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East African Center Newsletter

In This Issue
Baraza for Kenya in NYC
EAC wins grant in Kenya!
OLPC Update
Adult Education expands and grows
Executive Director visits Kenya
Speed Dating for the Socially Conscious
A word from volunteer Ben Carson
In the first half of 2009:
675 children and
447 women were treated at our clinic
12,176 people in 3,180 homes were visited by our Community Health Workers
334 women received pre or post natal services at our clinic
658 students ages 9-14yrs and 827 adults received HIV/AIDS education
208 children received standard childhood immunizations
239 students received a quality education at our Vutakaka Junior School (Grades K-6)
95 adults are attending adult education class
More than 400 children received free after-school tutoring
Our programs and services continue to expand with your support!


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September 2009
Dear EAC Supporters,
I hope you all have had a productive and enjoyable summer!  We at the East African Center have been busy and I hope you will take a few minutes out of your hectic schedules to catch up on the exciting new developments within the organization.
Our staff, students, patients and program participants in Takaungu are thriving.  The community has come together with a goal to increase the level of fundraising that occurs within the village.  A parent's group has formed to help bring in funding and many within the Vutakaka community have begun to brainstorm future income generating activities.  Some have suggested a copy center and others a spinach farm!  It has been incredible to see the community we serve come together and proactively take ownership of the center's programs in this way!  
The US side of operations continues to move forward at a very impressive pace.  Both coasts have been alive with fundraising activities!  Whether it be increasing the number of sponsors for our students, successful speed dating events, or planning our upcoming Baraza in New York- our US staff, board, interns, and volunteers have all helped to make this summer one for the record books!   

YOU ARE INVITED: To a Baraza for Kenya in NYC


 A Baraza for Kenya 
  *Baraza: A Swahili gathering held to raise awareness and share collective wisdom. A baraza is a social affair where current events are discussed, knowledge is built, and relationships forged.
Please join us for a night dedicated to sharing knowledge & raising awareness.

chws at work

Friday, November 13, 2009
7:00pm ~ 9:00 pm
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY

Program will include:
Presentations by the Directors of the East African Center
Special Guest Speaker
Cocktails and Light Food


$75 general admission . $35 students: purchased before Oct. 20th 
$90 general admission . $50 students: purchased at a later date

To find out more or to purchase tickets please visit our website.

EAC is awarded grant by Kenyan National AIDS Control Council!

 chws at work
The EAC has recently been awarded a grant from the Kenyan National AIDS Control Council (NACC).  The grant will provide necessary training and supplies for CHWs to test, council, and treat individuals with HIV/AIDS in their villages and homes. The grant also provides for the surveying of the furthest area of the Takaungu sub-location, called Mavunei.
Through the fulfillment of this grant and the expansion of the CHW program, our services will be realigned to meet Kenyan Ministry standards and to work in conjunction with the public CHW program instead of as a parallel service. This is just one way that the EAC is partnering with and expanding the capacity of public systems.
This grant marks the largest award the organization has been given in Kenya. Head Community Health Worker, Mohammed Said, is to be congratulated on his leadership and initiative in making this achievement possible. 

OLPC program up and running at school!

The introduction of  XO Boys
the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child), XO computers to Vutakaka Junior School has been a success! 
The students have already made huge leaps in terms of their technological abilities and the teachers are working hard to integrate the computers into their daily lesson plans.
For the majority of our students, the introduction of these 100 laptops, marked their first encounter with a computer. Now just a few months later, the children can create original music, word process, create animations, take video, and more!
To learn more about this groundbreaking program and to hear directly from our interns and staff check out the OLPC blog!


Adult Education classes receive record number of students!

 Adult EdAt the beginning of the summer, Vutakaka held a community meeting led by the Ministry of Adult Education and local community leaders to gauge the level of interest in an expanded adult education program at our school.  Given the high turn out at this event, we were able to move forward and work with the Ministry to assign a full-time specially trained teacher who could lead a class of adults with varying education levels.
After heavily promoting the start of our classes with the help of our Community Health Workers and by posting signs throughout the community, we began classes on Wednesday, July 1 where we held an orientation and registration session.  Classes officially began on Monday, July 6.  Within one week, we had registered a total of 100+ students of varying levels!  Students are learning reading, writing, and basic math; and a significant number are preparing for their primary school equivalency exam.
As of last count, we have 3 full classrooms and 130 students registered in this growing program!

Executive Director visits Kenya for site audit.

111Executive Director, Emma Nierman, spent the summer in Takaungu completing an evaluation and audit of all Kenyan staff, programs, and administrative practices. 
"I was thoroughly impressed with the growth of our programs in the year since I had been in the village," Emma reports.  "The school is ranked highest in the district, the clinic is receiving a record number of patients, and our office in Kilifi has become a hub for service and activity."
While in the village Emma worked closely with in- country Program Director, Kate Crowley, interviewed each member of the staff, completed a full review of all financial practices, led strategic planning meetings for both the Health and Education departments, attended the school's closing day, met with officials from the Kenyan government regarding future opportunities for partnership, recruited new membership for the Kenyan Board of Directors and more!    
For any questions about the current status of our programs or for a copy of Emma's report on the organization, please feel free to email or call us anytime. 


The EAC Presents Speed Dating for the Socially Conscious:

The first Speed Dating for the Socially Conscious event in New York was a great success! The evening was full of talking and laughter. We had 16 daters, 11 matches and a lot of great feedback! The lucky winners of the raffle drawings walked away with an awesome tie from Charles Tyrwhitt, a $25 gift certificate to Bar Great Harry and a laptop bag made by one of the women in the sewing co-op in Takaungu!

The next speed dating event is scheduled for Tuesday, October 13 at 8pm at Bar Great Harry in Brooklyn! Spread the word to your friends in New York or come out and join us yourself! Details about the event and how to register.

A word from intern Ben Carson:

Ben I've had the privilege to spend the last couple weeks in Takaungu working with East African Center. During the community health outreaches, I was able to visit many of the schools in the surrounding villages. I noticed a stark contrast between the student body at Vutakaka and all of the other schools I visited. Not only were the students friendly, outgoing, and respectful, they also had the best hygiene and the least amount of communicable diseases.
With the help of some Community Health Workers, I was able to complete a health screening for all 230 students at Vutakaka. The amount of students in need of follow up treatment was very low, but the most common cases were upper respiratory infections, common colds, rashes, and small scrapes from recess. These annual health screenings coupled with free healthcare at the nearby clinic are ensuring that children spend less time at home with sickness and more time learning in the classroom. 
Ben Carson
University of Washington School of Nursing


Thank you for staying connected to the EAC and the people of Takaungu! We would love to hear from you! How did you come to know the EAC? What would like to hear from us or see us do?

Thank you for your interest and support!
Emma Nierman