through, involve the benefitting community in the project, and partner with a club in another county. Such would qualify Senlac for global grants every year.

To progress the application Senlac Rotarians Chris Folley and Iain Robinson have attended the Global Grant Course, a required first step in the application process, the Rotary Club of Kitale, some 100km from Mbara, has agreed to be a Host Sponsor, President Fitz of Senlac has signed a Twinning Agreement to signify intent and Ray Dixon of District is overseeing the application and will be responsible for the DDF. Meetings have taken place with villagers in Mbara, with community representatives, church leaders, and the schools involved have been visited. More meetings have taken place with Pokot County Officers, the MCA of Serkerr District, the County Chief Officer of Health, the District Chief Education Officer, the Management Committee of Sigor Hospital and representatives of Sostin Clinic, the nearest clinic to Mbara.

The Senlac Mbara Project supports five of the six Rotary Areas of Focus:-

            Disease Prevention and treatment

            Water sanitation and hygiene

            Maternal and child health

            Basic education and literacy

            Community economic development

The Mbara area was chosen because Mbara is a remote mountainous area with poor water distribution, non-existent sanitation, poor roads and infrastructure, no medical facilities and poor general health. West Pokot is one of the poorest counties in Kenya and Mbara’s isolation and difficult terrain means medical assistance can be a minimum of 8.5 km away and more likely 26km away. There is no health education, no sex education and no water distribution. In one school the Yellowmen medical team examined 142 girls and found only one girl was totally free of disease, 2 girls were critically ill, 18 girls were in early stages of pregnancy and 10 girls had such poor eyesight they couldn’t read. In another school 70 girls walked the 8.5 km to Sostin Clinic and all suffered from the same skin disease - they all shared one towel and In another 180 girls shower using buckets of cold water. Eddie also spoke of the tragedies caused by the lack of nearby medical facilities.

The Yellowmen are intending to:-

  • Build (the Yellowmen will have to actually fund the clinic) and equip a medical facility in Mbara
  • Ensure that Mbara boarding schools have water to boarding accommodation
  • Refurbish accommodation as needed especially the long drop w.c. & showers
  • Purchase a motor bike for the medical facility to allow clinics to take place throughout the district
  • Train nurses and teachers to deliver a health education programme in schools and across the village
  • Secure staff funding from local government
  • Together with County Agronomist and County Medical Officer future proof the new facility by developing small business opportunities
  • Set up a workshop for women to produce re-usable sanitary towels
  • Trial a small vineyard to see if development can provide further employment
  • Investigate the commercial production of honey
  • Support new occupations in Mbara by developing a satellite vocational education base in conjunction with Sigor Vocational College.

As Eddie concluded, “Why shouldn’t their dreams come true?”


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