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International Board chair urges communities to value education

Beauty Lukwesa shares her experience during a visit by AAH-I's International Board chair, Dr John Tabayi, and Executive Director, Dr Caroline Kisia, to Mushota, Kawambwa District, Luapula Province, Zambia.

AAH-I International Board Chairman John Tabayi has urged Zambian communities to embrace the value of education.

Dr Tabayi made the call during his visit to areas where AAH Zambia is implementing its projects. “Education is a strong pillar and without it, one cannot aspire to be a better person in the society. Without education we cannot have professionals such as doctors, nurses or even aspire for political leadership,” he argued.

“Success lies in your own hands and that can only come once you acquire education. To parents, encourage your children to go to school and discourage them from getting married at an early age.” He urged parents to invest their time and resources in the education of their children as the benefits of doing so are long-term.

Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the projects AAH Zambia is implementing shared their experiences with  Dr Tabayi and  Dr Kisia.

Beauty Lukwesa, 42, from Mushota in Kawambwa District, narrated how she had benefited from the interventions. “Back in 2013, I had fell ill and my health deteriorated. I thought it was malaria but instead of seeking medical attention from an health centre, I decided to take herbal medicine. My sickness worsened,” she explained.

In 2014, AAH Zambia conducted a mass sensitisation on HIV/AIDS in the area, and the nature of the messages compelled Beauty to go to an health centre where a thorough diagnosis was done on her. She tested for HIV. “It felt like it was the end of the world but continued to go for counselling at the health facility. Through the support of AAH Zambia, I regained my self-esteem and was put on Anti retroviral drugs (ARVs).” 

Beauty said she enjoyed good health and was free to talk about her health status to encourage more people to go for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT).

AAH Zambia's programme has been implementing activities on maternal and child health in partnership with the District Health Management Team, rural health facilities and local community based structures such as Community Action Groups. Programme activities are designed to reduce rates of people living with HIV/AIDS in rural areas and address loss to follow-up of Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS, provide sexual reproductive health services to women and girls and ensure that women who are HIV negative remain so.

Dr Tabayi and Dr Kisia visited Zambia from 6 to 10 June 2016 on a tour to familiarise the incoming International Board chair with AAH Zambia projects.

Cooperative members trained on value addition of livestock products

A section of community members who attended the two-day training on livestock value addition, in Narok town, Kenya.


More than 200 members of three cooperatives from Mara, Narok County underwent training in livestock value addition, recently. There were also about 100 members from three new cooperatives that are being registered.

The two-day workshop took place in Narok town and was facilitated by AAH Kenya in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. Other participants included representatives from Nyongara Slaughter House in Dagoreti, Nairobi; Equity Bank; Kenya Meat Commission (KMC), and Beehive and Mara Cooperative. The aim of the event was to educate farmers on  how they could  add value to products, including, hides, skins and meat.
In his remarks, AAH Kenya’s Country Programme Manager, Dr Kamau Githaiga, urged the cooperatives to support women from their communities to establish and increase their confidence. “I believe that through such initiatives, women can access many benefits such as finance and the revolving fund kitty, which can assist them to set up their own  businesses.”
He added that the organisation is committed to training and empowering community members to improve their breed qualities, while also encouraging them to stop the practice of keeping too many cattle whose value is limited. “We hope that after the exposure visit and this workshop, you will be empowered to start treating, and controlling diseases that affect your livestock, as well as breeding improved cattle.” 

Mr. Isaac Kasaine, an expert in agriculture and livestock keeping, urged the cooperatives to improve production through profitable practices such as cross-breeding and control of diseases such as anthrax, foot and mouth, and lumpy skin disease.
Mr. Orkoyai Ole Sengeny, a member of the Enkera Cooperative from Mararianta, commended AAH Kenya for having a positive impact on the lives of Masaai. “Our lives have improved. We can now afford to educate our children and even take them to health facilities when they are sick,” he said with a grin.
AAH Kenya has been working to transform the lives of communities in Mara. This is through a two-year Mara Enterprise Development Project (MEDP). There has been inculcation of an entrepreneurial mind-set among the community members. The interventions are primarily designed to improve the economic well-being of livestock keepers, women traders and the youth. AAH Kenya also works with farmers with a focus on increasing agricultural productivity and access to markets.

Media breakfast held for Uganda journalists

Remmy Bahati, a reporter with NBS TV, interviews Basilio Okello, during the AAH Uganda media breakfast, held in Kampala, on June 6.

AAH Uganda Country Director, Mr Basilio Okello, has urged the Uganda government and humanitarian organisations operating in Uganda to ensure that displaced people are supported to maintain their dignity and self-reliance as they struggle to adapt to their new environment, and to meet their daily needs.

Mr Basilio was responding to questions from journalists during a media breakfast organised by AAH Uganda on June 6, at Grand Imperial hotel, Kampala, Uganda. He highlighted new models of humanitarian assistance that address both the needs of host communities and refugees.


“These host communities, which are often marginalised and vulnerable, also need support to address their own development needs,” Basilio argued.
The media breakfast was attended by 11 journalists from different media houses, and 10 AAH Uganda offices staff - Kampala, Kyangwali, Adjumani and Karamoja. The breakfast sought to highlight the work of AAH Uganda and other country programmes in Kenya, Zambia, South Sudan and Somalia to the world using the media as an effective channel to reach a wider audience. 
The media house journalists included representatives from broadcast, print, and online channels. In the broadcast industry, NBS TV, KFM Radio, Capital Radio, Radio One, and Dembe FM were represented. In the print category, were newspapers; Daily Monitor, New Vision, and The Observer. While Uganda Radio Network (URN) covered online media.

A similar media breakfast event was held in Kenya and Zambia last year. There are plans to hold the event in the other AAH-I's country programmes.

Explore new humanitarian models to deal with refugees


By Dr Caroline Kisia


The refugee numbers are staggering. And they seem to rise every day. According to the United Nations, there are more than 60 million forcibly displaced persons globally. Of these, about 20 million are refugees, a 24 per cent increase since 2000.


There is an urgent need to come up with mechanisms that not only resolve conflict when it occurs, but also prevent it. This means political solutions. In the meantime, organisations like Action Africa Help International (AAH-I), a regional organisation based in Kenya, are working to support new models of humanitarian assistance that ensure displaced people are able to maintain their dignity and to some degree, become self-reliant.


Read more here:

Cholera: Why Is an Ancient Scourge Still with Us?


It was devastating and catastrophic. More than 30,000 Rwandan refugees died in less than a month in camps in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), after they fled from genocide in their own country. “There were piles of bodies alongside the road in Goma. People suddenly collapsed in front of your Landrover, and you had to swerve very fast to avoid them” recalls Mukesh Kapila who dealt with the UK government’s humanitarian response during the Rwanda crisis.


The deaths were due to cholera 22 years ago, reminding us of the untold suffering of persons in conflict situations. There was a stark need to understand and manage such health emergencies with the urgency that was warranted. There were lessons to be learnt by humanitarian organisations and governments. But they were not, or they have been quickly forgotten. After the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, cholera arrived to sicken 770,000 people – about 7% of the population – and kill over 9,000 in the subsequent six years. This year alone, some 37 Haitians have been dying from cholera each month.


Read more here

Inspiring story ahead of the World Refugee day.