Project peacock to boost students knowledge of and interest in civic engagement



July 28, marked the end to 2016 Harvard summer program. The six weeks intensive program in Kisumu involved testing the student’s innovations and team design, in fostering transformative and sustainable healthcare and developments in Africa.

A team of three Harvard Summer School students and KMET's Governance department worked on a project that aimed at increasing civic engagement amongst young people. 

Debby Otambo, the head of the Governance department, validated this a worthy goal. Her work with adult citizens in Community Conversations citizen forums had led her to the belief that educating young people about positive government interaction is greatly needed. 

With that fact in mind, a first component of the project emerged quickly; an in-class civic engagement supplement, for incorporation into secondary school Life Skills classes. The team developed a supplement that highlights why citizens should actively voice their opinions to their government, and what avenues the 2010 Constitution and the 2015 Kisumu County Public Participation Act provide them to do so. 

The other, second component of the project developed when Loyola St. Ignatius Magadi Secondary School in Manyatta joined the partnership. A consultatory meeting with the school's student government led to the idea of a political discussion/debate and community action club. The representatives expressed fondness for the political debates they already have in class, and desire for a designated space for more of them. 

The project became clearer through much input and guidance from Magadi's history teacher, George Okatch who showed interest from the beginning for such a project at his school. According to Mr. Okatch, Kenyan citizens currently are like ostriches with their heads in the sand, avoiding interaction with their government as much as possible.

“Kenyans must be transformed to another bird; the peacock, a creature who is bold and who never shies away from expressing its opinions.” Mr Okatch said.

Mr. Okatch therefore wanted to help position his students to be the citizen version of a peacock that is civically engaged and vocal member of their community. 

Suddenly, the youth civic engagement project had a name and mascot: Project Peacock which has taken flight in the past three weeks.  

The three Harvard students, Yaelle Shaked, Lizzy Thomas and April Wang, KMET Governance staff, founding student members of Magadi's Peacock club and Mr. Okatch conducted a series of after-school and weekend meetings.

The first few meetings featured sensitization of the Magadi students on the civic engagement supplement material, as well as discussion about what clubs already existed at Magadi, and how they ran.

Subsequent meetings featured the club actually in action, with students walking through a five-step framework which involved Issue discussion, Issue prioritization, Solution discussion, Solution prioritization and Action execution to get from "how your community is now" to "how you want it to be." 

Patricia Nudi, of KMET's Advocacy department, pointed out that the process was not complete, or not as complete as it could be until the students publicize the action execution process.

“After performing a collective action in the action execution step by organization of a community clean up, lobbying their ward administrator for improved roads in their area, putting on a trade fair that brings together students from many areas of the country, the process needs to be publicized ” said Patricia.

The idea of a Project Peacock website and a club Facebook page was then born, and the Communications department at KMET got involved. The enthusiasm and hard work from all involved with Magadi's club reinforces an initial goal of Project Peacock; to have it implemented at other Kisumu secondary schools. KMET plans then to continue its work with Magadi and expand Project Peacock beyond.

KMET ranked best in quality health indicators in CtG Consortium

KMET has emerged the best organization in providing quality family planning services out of seven other organizations in the Planned Parenthood Global (PPG) Closing the Gap (CtG) consortium in Kenya.

Based on the performance, PPG will sponsor KMET to present an abstract at the Reproductive Health Network Conference slated for September 2016 in Mombasa. This was announced during the 2016 consortium quarterly performance review meeting that was held in Kisumu County.

KMET registered the best indicators in provision of quality reproductive healthcare that includes; ratio of IUCDs to Implants, ratio of post-partum contraception to post-procedure contraception, community referrals verses successful referrals and the ratio of Safe abortion to post abortion care services. The indicators were for a period of three months.

Addressing partners in the meeting, Sam Owoko, Programs Manager, KMET attributed the results to a two-week rapid result initiative (RRI) strategy that earmarked health facilities that were performing poorly and a multispectral approach was deployed to bridge the gaps in service delivery.

“We stepped up mobilization efforts by youth peer providers and community health volunteers and in some facilities we had to engage extra health providers to offer services during facility in reaches,” he explained.

“Working closely with sub-county reproductive health coordinators was instrumental in bolstering community referrals to our health facilities while engaging county health records officers helped us to audit and consolidate accurate data at the facilities,” added Mr. Owoko.

CtG purposes to increase awareness of, access to, and use of quality family planning and comprehensive abortion care (CAC) services in high-need communities and has been operational since 2015 in Southwest Kenya.   Planned Parenthood Global is the international division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and has been operating in Africa for more than 40 years.

KMET releases results of PAC study at Kisumu County Hospital

July 19 2016.
KMET has released results of a Post Abortion Care (PAC) study in a meeting held with key stakeholders from Kisumu County Hospital and the county Reproductive Health office at the facility hall.

The three year clinically based study was carried out in Kisumu County Hospital in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet and featured different sub-studies. The first is the randomised controlled trial that aimed at determining whether midwives and physicians can perform medical treatment of incomplete abortion equally safe.

The second being follow-up interview conducted to analyse post-abortion contraceptive use among women who have received post-abortion contraception counselling. A qualitative design using in-depth interviews was applied to explore; clients’ perspectives on contraceptive counselling and services.

The study revealed that 96% of patients at Kisumu County Hospital felt safe and were happy with the care they received from midwives and physicians and 95% of the patients would recommend the treatment to a friend while long term contraceptives consumption stood at 14% of PAC patients.

Adoption and inclusion of Misoprostol in the County essential drug list as one of the lifesaving drugs was discussed as one of the key exit plans to ensure continuity of provision of PAC services in the facility.

These were preliminary results from one facility as the study took place in two facilities; Kisumu County Hospital and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Referral and teaching Hospital (JOOTRH) both in Kisumu County. Combined results are due for release in August 2016.

KMET and PfID partners to launch 1Room program


1Room program

KMET in partnership with Partners for International Development (PfID) has launched tablet based system of education that focuses on topics specific to the Kenyan curriculum and with sensitivity to local learning needs and the cultural context.

The program dubbed 1Room will roll out in January 2017 with the aim of providing high quality but low cost secondary education curriculum through open-access digital learning material broadcasted through low-cost tablets in a largely offline environment.

1Room ultimately seeks to launch a large network of private schools and learning centers that accommodate the budgets, schedules and learning needs of the diverse population groups in East Africa who are underserved by the region’s traditional school systems.

In Kenya the program begins in Kisumu by identification and registration of students and recruitment of facilitators from August to December 2016 at KMET offices with a target of twenty student per learning center for the start.

1Room was founded by Michael Beeler, a PhD holder from university of Maschetuschets and currently running as a non-profit initiative under Canadian charity. It is led by a team of students and young professionals headquartered in Boston.