Organization Description

Location: Kisauni Setting: Urban Established: 2000 Staff: 5

 

Subject Areas

Micro-enterprise: Small Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management, Marketing, Strategic Business Development, Business Development, Social Entrepreneurship, New Enterprises, Community Financial Institutions, Budgeting and Financial Management

Health: HIV/AIDS, Public Health, Exposure Assessment, Reproductive Health Care and Rights, Disease Prevention, High-Risk Behavior

Women’s Empowerment: Awareness and Prevention, Education, Cooperative Development

Youth and Education: Communication, Social Leadership, Child and Adolescent Development, Teaching

 

Organization Objectives

Kwacha’s mission is to empower local communities, particularly youth, to elevate their economic and social status through the implementation of various development initiatives. Its goals are to:

  • Promote open dialogue on reproductive health issues
  • Equip community youth with tools to implement change
  • Develop HIV/AIDS programs geared towards specific community sectors
  • Implement sector-specific sustainable/viable economic practices

 

Program Information

 

1.     Keeping It Real’: HIV/AIDS Awareness Program

The ‘Keeping It Real’ program promotes the awareness of fundamental reproductive health issues, both within and outside the classroom. As a result of the prevalent misconceptions regarding these issues, many young community members engage in high-risk behavior, including prostitution, drug abuse, and pre-marital affairs that increase the possibilities of STIs, HIV/AIDS, and health-related school withdrawal.

 

Opportunities

  • Organize workshops on HIV/AIDS issues, life skills, and reproductive health
  • Assist with youth-focused school outreach, debates, picnics, and quiz competitions
  • Research and introduce new topics and implement methods for instruction
  • Monitor weekly discussions with the same sample group of 40 students in the seven community schools
  • Evaluate current projects for grant consideration
  • Design and execute an impact assessment of current projects
  • Train and assist with grantwriting and the grant application process
  • Work with youth to develop new projects

 

Requirements

  • Relevant experience or education in areas of youth education, community outreach, HIV/AIDS education, reproductive health, group leadership, and/or counseling
  • Desire to work with youth and foster a collaborative role within the organization
  • Excellent group management skills
  • Ability to work with a diverse population on all subjects related to sexual health and reproduction

 

Program Supervisor

Brenda Nekesha has a diploma in Community Development and is trained in peer education, monitoring and evaluation, adolescent and reproductive health, basic counseling, community mobilization, strategic planning, facilitation, and leadership. She supervises HIV/AIDS-related activities, writes monthly reports, evaluates program activities, and acts as a facilitator for the community.

 

2.     Magnet Theater Outreach

Kwacha Afrika regularly stages magnet theater outreach performances centered on the issues of HIV/AIDS, stigma and discrimination, Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), and positive living. The volunteer-based theater also serves as a source of income to cover operational costs for the organization.

 

Opportunities

  • Assist in overall magnet performance production and staging
  • Develop strategic marketing effort to attract audience
  • Integrate question and answer sessions and discussion into performances
  • Develop and implement new performance material and programs
  • Teach skills related to directing, producing, script writing, and acting
  • Lead post performance discussions and question-answer debates
  • Assist in developing additional arts-related community awareness programs

 

Requirements

  • Relevant experience in theater, performance, acting, and/or public speaking
  • Directing, production, and/or writing experience desirable
  • Marketing skills not mandatory but helpful
  • Willingness to learn/speak Kiswahili (mandatory)
  • Interest in working with youth

 

Program Supervisor

Evans Kasena is a founding member and director of Kwacha Afrika. He has a diploma in Community Development and has been trained in management, micro-computer applications, business start-up, participatory monitoring and evaluation, HIV/AIDS, magnet theater, production and theater, life planning, stepping stone methodology, fundraising and report writing, group dynamics, bookkeeping, and peer youth education. He has received numerous awards for his performances, including best actor and outstanding performer, and has been recognized for his leadership and script writing skills.

 

3.     Micro-enterprise Program

Kwacha currently supports micro-enterprise groups in Malindi and Tana. Through its website and community contacts, Kwacha sells handmade baskets and bags made by male artisans of the Chamlala, kizaa-zaa, and fikirini group. These men range in age from 55 to 82 and are either retired or excluded from the mainstream job markets. The majority of the proceeds benefit the Chamlala group.

