The system changer network Kenya (SCN Kenya) leverages the exchange and knowledge from several partners and organizations. The trained communities share solutions and skills with communities in other locations. This contributes a lot to develop communities in a more holistic way and to engage people in doing it while growing themselves. Training sessions on health, income generation, hygiene, farming, water solutions and knowledge on other topics as well as cultural exchange are part of it. This exchange does not happen on the top level of organizational leaders only, but also on the „ground“ level.
One major initiative was the recent visit by our SCN partner WaWa NGO team from the Lake Victoria region (Homabay county) to Bungoma:
The women from WaWa trained Mbakalo women in Bungoma county how to make reusable sanitary towels, baskets from plastic and reeds.
In turn the Mbakalo women trained the WaWa women how to make jewellery using beads from recycled paper and clay and also how to make bags and knitting. It was a win-win-win. The team from Homabay was hosted in Mbakalo community.
One part of the exchange was also to share on how to make reusable menstruation pads. “A lady has demonstrated how to use the reusable sanitary(hygiene) towel to the local chief who visited. The chief said it was his first time to see how a sanitary towel is used,” explained our local NGO leader at Mbakalo.
This visit and exchange is part of our systemic approaches. It is not enough to support single organizations only as the knowledge will not spread. To have a real chance for change ALL the basic needs and skills need to be covered and grown. Isolated solutions are no solutions. Often the community members are just taught, but are not involved in teaching and sharing with others themselves. This makes a big difference. In addition these small travels allow them exchange also on a cultural and social level.
This all together makes a big difference, a difference that we can even measure in our network tool.