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Why to Kenya?

Click to enlargeWell, because there was a job opening there ... Seriously, a stay abroad was always an option for me and Africa as a destination came first. The East African country of Kenya is about 50 times larger than Switzerland and has almost 50 million inhabitants. I will go to Nyahururu, a small town with about 50000 inhabitants north-west of the capital Nairobi. The town is located in the eastern Rift Valley on 2300m at the foot of Mount Kenya - ideal for an Alpine boy and hobby geologist like me.

What are the two organisations doing?

St. Martin CSA advocates for several marginalised social groups, coming from four areas:

  • persons with disabilities
  • children in need
  • addiction and HIV
  • peacebuilding and reconciliation

Click to enlargeSt Martin CSA takes a somewhat unfamiliar approach by not working directly with the target groups of its four areas but concentrating on the members of the communities in which the disadvantaged people live. St. Martin is looking for community members with talents and resources, large and small, who are willing to share them with the disadvantaged people in their immediate surroundings. St. Martin is convinced that sustainable solutions for disadvantaged groups can only be found within the community. 

An example: A school in the region cares specifically for children with polio. The school administration had difficulty finding enough funds to support the school and caregivers. Instead of finding a (possibly foreign) donor, St. Martin sensitized the churches around the school and called for donations (money, goods or labor). The appeal was effective, the school was able to continue its operations, is now more firmly rooted in the community, and does not depend on a single donor.

Another of St. Martin's principles is that in addition to the solidarity and potential of the communities is also believes that those affected in the various target groups themselves have hidden talents and skills that are often covered due to personal circumstances. It is important to discover these and make their value visible to those affected people and the community as a whole.

Click to enlargeL’Arche Kenya is specifically committed to mentally disabled people who are often simply locked away in Kenya. With the principles of St. Martin CSA, which prompted the creation of L'Arche, the organisation aims to change awareness and create opportunities for those affected to lead a free and fulfilling life and contribute to society through their possibilities. L'Arche operates two residential homes and several workshops for mentally handicapped people. The workshops are also open to other socially disadvantaged groups. The focus is on the coexistence of the disabled and non-disabled, in the spirit of L'Arche International, where more than 130 such institutions have come together. In addition, L'Arche offers daycare in the residential homes.

Three years are a long time…

Yes and no. I'll miss a lot of birthdays, parties and family events, I know that. On the other hand, I think the three years will be over very quickly. COMUNDO says it will take a year to settle in and understand the local conditions to the extent that you can contribute something with your work. In the third year, you have to think about how and to whom you hand over your tasks. So the middle year remains to work "undisturbed". My work with the two organisations will be to support them in their communication activities. Both want to make their activities known to a wider audience, even outside the region where they are situated. And above all, they want to learn to do it themselves. This is also an important motivation for me: I think that I can best pass on my knowledge and experience in this context, and thus can make a direct and immediate contribution to solidarity. At the same time, I hope and expect that I can learn a lot myself - about the country and people there but also about myself.

I’m looking forward to a great time and will regualarly report in this way.

With kind regards,


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