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.
Help change the lifes of people with mental illnesses
In 2019, St. Martin CSA has stared a project to support people with mental illnesses. accompanied by a fundraising campaign. The approach of a community-based mental health care system has proven that it can restore the dignity of affected people and give them an improved perspective in life. Hence, the Local Mental Health Fundraising Committee had decided to also undertake mobilization activities this year. Listen to the committee's secretary, Cecilia Ndegwa.
World Mental Health Day 2020
On October 10 every year the World Mental Health Day takes place. This year it runs under the theme "Greater Investment - Greater Access". St.Martin CSA is joining this effort to improve access to mental health service through an increased investment of resources and consideration. Everywhere for everyone.
The untold stories
|The annual report 2019-2020 is now available. It talks about the activities of the organisation and their achievements in the reporting period. But it also acknowledges all the untold stories where people supported each other following the spirit of St. Martin CSA, knowing or unknowingly. The current annual report can only represent a small example of these stories and express our gratitude for all the small and big contributions.|
Wash your hands!
We are committed to continuing securing our communities from COVID-19, especially in the poor neighbourhoods. For this reason, we joined hands with L'Arche Kenya, Talitha Kum Children's Home, Fondazione Fontana Onlus and Fondation Assistance Internationale in installing hand-washing facilities for public use. Thanks to the County Government of Laikipia, these tanks are always refilled with water. Kindly make use of these facilities. Wash your hands frequently so that together we control the spread of COVID-19.
The village of the priest
Mubia village. is populated by Turukanas, a minority within Laikipia county. The remote village is particularly vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic as economic opportunities are few. Therefore, the Emergency Relief Programme of St. Martin took a special effort to support it.
Struggling with the pandemic
The restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus have disrupted many lives. Especially people who are vulnerable and already facing many problems found themselves in peril very quickly. For example, Janet and her mother, who were evicted from their house, or Daniel, who at the age of 18 had to take charge of his family, or Margaret and her 13 grandchildren. The Stawisha Jamii - Emergency Response Project (ERP) of St. Martin CSA reaches out to help these people.