Happy 10th Anniversary PATHWAYS

DSCN8211PATHWAYS LEADERSHIP FOR PROGRESS celebrated our 10-year anniversary on May 30-31, 2015 at Stedmak Gardens in Karen, Kenya. The sessions for this milestone event were held on a boat out in the middle of a lake- a new experience for many of us. It was an amazing celebration, planned entirely by a dedicated team of scholars and facilitated by our very own Shadrack Shitseswa. All the current scholars and many alumni were in attendance. The atmosphere was celebratory and the program was filled with a diverse range of topics. These included training on income generation to further empower community members,
sharing cultural traditions to improve understanding among scholars, a presentation, organized by alumnus Michael Murigi, on Kiva Zip as PATHWAYS will be a partner with that organization in line with our strong interest in providing microloans, and a discussion of what to DSCN8338do in the event of a terrorist attack in light of the attack at Garissa College.

A highlight was the recognition of scholar’s achievements in the last year. Justus Salach, Hussein Abdhallah and Shadrack Shitseswa received the highest awards for their project progress and levels of communication. Marylyn Nyabuti and Eunita Akim won the Innovation Award for their efforts to mentor young girls to stay in school. Alumnus Shelly Okumu provided an anniveDSCN8225rsary cake that was delicious and beautiful. Team building activities included a tug of war, driving the bumper cars and flying on the swings. Laughter pervaded the entire resort.
This atmosphere portends a bright future for PATHWAYS.

Another of the highlights of the celebration was a heartfelt reading of a poem written especially for the occasion by Hussein Adhallah. Thank you Hussein, we are looking forward to working together as a group to making the next 10 years even better.

10 Years by Hussein Abdhallah

DSCN823210 years ago the Pathways path meandered its way through the vineyard of life to our fundamental continent.

10 years ago Hope, in the name of PATHWAYS, trans versed space and time from America to Kenya, to make a dream come true.

Truth be told it came like serenity, and took away the bad days. 10 years ago…

10 years of compassion and sacrifice and service. 10 years.

10 years of passion, empathy and giving. 10 years.

10 years of dreaming, foreseeing, striving, actualizing, 10 years.

10 years of building, mentoring, lecturing, and advising.

10 years of realizing…

10 years of materializing…

10 years of a selfless hand reaching out, warming up to our ambitions,

10 years she built us bridges to link us to our potential,

10 years ago and today we went to school,

10 years ago and today we earned a degree,

10 years ago and today I take honor and pleasure standing

before this beautiful congregation.

This is a brief reminder to you all, a missive to confirm your bravery,

a statement to acknowledge your success.

A word-play of some sort, to play out your praise and mention about the vivid hard work.

A note of appreciation; a mention of the obvious truism that with the true intention and correct amount of effort, we can be anything we set out to be.

As brothers, mothers, fathers, friends and sisters, mentors, guiders, tutors, light up in my heart some dazzling flame of motivation.

You are all heroes in this episode of our life. I extol the allegiance you have employed to your studies…the steadfastness you have maintained in effecting positive-change at those various communities, and if you ask Barbara Coloroso, or even ask Deb herself here, she will acknowledge that you said what you meant, and you meant what you said, and you did what you said you would do… and what’s more? Hard work, as it were, is only fully and fairly reciprocated with good results.

I am compelled to remark that in the wave of heat of challenges, and the ferocious wind of adversity, you held still to your ground; not faltering like many did. Rather, diligence and industry has tended to leap you out from your frog-ponds.

Because you never gave up and gave in, you indeed are worthy of thanks giving.

My humble plea to myself and you all is that, let us not dessert the Pathways path, because as it is crystal clear now, this has been the high road to all of us, many of us. Let us take up this heritage and own it, maybe it is our destiny.

 

Catherine Kabaire’s Community Project

Catherine, a medical school student at the University of Nairobi and second year scholar, is assiduouCK watersly working to improve her community through her PATHWAYS project. The shortage of water in her home area has been a major problem in terms of food and water security and the ability to engage in income generating activities since so much time is dedicated to acquiring the necessary water for daily living.  Catherine’s first goal was to secure a large water tank for her community group (see photo of water tank and community member).  Now that water is more secure, other community projects can proceed.  These include farming, poultry rearing, and making beaded purses.  Catherine is a leader and making a difference in her community.

MPH Practicum Opportunity for Summer 2015

PATHWAYS Leadership for Progress (www.pathwayslp.org) in conjunction with the Center for Environmental Stewardship (http://www.ces-stewardship.org) is offering a 4-6-week practicum in Ngong town (southwest of Nairobi), Kenya for Emory MPH candidates. The selected candidate will be responsible for training community health volunteers on public health topics such as nutrition, HIV/AIDS, and water/sanitation using approved manuals through a program sponsored by the local Ministry of Health. The selected candidate will also be responsible for evaluating the impact of this program. Travel in the area will be minimal as the worksite is close to the residence. Room and board will be covered for the 4-6 week duration by the sponsoring organizations. Dr. Mbaabu Mathiu of the University of Nairobi will be the onsite supervisor. Please contact Tom Gordon if interested- tgordon@emory.edu.

Senior scholar Jemimah Peters

Jemimah tankKitui County in Eastern Province is known for its dry weather and unreliable rainfall.  When Jemimah joined PATHWAYS four years ago she knew that the one thing she could do to help her community improve their income was to help provide a reliable source of water. Last month, Jemimah’s project came to fruition with the completion of their underground water tank (10,000 liters).  This will help not only with the growing of crops, but with education because children will not have to spend study time fetching water.  Well done Jemimah and her community group!