GAFFER Health looks forward to 2012

Posted: 1st January 2012 7:32pm

With five trained peer educators working in fifteen primary schools, two secondary schools and four health centers around Kasigau it has been a busy year for GAFFER Health! James Ruwa looks forward to 2012 and rounds up 2011 for your reading pleasure!

As the major aim of GAFFER health, there has been different life skills lessons conducted within the schools of Kasigau. A team of five employees led by Esmilly Chari regularly teach Students within the community alongside the school teachers who have given GAFFER Health such sterling support! Kids who were in class five last year are now our new clients. GAFFER health provides lessons to kids from classes 6-8 only. 2011 class eights’ have gone but we have new class eight, new class seven and new class six. Classes six are going to start with the introduction and then proceed to the next level.

To make the kids understand our lessons better, GAFFER Health have worked with the youngsters to prepare and perform dramas and poems about poignant issues within the community such as HIV/AIDS and sexual health. Kids have really enjoyed this in their schools because the poems and dramas contain important messages that must be understood by the kids and community. GAFFER Health also extends its reach within community groups and health centers. There are 4 health centers in Kasigau and GAFFER Health has been working alongside the professionals to facilitate education to those who need it most. With the doctor’s advice, GAFFER employees teaches the most touching issues in the community and it is at this level where family planning and use of condoms are demonstrated.

GAFFER Health has been very much involved in making sure that community members get Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV/AIDS in their villages during GAFFER events such as football finals, one day tournaments, World AIDS day and other events. In this regard, GAFFER health have collaborated with St. Josephs shelter of hope to provide testing equipments and trained doctors and counsellers. Our recent Under 13s football finals had 60 people tested. Along with testing and advice, St Josephs provides support for those who are living positively with the illness.

Girls have benefited a lot this year. With support from two Swedish ladies, we were able to visit all 15 primary schools teaching girls how to make locally available sanitary pads which are both hygienic and washable so that no young lady has to miss school due to her natural cycles.

In December 2011, GAFFER worked with local Peace Corps volunteers to organize a week long camp for the girls at Kiteghe village. GAFFER Health facilitated health education through football demonstration. Furthermore, Esmilly Chari and Asha Kibwana; our female GAFFER health employees represented GAFFER in this event. The main aim was to make girls aware that they are very important in the community and how to avoid early pregnancies, diseases and others. The theme of the event was “YES GIRLS CAN”.

It has been a busy year and with such great support from all the places that GAFFER Health works we are sure we can make 2012 even more successful!

KCL 6 Final!

Posted: 19th February 2011 3:50pm
KCL Final 2011!!

The Sixth edition of the Men’s Inter-Village tournament came to a climax at Marasi Football ground. After months of tough competition it was finally time to declare the winner! The games also saw GAFFER’s all conquering Youngstars take on an under-13’s team from the big city as HIV testing set new records in the background…

The games began with the 3rd Place play off between Rukanga and Kale villages. After a tough fought game an injury time winner from the younger of Kale’s in form Katana’s brothers added to his big siblings opener and Kale took the game 2-1! GAFFER Youngstars wanted to show the assembled the massive improvements in form that have seen them go from village pitches to city stadiums in their rapid rise as young footballers! They challenged Jomvu United who had traveled from Mombasa. A brilliant display from both sides entertained the crowd and GAFFER’s youngsters impressed with a 2-0 victory. The Jomvu coaches invited GAFFER to a rematch in Mombasa which promises to be a great day out for all involved. Hundreds of supporters turned up for the final game and cheered their teams on. After taking an early lead Samba Boys spent much of the game under pressure and a last minute penalty converted by Tom Kilonzo took the game to extra time! Deep into extra time local boy Joshua Kitiro had a “Pele moment” with a 20 yard drive to ensure the cup stayed with Samba for another year!

Whilst the games were played, St Josephs of Voi provided trained HIV Counsellers to test people on a voluntary basis. James Ruwa and the rest of the GAFFER Health team organized and by the end of the proceedings over 120 more local people knew their status. A massive achievement for all involved!

Blog by Titus Eluid

GAFFER Sport & Health day out!

Posted: 20th August 2010 5:23pm
GAFFER Sport & Health Day!

GAFFER took advantage of the school holidays to organize a day of football tournaments, health education and HIV Counseling and Testing for the people in and around Buguta Village!