 

Opportunities

  • Assist in product marketing locally as well as electronically through Kwacha’s website
  • Develop and implement additional income-generating activities for Kwacha
  • Assess best practices and efficiency of current programs
  • Carry out program evaluations and research for grant development

 

Requirements

  • Education or relevant experience in marketing, micro-enterprise, and small-scale business management
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability to work in both an independent and team setting

 

Program Supervisor

Salim Ibrahim has been trained in record keeping, leadership, women and youth in development, HIV/AIDS counseling and care, community-based first aid, and disaster management as well as general welding and fitting.

 

4.     Girl’s Forum

With the help of a former FSD grant, Kwacha initiated a female youth run forum targeted towards girls in the fall of 2005. The forum aims to empower and educate girls within the community on positive life skills as well as their reproductive health and rights as young women. Regular meetings are held at Kwacha.

 

Opportunities

  • Assist in developing relevant trainings, workshops, or educational materials for the forum
  • Teach girls to effectively manage and run the forum
  • Support the maintenance of existing programs
  • Design and implement an impact assessment of current projects
  • Evaluate current projects for grant consideration

 

Requirements

  • Experience in group leadership, management, education, and/or reproductive health
  • Interest in women’s issues
  • Ability to work with youth with limited resources
  • Ability to work effectively in both an independent and team setting

 

Program Supervisor

Brenda Nekesha has a diploma in Community Development and is trained in peer education, monitoring and evaluation, adolescent and reproductive health, basic counseling, community mobilization, strategic planning, facilitation, and leadership. She supervises HIV/AIDS related activities, writes monthly reports, evaluates program activities, and acts as a facilitator for the community.

 

Note: Responsibilities offered to each participant will be proportionate to their level of experience. Participants who are new to development work may predominantly support and assist current project agendas, while those with much applicable experience may be able to assume greater responsibility. Research projects are strongly encouraged by this organization to support each program’s objectives because minimal resources are currently allocated for research.

 

Working Conditions

Kwacha Afrika’s office includes a small resource center, computer center, office space, and rehearsal space for performances. Depending on the participant’s work, up to 50 percent of the time may be spent conducting outreach activities within the neighboring communities. Several school sites are within walking distance from the office or approximately an hour’s ride south of Kisauni to the Likoni Division.

 

Organizational Background

Kwacha Afrika, an indigenous coastal phrase which means Arise Afrika, is an organization that was founded by a group of young volunteers in 2000 who aimed to explore theater as a tool to build community awareness on issues of adolescence, reproductive health, and the negative impact of HIV/AIDS. It employs a participatory educational theatre (PET) approach to convey its messages. The organization has evolved from a purely theater-based organization to a broad resource center for behavioral change in the seven districts of the Coast Province. In January 2004, Kwacha Afrika was registered with the Ministry of Culture and Social Service as a Community Based Organization and later as an NGO in November 2005. Kwacha Afrika is now an award-winning performance group.

 

Several development actors have supported the organization’s activities over the years. These include the youth, the general community in Coast province, Action Aid International Kenya (AAIK), Population Service International (PSI), DANIDA Health Project, Family Health International (FHI), KANCO, PATH, FSD, and many more.

 

Awards:

2002

Theatre Youth Festivals on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS organized by UNFPA through Mombasa Youth Counseling Centre: Best Item on HIV/AIDS, Certificate of Participation, Most Outstanding Performance Group, Best Presentation Group, Winning Team of the Year, Best HIV/AIDS Campaign Group

 

2003

Theatre Youth Festivals on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS organized by UNFPA through Mombasa Youth Counseling Centre: Most Outstanding Performance, Partnership Award, Best Theme

 

Theatre Youth Festivals on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS organized by Family Health International through Kizingo Arts: Best Presentation, Winning Play, Best Scripted Play, Best Production, Most Original Play

 

2004

Theatre Youth Festivals on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS organized by UNFPA through Mombasa Youth Counseling Centre: Best Mime, Best Actors and Actresses, Winning Play, Best Production, Winning Coral Verse, Best Scripted Verse, Best Verse in Kiswahili, Best Costume and Decor, Best Presentation, Most Prolific Group, Best Scripted Play, Most Entertaining Items

 

Theatre Youth Festivals on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, drug abuse organized by Kenya Young Christian Workers in Malindi: Winning Item, Best Team, Winning team