CAPTAIN CLAUDIO CANTON AND CAPTAIN ALEX NICOLETTI
VISIT AT LIFOG CENTRE UTANGE.
On 2nd April 2009,Captain Claudio, Captain Alex, Rebecca, Chantal, Alessandra, Elizabeth, Matteo and other friends visited Utange Lifog centre. They had an opportunity to be with the villagers for one week.
During their stay with the villagers, many issues pertaining to the development of the centre were highlighted. The main areas tackled were:
1. The logo of the LIFOG organization.
2. school compound- location of
• Flower beds.
• Vegetable /fruits gardens.
• Football, netball, and volleyball pitches
• garbage collection
• Prevention using disinfectants
4. Census of the area bordering LIFOG Centre.
5. Common ailments /diseases affecting the villagers.
6. Sensitize community members on the importance of growing food crops i.e.
Fruits and vegetables.
7. Sensitize villagers on the importance of sharing property/helping one another.
8. Requirements for:
• Cow project
• Goat project
9. Water projects:
• CPP concrete pedal pump.
• Water pan.
• Rainwater harvesting
10. Uses of water –irrigation
- Domestic use
11. Water treatment - the SODIS method
12. Costs for :–
• Building classrooms.
• Furniture- desks, cupboards, teachers’ tables, chairs
13. Ways of encouraging student’s creativity through involvement in:
• art drawing
14. Provision of sponsorship to a medical students at the university.
15. Conditions for the sponsorship.
16. Micro-credit (Grameen Bank method)
17. Furaha Kaingu Mwatzeka.
1. The logo of the LIFOG organization
It was agreed to use the logo designed by Captain Claudio for the following reason.
It is simple
Ideas and facts can easily be explained
2. School compound
We agreed that the school compound should be clearly marked and divided into sections for:
a. Flower beds
d. Vegetable/ fruits gardens
e. Football, netball, volleyball pitches.
Here we suggested that the size of the whole compound should be known.
It is then to be subdivided such that each of the above items is allocated a place depending on the available land. Decoration of paths leading to classrooms can be done using flowers, murram- though we feel that cement slabs can be most effective as during the rainy season, the whole area becomes muddy. Pupils find it difficult to move on muddy ground which is slippery. We agreed to identify and mark out various areas for the above items.
The students, teachers and the villagers should be sensitized about hygiene. The school compound should be clean- free from nylon papers and plastic bags. Garbage collection should be taken serious by the school administration. Teachers should be reminded of the need to see that their areas of work classrooms, compound are clean. Children should wear clean clothes, shoes and physical inspection of their bodies should be done daily.
Their parents should be asked to ensure they take great care to their children with regard to washing them, cutting nails short, remove jiggers from toes, cleaning the wounds using disinfectants etc. Villagers should be sensitized on the importance of good hygiene. Areas around their houses should be clean. Grass should be kept short all the time. Water in ponds, tins, should be drained out to stop breeding ground for mosquitoes. Villagers should be part and parcel of the system giving good hygiene first priority. We believe it is possible to maintain cleanliness even in very poor economic situations. Simple mud houses can be plastered and white washed so that mosquitoes, bedbugs etc cannot find places to hide in cracked muddy walls.
It is important to establish the population of the area. In planning for development i.e. school, it is important to know the number of the people in the area. We need to have interpersonal interaction with the natives-hence create a more cohesive relationship. They should support the project to make it successful.
There are a number of diseases affecting the villagers. It is a belief by many villagers that some of the ailments are genetically inherited and so are ingrained into their personality .This makes them to believe that such diseases are part of their normal life.
There is also a belief in witchcraft and immoral acts which may result to a disease. Here culture plays a major role in the peoples way of life .We have identified some of the most common diseases in this area. We may also trace the causes of these diseases:
4. Skin disease-rashes ,boils, wounds
Farmers need to be sensitized on the importance of growing crops i.e fruits, vegetables .Fruits and vegetables are very nutritious and preventive to so many diseases. Villagers are to develop a habit of taking a balanced diet using just cheap and easily available foods. Fruits such as mangoes and oranges are common in the village.
7. SHARING PROPERTY
All the people in the world are related to one another through Adam and Eve .We are of the same blood and by the same Creator. All things are possible through love.
God loved us that’s why He created us. He created us to love and serve him.
We cannot love and serve God if we don’t love each other. We can only practice love through sharing our property and helping one another. No man is an island. People depend on one another because we don’t have the same talents.
Sharing and helping one another is the fundamental principal in life.
The villagers should be encouraged to love and help one another through a living example from LIFOG Family members.
There are lots of blessing in sharing and helping those in need. It is only through helping one another when we can expect change in our social and spiritual life.
8. DAIRY COW /GOATS PROJECT
This is a very important project which can bring great changes in the health of the students. It will also promote socio - economic position of the villagers.
However it needs proper planning and preparations before keeping the animals.
The animals need good shelter, feeds, feeders and regular checkups by the veterinary officer. A shelter for the cow has already been constructed. Feeding troughs are also in place. We are now preparing a place for growing nappier grass.
The goats will also need a separate shelter which will be enclosed all round the wall. The floor will also need to be cemented as is the case with the cage for the cow.
9. WATER PROJECTS
Water is life - hence the development of Utange depends on the availability of this very important commodity. The two wells already constructed in the village provide water for domestic use. However, irrigation using water from these wells has not been successful due to low water level in the well and high maintenance cost of the water pumps.
CPP- concrete pedal pump
This is a foot driven irrigation pump which draws water up to a depth of 8.5m It is only ideal in areas where the water table lies between 2 to 5 meters and is above 5 meters during more than 10 months of the year. To go along with this project, excavation of a water reservoir (water pan) which collects water during the rainy season can be very useful. This can be a solution for small scale irrigation of vegetable gardens, crop fields and domestic use.
