Meru Update 13th December 2017

Shirley reports on Conference call 13th December

In attendance: Marti – International Programme Manager, & Amanjit – Product Officer,


GIRLS ARP (Alternative rite of passage)

  • CIFORD have ran the ARP and boys forum last week
  • 92 girls went through the ARP and we expected only 60! After the August ARP we worked with CIFORD to try and improve the attendance numbers by looking at how they approach and recruit local girls through schools or local women’s groups.
  • The new approach worked really well with 109 girls turning up and unfortunately some of them had to be turned away due to capacity.
  • The 92 who took part stayed for a week and we are just waiting for the surveys to come back so we can assess the impact of the week.
  • It seemed to have went really well with positive feedback and the ARP making the local news


  • Boys ARP only 3 boys showed up which is a shame (we planned for 60).
  • The reason for this seems to be because there is a stigma with hosting the boys and girls seminars together.
  • There was a bit of male chauvinism that got in the way with people making fun of the boys saying they were going to the girls seminar not the boys.
  • We will be rethinking the approach and recruitment strategy for the boys forum as initial thoughts that running them side by side would work – seems to be the wrong approach.
  • We will work with CIFORD to find a new way to engage the boys in the community as a bit more work needs doing to get them on board with the seminars.
  • We’re looking at the potential for hosting/rescheduling the boys session for the April holidays next year (not sure if this will be when the study tour is).


  • Quotations have been received for the boreholes but some answers still needed for things like additional pumps and the location of the borehole and if there will be more than 1.
  • We want to make sure we look into where the borehole will have the most effect; the conversations have been that it may be further into the rural community where some of the women’s groups will be served or at the CIFORD centre where it could also serve a large number of women – we need to decide which one will have the biggest impact and be maintained and managed in the best way.
  • The quotes are coming in at around £15,000 for one borehole – we want to try and get this down a little bit.
  • We will update you further soon!


  • Marti on maternity leave as of this week and will be back hopefully in mid-March.
  • Amanjit still main point of contact and will continue to update you.

Shirley Whiteway – Meru Garden Project Region Ambassador