A few weeks ago, we visited the IMPACT project in Kisumu, Kenya. We were very excited about the opportunity to visit another project sponsored by IMPACT and to visit another East African country. We were also excited about visiting the project at the same time as the IMPACT representative, Rob Tovey from Bethphage in Great Britain. We thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to learn from him and learn about another project.
The Kisumu project works with a vocational school for children with disabilities to find employment options for the graduates of the school. We were very interested in learning about the program because BCC is working on getting the young adults in their centers into vocational school. Hopefully, once the young adults graduate, BCC will begin working on finding employment options in Tanzania.
We met Rob in the Nairobi airport and we had the same flight to Kisumu. The project director picked us up from the airport and took us to the Deacon department. The Kisumu project is similar to the Moshi project in the sense that it works with the Church Deacon department. After the meeting we went to our hotel, Sunset Hotel (which had a beautiful view of Lake Victoria).
We spent the next four days visiting the graduates in Kisumu, graduates in rural areas, the vocational school, and witnessing the signing the new Memorandum of Understanding (pictured below).
One of our favorite parts of the Kisumu project is the advocacy groups. The project works with graduates and individuals with disabilities in the Kisumu community to advocate for the rights of individuals with disabilities, and work as a cooperative to sell their goods and services. The individuals pictured are leaders of an advocacy group called Taweza.
Another program that we like is the home building program. This program is planned to happen in the next 3 years. The idea is to build homes for the graduates on their parent’s land so that they can be independent, but still live close to their families and receive the necessary supports.
Visiting the graduates was our favorite part of the trip. It was amazing to see them in the workplace. Some were raising chickens to sell in the market; some were growing trees to sell; some were making crafts out of string and cloth; and one young man was making many items, such as chairs, clothes pins, and tools, out of metal and wood. The graduates are very talented and they gave us many ideas to take back to BCC in Moshi, Tanzania.
The last two pictures are of a rainstorm that occurred while we were visiting come of the graduates in the rural areas. We were driving on a mud road with two deep ditches on both sides of the road. The van was less than an inch from falling in the ditch and making us stranded about 3 hours outside of Kisumu. Thankfully, locals helped us push the van to safety. It was a pretty memorable situation, especially on Thanksgiving!
Overall, our visit to Kisumu was amazing. The program was very good and it was wonderful to have an opportunity to visit another program and learn from Rob. We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to visit.