By Benson Maina Njoroge, Public Health Officer and Supervisor in Kibera, Nairobi
I was privileged to attend yet another one of the First Love Mothers group meetings held on Sunday 8th Feb 2015. This followed an invitation from the Chairlady of the group Ms Judy. I arrived early in Kibera where the meeting was to be held and I was warmly received by my host.
The ambience in the room told it all. It seemed to me that pressures of stigma faced by the mothers on a daily basis were not evident in the ‘safe space’ of the group; everyone was sharing freely their experiences. The support group was clearly the best approach to dealing with the psycho-social issues faced by the mothers and their disabled children. This reminded me of an old adage ‘a problem shared is a problem halved.’ It is in such forums that members draw the much needed oomph to move on in life in the midst of many socio-economic challenges they bear while supporting their children.
In half an hour, the meeting was called to order by the Chairlady and a volunteer opened with a word of prayer. Members were invited to introduce themselves as there were two mothers who I had not met in the previous meeting. In her opening remarks, the Chairlady appreciated the members for attending the meeting on time. She went on to appreciate an earlier meeting by the mCHW project (www.mchw.org) team where members received Christmas gifts. She added that they are happy because they have people to identify with.
The group expressed that they were yearning for support to enable their children live happy and fulfilling lives regardless of the many challenges they face that include financial and housing problems. The group also requested support for housing and for designing a website. They felt that the website would increase their visibility and collaboration with other groups or individuals in Kenya and across the globe with similar experiences and possibly fundraise to support the group.
On my part I thanked the members for availing themselves for the meeting and the moral support they give to one another. I committed to inviting Dennis-who is a specialist in special needs and disabilities in children to explore on the possible opportunities available for children support.
The members through the Chairlady appealed for support that can be channelled through
FIRST LOVE MOTHERS GROUP
EQUITY BANK, KIBERA BRANCH
A/c Number 01170162213706
Please note: This request for support is from the First Love Mothers group and not from the mCHW project. All monies recieved will go directly to the group. For further enquiries, please contact Mr. Benson Maina Njoroge at +254 729253518