Community - a Powerful Force
In 2019, St. Martin CSA started a 3-year fundraising campaign for its community-based mental health care project. Despite the pandemic in 2020, the campaign was continued and surpassed the results of the previous year: KES 3.1 million could be raised to help support people with mental illnesses. We thank the communities in and around Nyahururu for their willingness and commitment in caring for the needy persons in their midst.
Voices in Mental Health
In 2018, St. Martin CSA rolled out a pilot community-based mental health project “Making the Invisible Visible.” The project brought out that dignity and sanctity of life can be found in people with mental illness as in every other person. But the sacredness in people with mental illness is often hidden by their illness and cause them much suffering. Over 90% of the people we encountered were subjected to unhygienic and inhuman living conditions, neglect and degrading treatment practices at home and in the community. This article is by no means a response to mental illness but presents some perspectives from the field on mental health. I hope it will trigger a more sincere and frank dialogue on the different voices in the field of mental illness.
Working in a COVID 19 environment
COVID 19 has impacted on our capacity to deliver services in many ways. We partner with communities through volunteers to reach out to vulnerable people. Communities come together to raise funds for supporting a person with mental illness to get quality health care or a needy child to access quality education, for putting up a house for a homeless person, or for organizing thanksgiving services to celebrate the community’s solidarity. Under COVID 19 these gatherings are not possible anymore which has put our abilities to effectively engage our communities at risk.
The recovery of Moses
The family of 49-year-old Moses Mwaniki realized that all was not well with him soon after he completed his secondary school education in 1992. While working together with his father mending a broken fence in their term, he suddenly became hostile and violent when he was asked to replace one of the posts. After that, he attempted to commit suicide by drowning himself in a river. This situation left his family at a loss. They could not understand his behaviour as there had been no prior warning. All along he appeared just like any other youth, with a bright future ahead of him.
The many faces of gender-based violence
lt is the dream of every mother to raise her children in a safe, caring and loving environment. However, this dream is cut short for many mothers by escalating cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in Kenya. GBV is the most extreme expression of unequal gender relations in society, and a violation of human rights, as well a major hindrance of the achievement of gender equality. lt dents the dignity, health and personal security of its victims as well as survivors. lt is equally detrimental to the development of the society in general leading to a negative effect on the economy of states in the long run.
Purity is one of the thousands of women who undergo violence in Kenya. She is a mother of 3 children and was happily married before her last child was born.