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Archive for October 21st, 2010

Music to empower the youth in Korogocho slums

Posted by Administrator on October 21, 2010

Mish Whalen says: AFP Photographer Roberto Schmidt photographed kids involved in a project in Korogocho, Nairobi called “Ghetto Classics” that uses music to empower the youth there. The brass band group is comprised of some 25 kids that only gets to practice every two weeks as the musical instruments they use are borrowed and there are not enough funds to pay the band director more often. The Ghetto Classics Project is a partnership between the Art of Music and the Kutoka Network – a network of parishes and organizations working in the urban slums, working to creates policies and new plans to help slum dwellers work their way out of poverty. Its purpose is to use music education to provide youth living in the slum with opportunities to better themselves and their community by giving them life skills that come with the discipline of studying art music.
Mr. Schmidt said he, “was really happy when I heard that you guys wanted to do this slide show. I really hope that someone in the wider audience is affected by it and would be willing to help out this outfit. They are truly good kids who are making an honest effort.”

A member of a brass band holds a tattered sheet of music at a local school in the Korogocho slum in Nairobi on October 16, 2010. Roberto Schmidt / AFP-Getty Images

A member of a brass band holds a tattered sheet of music at a local school in the Korogocho slum in Nairobi on October 16, 2010. Roberto Schmidt / AFP-Getty Images

 

Seventeen-year-old Steve Odieno (R) warms up his trumpet in a corner before a presentation at a local corporate function in Nairobi on October 19, 2010. Odieno, who was born and raised in Western Kenya, is the eldest of five siblings and came to live in Nairobi with his father and to look for better quality schooling.

Seventeen-year-old Steve Odieno (R) warms up his trumpet in a corner before a presentation at a local corporate function in Nairobi on October 19, 2010. Odieno, who was born and raised in Western Kenya, is the eldest of five siblings and came to live in Nairobi with his father and to look for better quality schooling.

Seventeen-year-old Steve Odieno blows into a trumpet during band practice at a local school in the Korogocho slum in Nairobi on October 16, 2010. Odieno, who was born and raised in Western Kenya, is the eldest of five siblings and came to live in Nairobi with his father and to look for better quality schooling. Through a local church, Steve joined the "Ghetto Classics" about a year ago.

Seventeen-year-old Steve Odieno blows into a trumpet during band practice at a local school in the Korogocho slum in Nairobi on October 16, 2010. Odieno, who was born and raised in Western Kenya, is the eldest of five siblings and came to live in Nairobi with his father and to look for better quality schooling. Through a local church, Steve joined the "Ghetto Classics" about a year ago.

Young children watch as older kids play in brass band practice at a local school in the Korogocho slum in Nairobi on October 16, 2010. Roberto Schmidt / AFP-Getty Images

Young children watch as older kids play in brass band practice at a local school in the Korogocho slum in Nairobi on October 16, 2010. Roberto Schmidt / AFP-Getty Images

 

Kennedy Odhiambo blows into the banged up tuba assigned to him during a presentation by his band during a corporate event in Nairobi on October 19, 2010. Roberto Schmidt / AFP-Getty Images

Kennedy Odhiambo blows into the banged up tuba assigned to him during a presentation by his band during a corporate event in Nairobi on October 19, 2010. Roberto Schmidt / AFP-Getty Images

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO

SOURCE: http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/?gt1=43001&nvo=100&16164228%7Ca%7Cnu%7C30%7C1%7Ct%7Ca%7C100=12

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Kenyan sex workers care for HIV-affected peers

Posted by Administrator on October 21, 2010

A third of Nairobi's sex workers are living with HIV

A third of Nairobi's sex workers are living with HIV

NAIROBI, 21 October 2010 (PlusNews) – Shunned by mainstream society, sex workers with HIV-related illnesses in Nairobi are unlikely to receive help from concerned neighbours. Instead, some of them are being cared for by fellow sex workers.

A group of 25 sex workers who call themselves “Knight Nurses”, have been active for a little over a year in the slum of Huruma. They regularly visit fellow members of the group and their family members who are HIV-positive and bedridden to cook for them, wash them and tidy their homes. They also organize hospital visits and ensure they are taking their drugs.

When Teresa Wangui’s* father fell ill with an HIV-related condition last year, the “Knight Nurses” came to the rescue. “My friends would fundraise and hire a taxi to take Dad to hospital whenever he had an [opportunistic] illness,” she told IRIN/PlusNews. “They would also help in caring for him at home before he died last year.”

Since the breakdown of an abusive marriage 12 years ago, Fatuma Mohamed*, 40, has been accepting clients in her Nairobi home and occasionally seeking them out in bars. She said the “Knight Nurses” have helped her to accept her HIV-positive status and to remain healthy.

“I am now less bothered whatever people say regarding HIV and myself,” she said. “The girls keep watch over me, ensuring that I feed well and take my ARVs (antiretroviral drugs) as prescribed.”

