Celebrating 2016 and embracing 2017
New Year message from our CEO, Martin Ballantyne
The big news for 2017 is the announcement of our new name – Brighter Communities Worldwide.
We’re looking forward to an exciting year ahead as working together to build strong communities, creating brighter futures within a better world.
As we look forward to the year ahead, let’s look back at some of our achievements in 2016:
• 198 Schools are now participating in the Healthy Schools Programme.
• 41 Schools are now participating in the Girls for Girls Programme.
• We hosted the National Menstrual Hygiene Day for Kenya in May where 2,500 people participated from across Kenya.
• Over 2,000 girls graduated by Christmas from the Alternative Rites Programme.
• A new maternal health shelter opened in Londiani in July, and our maternal health continued.
• The Nduro Water Project officially opened in November, a gravity scheme bringing water to 8,000 people.
• More than 400 smokeless stoves were installed in households across the region, resulting in a 16% reduction in respiratory illnesses due to the smokeless stoves.
• Our partnership with the Ministry of Health continues, and during the year 4 new Community Units (each with 1,000 households) were put in place. These units are contributing significantly to the health of the community.
• As part of our Sustainable Trekking project, the community campsite is almost complete with some groups staying throughout the year.
• Our economic empowerment programme continues, with work on a new business course manual and the development of a business network in Londiani.
• Lifeskills continued with 10 new courses in 2016 and 3 Remote Emergency Care courses were run delivering much needed skills to community members.
• Outreach Clinics and Field Days continued enabling health services to reach remote communities.
• Our Education Bursary Scheme continued with 66 new bursaries in 2016, bringing the total students supported by this scheme to 2,331.
• Our overseas volunteers programme saw 23 volunteers travel to Kenya in 2016 to join our programmes and share their skills and talents. Our Harambee volunteer project this year will be in November.
• 2016 was the first year we had 4 medical student volunteers from NUI Galway on placement in Londiani where they spent 5 weeks – their experience included doing clinical placements in Londiani and Kericho hosptials and clinics; Outreach Clinics; Essential Obstetric and Neo-natal Care Lifeskills; and immersing themselves in our Community Health programmes. We’re looking forward to welcoming another team of students to Kenya in May.
• We welcomed 4 teachers from Kenya to Ireland in April for a week long visit as part of our Schools network with support from Irish Aid WorldWise Global Schools. We look forward to welcoming Irish teachers in Kenya on a reciprocal visit in February this year.
• We began a pilot project in Uganda – ‘Bringing health to communities’. It is focused on sharing our model of a healthy/homestead village with four villages in this community. We will take our learnings and experience to Uganda, and work in partnership to improve the health in this community.
“A world where strong, healthy communities can thrive, building sustainable livelihoods and brighter futures.”
We have a busy year ahead continuing to work in partnership with communities to deliver programmes that enrich their lives and help create better futures.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all most sincerely for your continued support.
We look forward to our journey ahead together, and wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.