Systemic Partner networks “on the top” – big wins “on the ground”

Visiting fish ponds

Exchange of knowledge and sharing skills make a big difference!

After our system changer network (SCN Kenya) launch two weeks ago where our eleven core partner organizations (Non profit organizations and social enterprises we work very closely and regularly with) from different parts in Kenya met and decided to continue and even to intensify working much closer together. The network at the top should help to connect also our communities from different areas / based on the idea to build systematically relationships even “on the ground”.

“This helps the communities to learn from each other and to empower the volunteers from the communities. The volunteers will learn and bring back new skills and a lot of hope and energy. It’s important to give our communities also the possibility to discover other places, other ways of thinking and doing. Every manager is exposed, every rich person travels. Why not offering such opportunities to our community members who live at the poverty line, too? We can just see and do what we know. If we really want to empower people then we need to give them also possibilities to grow and experience themselves. And our SCN network offers all possibilities to do so, ” adds Manuela, leading the community activation under the Making More Health initiative.

More skills, more self-confidence, more empowerment that will stay

A very exciting visit has taken place: Our volunteers from the community groups in Webuye in Western Kenya visited for the first time our partner community in Homabay.

A travel of more than five hours. A travel that many volunteers had never a chance in life to do. Already a big experience per se. But the two days stay then at Lake Victoria was really inspiring and a win- win to all.

Sharing skills, sharing experiences and overcoming prejudices of being diverse

“…our MMH GAASPP volunteers are very happy and this has generated another enormous energy in them by having an excellent exchange visit in Homabay to our network partner WAWA. Our volunteers learnt about fish farming and making of seats and beds with papyrus reeds – among many other activities that are going there. We heard also about the men health program and the community members from both organizations had possibilities to sit together and to discuss. There are definitely some activities and things that we shall incorporate into our own GAASPP community. From our site we have shared our Artemisia farming and disinfectant making that is 100% organic. What a great experience for the 2 days!” said our NGO leader Chrisantus from GAASPP.

The big learning for us at SCN?

Well, there are a lot of learning experiences, eg complex challenges can be solved much better in systemic approaches. It’s not the big number of projects only, but the way how these projects and people behind are interlinked. We need to build networks of partners and to empower networks among the communities, as well. We can grow and find better, systemic solutions only, if we leave our comfort zone of doing projects only and start to look much more in relationship management, in experiencing and exploring. That’s true for the SCN members, but also the communities. And it is our task to make these experiences happen – to our volunteers at the community level, too!

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