Vital information

At a weekly “Knight Nurses” meeting, the 20 members in attendance donated 20 Kenya shillings each (about US$0.25) and assorted food items for two sick members.

The weekly meetings stress the importance of safe sex to prevent HIV infection and re-infection and are a vital source of information for those in attendance who have no safe sex messages directed to them through government programmes.

Teresa Wangui said she was hesitant to go for an HIV test after a worrying incident with a client. “He was very rough and the condom burst… Next, I had him wear two condoms but when I reached home I discovered one condom was still in my body,” she said.

“I was not alive to the correct use of the condom,” she added. “Now I know that condoms reduce the risk of HIV and only one should be worn per session… With each weekly discussion, I build up confidence to know my HIV status. Once I gather enough courage, I will visit a VCT [voluntary counselling and testing] clinic.”

The meetings also discuss issues such as alcohol abuse and the occupational hazards of practising their trade. “The girls report harassment – regular arrest and extortion of earnings by the police and city council officers who demand free sex in exchange for not arresting the girls; and sexual molestation by clients who refuse to pay for sex or to wear the condom,” said Miriam Murugi, chair of the “Knight Nurses”.

She noted that little help was available when complaints were raised with the authorities; group contributions are sometimes used to bail out jailed members.

Need for vigilance

Swistan Ngara, a community mobilizer with the National NGO, Liverpool VCT, which set up a testing tent in Huruma in August, attends “Knight Nurses” meetings to explain why they must be vigilant about condom use and HIV testing, and gives them the skills to negotiate for safe sex with their clients.

“We work with the most-at-risk populations – we have managed to reach out to such groups as commercial sex workers to enable them access to VCT, reproductive health services like family planning and STI [sexually transmitted infections] prevention and treatment services,” he said.

According to National AIDS and STI Control Programme director Nicholas Muraguri, there are an estimated 7,000 sex workers operating in Nairobi’s central business district alone. He said the HIV prevalence among this group was an alarming 33 percent, compared to an average rate of about 9 percent in Nairobi Province.

Adding that sex workers and their clients are responsible for an estimated 15 percent of new HIV infections nationally every year, he stressed the importance of working with this group to ensure they reduced their risk of transmitting and contracting the virus.

(*not her real name)

wm/kr/ks/cb

Source: http://www.plusnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=90836

Posted in Kenya, Kenya_Health | Comments Off on Kenyan sex workers care for HIV-affected peers

Kenyan man charged with arson after burning down his house

Posted by Administrator on October 21, 2010

Geoffrey Karugo Kimani has been charged with second-degree arson, and an additional arson charge is pending.

Lockridge firefighter Josh Lunsford pokes at a hot spot that rekindled this morning after the fire last night at 3293 200th Street. Assistant chief Charlie Johnson and three other firemen also were on the scene around 10:15 a.m. to extinguish the smoldering remains of the home of the Geoffrey Karugo Kimani family. -JULIE JOHNSTON/Ledger photo

Lockridge firefighter Josh Lunsford pokes at a hot spot that rekindled this morning after the fire last night at 3293 200th Street. Assistant chief Charlie Johnson and three other firemen also were on the scene around 10:15 a.m. to extinguish the smoldering remains of the home of the Geoffrey Karugo Kimani family. -JULIE JOHNSTON/Ledger photo

A Lockridge man was arrested by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department Sunday night on arson charges after attempting to burn down his family’s house.

Geoffrey Karugo Kimani, age 31, was arrested at 11:04 p.m. Sunday at his home, 3293 200 St., Lockridge. He was charged with second-degree arson, and an additional charge of first-degree arson is pending, according to Jefferson County Attorney Tim Dille.

Dille explained the second-degree arson charge stems from the fire Kimani allegedly set Sunday evening. The pending first-degree charge stems from a fire he allegedly set earlier that day. The main difference between first- and second-degree arson charges is the presence of persons, explained Dille.

Dille said the original call came into the Jefferson County Law Center as a verbal altercation between a husband and wife Sunday afternoon.
While the officer was at the Kimani home at about 3:30 p.m., the wife and two daughters left.

Dille said he had not had an opportunity to review officials’ reports yet this morning, but he did say the fire had been intentionally set.

The Lockridge Fire Department and the Fairfield Fire Department responded to the fire about 9:19 p.m. Sunday. The house was fully engulfed in flames when the sheriff’s deputy arrived.

“It’s my understanding from the deputies the house is destroyed,” said Dille.

Dille said no one was injured in the fire. Kimani’s wife and daughters were in a Mount Pleasant hotel.

For the complete article and photos, see the Monday, Oct. 18, 2010, printed edition of The Fairfield Ledger.

Source: http://www.goldentrianglenewspapers.com/articles/2010/10/18/fairfield_daily_ledger/top_stories/doc4cbcaeaf027fc587149166.txt

Posted in Kenya | 22 Comments »

 
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