The Men’s football tournament saw six Villages from the area represented. After hard fought qualifying rounds the Semi-Finals both went to penalty shoot outs! Kale beating Marungu and Mkamenyi showing Kisimenyi how to kick from the spot! Hundreds of fans cheered the teams on in the final match and after a hard fought game Kale reigned supreme with a convincing 2 – 0 victory! The winning team were awarding a large goat for their outstanding efforts! Kale are the team to watch as GAFFER Sport plans the upcoming Kasigau Champions League 6 for the big guys!

GAFFER Health continued to build on their excellent work in the local schools and health centres! The Peer Educators were on hand to answer questions relating to sexual health issues and St. Josephs Centre of Hope provided free Voluntary Counseling and Testing facilities for the assembled. Five nurses occupied private consultation rooms set up by GAFFER Health and tested and talked to those who chose to know their status. By the end of the day 63 people had been tested. HIV Testing is an important tool in the fight against the virus and GAFFER Health aims to work with St. Josephs to increase awareness of the free services available in the area.

HIV & Aids education

Posted: 22nd January 2008 1:35am

Sports teams are made up of a group of individuals who play together with the ultimate goal of overcoming the opposition with a mixture of skill and team work. You might have the best players in the world but if they do not interact successfully and support one another when under pressure they will be beaten by more organised opposition.

In the fight against the HIV epidemic in Kenya it is vital that everyone pulls together, passing on knowledge and supporting those in their community who have HIV. GAFFER utilises its large contingent of players and supporters to come together in the fight against HIV. The education GAFFER gives has been developed over the last few months through trial and error and fantastic support and advice from a broad spectrum of helpful organisations. GAFFER uses a mixture of curriculum's as well as sports activities to provide simple but interesting and easily absorbed HIV education.

After a visit to one rural school and a discussion with the teachers about their HIV education curriculum's GAFFER made a slightly disturbing discovery, the HIV book that was educating five-hundred young adults. It had some rather interesting views which must be seen to be believed.

On contraception:

"Contraceptives have done more harm to relationships than anything else in the history of mankind."

On sex before marriage:

"Having sex before marriage may even kill you."

On homosexuals:

"It is definitely abnormal and perhaps requires medical treatment."

Although GAFFER teaches Abstinence as the most effective barrier against HIV it is vital that people get open and honest advice about everything surrounding sexual health. So this is what GAFFER does:

Each village has a HIV group that has members ranging from sixteen to sixty years old. The groups are met by GAFFER in a classroom for a lesson that lasts about one hour.

Each member is given a handout they can keep for reference that GAFFER compiled then translated into Kiswahili. It covers the basic facts about HIV and AIDS as well as advice for HIV positive individuals.

The class is then invited to look at Alive & Kicking's excellent HIV posters. Using famous male and female sports stars to get across simple HIV information.

Kamau then talks through the messages on each of the nine posters and instigates discussion amongst the class about the issues involved.

Ben then goes through a long list of posters each with a question that has a True or False answer. Based on the Grassroot Soccer curriculum. The class discusses each answer and Ben brings in tricky issues relating to each question to fuel the discussion.

At this point everyone is a bit tired of talking so for some light relief Ben shows some football on GAFFER's new solar powered laptop/DVD setup! Including the ten best ever goals, heavily edited to ensure Arsenal players bag the top three!

After this a brilliant DVD called the Three Amigos is shown. It features three animated, talking condoms who go through different situations in Kiswahili. The class love the mix of humour and entertainment!

It's then time to split the class into groups and games and role plays, taken from Grassroot Soccer, are acted out. Each activity brings in a different message and brings people together to increase knowledge and reduce stigmatisation.

The lessons have been great success and more and more villages are being visited each week. The football teams are heavily involved which is great as confident young men are at a very at risk group. Young women are also talked to separately about Mother-To-Child-Transmission which appears to be a often misunderstood subject.

GAFFER would like to thank:

Martin Barnard at Alive & Kicking and Kirk Friedrich at Grassroot Soccer for the advice and allowing copyright laws to be bent so that the people who most need their excellent materials have got access to them so fast.

The Danish girls who's voluntary work in the area has helped get the proverbial ball rolling.

Gina Field for the loan of the laptop!

All the teachers and community leaders who's advice and support has been so vital in mobilising entire communities so fast.

All the players and supporters in the GAFFER area for being so open when discussing the more sensitive issues surrounding HIV and sexual health.

You can check out the three organisations who's excellent material GAFFER uses at the following websites:

On a lighter note and going back to the terrible HIV book that GAFFER found in a school...

On women:

"Girls emotional explosions may express something deep and personal, or nothing at all." !!

© G.A.F.F.E.R.