10. USES OF WATER
Water has many uses. It can be used for irrigation where vegetables and fruits can be grown. It can also be used for domestic purposes such as bathing, washing and drinking.
11. WATER TREATMENT - The SODIS method.
This is a water treatment process used at household level. Water is filled into plastic bottles and exposed to the full sunlight for 6 hours. During the exposure the UV-A radiation (wavelength 320-400nm) of the sunlight destroys the pathogens. A synergy of UV-A and temperature occurs if the water temperature rises above 45°c.
Limitations of SODIS
- It requires relatively clear water( turbidity less than 30 MTU).
- Not possible to treat large volumes of water.
- It requires suitable climate and weather condition i.e. 6 hours under bright sunlight.
PET bottles are not easily available.
12. COSTS FOR A CLASSROOM
NB. Prices of items never remain constant-but these figures are the most recent from the 2nd classroom.
1. Blocks kshs.50,000
2. Coral rock kshs.36,000
3. Cement kshs.83,815
4. Sand kshs.45,000
5. Quarry dust/ballast kshs.30,400
6. Timber kshs.51,540
7. Windows kshs.14,300
8. Iron sheets/nails kshs.52,020
9. Labour charge kshs.71,000
10. Vents kshs.8,325
11. Door kshs.7,300
12. Other expenses kshs.37,310
Other requirements for the classroom are:-
• A cupboard kshs.13,096
• 20 pcs. desks@1500 kshs.30,000
• Teacher’s table kshs.4,000
• Chair kshs.2,500
• Paints kshs.9,600
13. WAYS OF ENCOURAGING STUDENTS CREATIVITY
Children need to be involved in practical activity that may enhance their creativity in various fields of study. Modeling, carving and weaving are very important. A lot of materials are needed for use by the children. The teachers and children should be encouraged to collect local materials that can be obtained in their areas of residence. We appreciate the efforts made by all our friends from Air Italy who visit the school. They bring a lot of writing equipment such as pens, pencils, books, toys, colored pencils etc. However, a lot of some other items can be obtained locally such as:-
• Clay, charcoal, ashes
• Pieces of wood
• Discarded plastic bottles, news papers
• Raffia, strings, thread, pieces of clothes etc.
Teachers should be advised to create curiosity corners, nature corners and shop corners in their classrooms. We are very optimistic that our school will be the best in the area in terms of academic excellence. The school has become very popular and many students from other schools are joining our school in large numbers.
14. SPONSORSHIP TO A MEDICAL STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY.
This is an excellent idea which we highly welcome. It is a great step forward towards promoting the health standards of our community through a professional health worker/ doctor who is from the village. We have considered the conditions for this sponsorship seriously bearing in mind the expenses involved in the entire course and the possibility for such person to come back to the village and offer himself/ herself for the service of the poor villagers. We are looking at the whole idea as a trial and error game. This is because we cannot be sure whether the chosen candidate for the course will meet the condition of this offer after completion of the course. However we have come up with strong points as follows.
• The programme should be taken as a long term project hence great care should be taken in choosing the student for the course to be sure that we get the right person who will be willing to serve the community.
• If the student was sponsored from nursery or primary level, such a person is likely to come back and work for the community as LIFOG will have been responsible for his education from the beginning.
• An aspect of religion (in our case Christianity) for the chosen candidate is very important if we are to expect him to come back and serve the poor villagers.
• The child ought to have been brought up in Christian ideals with proven participation in church activities.
• The chosen candidate should be bright in class, well behaved and from a stable family background not involved in alcoholism and immoral acts.
15. CONDITIONS FOR THE SPONSORSHIP
The chosen student for the course should be willing to come back to the village and serve the villagers at least twice a week. This will promote the health standards of the villagers .
We are studying the book of professor Mohammad Yunus of Grameen Bank very keenly and we shall soon come up with a procedure to adopt his principals at our village and even in other villages in Utange .
17. FURAHA KAINGU MWATSEKA
This is a boy aged 17 years. He is born from a family of five children. His father died four years ago. His mother is jobless. The boy has been a sickling suffering from recurring boils. On 3rd April 2009, Capt. Claudio, Capt. Alex and friends visited LIFOG CENTRE. On seeing the visitors, the mother approached John Katana Lewa, the Executive Director of LIFOG and requested him to explain the problem to Captain Claudio and Captain Alex who are coordinating the community projects in Utange and they decided to go and see the boy.
The boy had two wounds on his right thigh which were very deep. When the lower part of the thigh was squeezed, pus could be seen coming out from his wound on the upper thigh .The boy was in great pain and was pleading for the mercy of the visitors to assist him.
On 4th April ,the boy was taken to hospital in town and after examination by the doctor he was admitted and was to undergo surgery the next day .The boy stayed in the hospital for one week during which he was well attended by the doctors. He was discharged on 14th April 2009 after payment of a hospital bill totaling to ksh 91,645/=
The boy is now at home recovering from the wound. He goes for check ups and dressing after every two days.
This is another great act by Capt.Claudio, Capt.Alex and all the friends of Utange to the villagers. We owe them great respect for what they are doing for our community. May the almighty God bless them and grant them good life.
Claudio Canton/Andrea Cavallero/Angelica Cavallero
Angelica C. mob.: +39 3358487866
Claudio C. mob.: +974 55681690
Andrea C. mob.: +39 3355643620
John Lewa mob.: +254 735387682
"Se pensi di essere troppo piccolo per fare la differenza, prova a dormire con una zanzara" (antico proverbio africano)
Il proverbio in alto a destra è così tradotto:
"gli uomini comuni parlano, gli uomini onorevoli agiscono"