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CARTA DESDE ENTASEKERA (Loita), Kenia

Dear all,

Time flies, we are already in the middle of the year and it's time to send a short update.

We are doing fine with lots of activities. The long rains this year were exceptionally intensive and left many roads in our area in very bad state. Travelling during March, April and May was a nightmare and getting stuck was the order of the day. But with the help of God and strong people to push and pull (and a strong 4wheel) we managed all the ordeals of the roads.

Now the beautiful lush and green meadows are turning dry and the roads are dusty again. The sky has turned into a hazy steel-blue and the seasonal rivers once again have dried up, too.

 

We have preserved the grass on the hospital compound and are cutting it now in order to make hay. We have been doing this over the past few years, and members of staff and the Health Centre committee have profited from this a lot. As it looks, there is a lot of hay this year like never before. The farmers in the Tyrol would say, by the looks of it, “a severe winter is gonna come”. Hopefully this is not a sign of a tough drought around the corner.

In spite of the tough roads we have done our out-reach clinics and the School Health program, also the collection and dispatch of women to our Women Empowerment Workshops in April and May.

These workshops have become a real success story. More and more women want to come and attend, some do attend an second and third time, and men urge their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters in law to come and “get the knowledge of women” at Entasekera.

On Mother’s Day (12th May) we celebrated our annual Graduation Day on which approx. 180 women received their Certificates. It was a grand occasion. The sky was blue, not a single cloud!! (up to two days before it was raining cats and dogs day and night, and we were already considering postponing the occasion to some other Sunday)!!!

                                             
                    

More than 400 people came, many women had brought their husbands and sons. And there were lots of onlookers and passers-by. It was most colorful, with lots of songs and presentations and the District Officer held a breathtaking speech. And certainly we fed them all in plenty. It was like “feeding the 10.000” and more!!! My staff worked tirelessly and the tribute goes to them, as well as Emily and Jennipher, the two facilitating Masai Ladies, whose enthusiasm for this program is great to witness.

Thanks to all those who participated and those “well-wishers” and friends at home who made all this possible through their kindheartedness.

One may wonder about the outcome and impact of these seminars. I can assure you, the impact is already being felt. There is a lot of obvious behavior-change already, FGM is a heatedly debated issue (some already practice a different rite of “passage” without the cutting), domestic violence is getting less, women are asked for their opinion also in public, many men are demanding for more workshops, because they have seen a positive change in their homes.

This is the 5th year for this exercise, but in order to bring a lasting improvement of the lives of the Loita women and young girls we need to continue. Please God we shall always find some good donors to help us do so.

                            

Ludwig, the solar technician was also with us again for three weeks and has done a lot of work together with Robert, our maintenance worker. Robert is benefitting a lot from Ludwig and slowly turns into a skilled all-round technician through learning by doing. Our thanks go to Ludwig for his tireless support and friendship.

So much for now.

All the best, take care and kind regards from all of us here at Entasekera, hoping to read from you soon

Maria