Meru Update 15th November

Agricultural Training:

  • The rains have come! There has been a lot of rain in Meru which is good because the water tanks that were recently distributed have been filled and the crops have ample water to grow!
  • CIFORD has also started distributing tools/equipment for the women such as; forked jembe (pitchforks), seeds, rakes, wheelbarrows and spades.
  • The women are also being trained in how to recycle farm materials to make compost to use for their gardens.
  • They have also spent time weeding their gardens – as they have sprouted due to the rain.
  • The women are still growing/planting indigenous crops such as maize beans, pigeon peas (which were at conference!), spiderweed etc.

Boys Forum

  • The first boys forum is due to take place on 8th December and it will run alongside an ARP (Alternative rite of passage) session for the girls.
  • CIFORD are aiming to get 60 boys to attend the forum and 60 girls for the ARP and both groups will graduate together. They are going to be sending out invitations soon.
  • The boys forum will cover topics such as drug use, the effects of dropping out of school and educating boys on the dangers of FGM. This is so they have a better understanding of why the girls take part in the ARP and how it can effect them in later life.
  • CIFORD is hoping that by running both sessions alongside one another it will strengthen the overall impact and engage the local community to discuss these issues openly.

Women’s nutritional training:

  • CIFORD ran a small Women’s Nutritional workshop to gain knowledge about the needs of new and young mothers. This was a trial for the Mother’s Nutritional Training that is planned for June.
  • This session was very successful with the women who attended saying it was eye-opening and they were thankful for the opportunity.
  • Margaret then brought this information to Nairobi to discuss with Marti – they have been planning the early stages of the Mother’s Nutritional Training today and will share information soon.
  • The sessions would be targeted at adolescent mothers, however, with there being a lot of stigma in Meru around teen pregnancy, lots of these women and girls are inaccessible and therefore, CIFORD will also be working with young mothers who already have children. Some of the topics that the training will cover are things like:
    • Health education (for both baby and mother)
    • Nutrition
    • Auto-sanitation

Shirley Whiteway – Meru Garden Project Region Ambassador