Friday, July 15, 2011

What They Need

The Shirazi medical clinic still needs:
- roofing
- tarring
- doors and windows
- flooring

The predicted cost of all of this is about US$3,000.

The construction of the Shirazi Medical Clinic has so far been funded 100% by previous SIT Kenya: Health and Community Development students. And, thus, there will not be any more construction until the contractor and construction crew receive more money. Under Kenya's new 2010 constitution, "43. (1) Every person has the right — (a) to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care..." and thus the federal government has told its constituents that if communities build their own clinics they will provide funding for medicine and a doctor's and/or nurses' salaries.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Shirazi Medical Clinic

The Shirazi community started building the clinic in September of 2009. All of the money since has come from fundraising done by SIT students.

The clinic will have 12 rooms, which includes a room for a medicine dispensary.

Currently, residents of Shirazi have to go to either the district hospital in Msambweni (15 km away) or the regional hospital in Mombasa (70 km away). The distance can prove challenging for members of the community that do not have much money to pay for transportation to the hospitals. There is also another medical clinic in a neighboring village, Bodo, but on the days the clinic is open, it closes at noon.

We were fortunate to be able to help a little bit with the construction of the clinic. We noticed that there is a lot of work that needs to be done...

An Overview of Our Time in Shirazi

Shirazi is a small rural village of 400 people located a 90 minute drive south of Mombasa.

The whole community came to meet us as we got off of the bus.. Our Shirazi families walked us to our new homes with either our luggage or a gallon of drinking water balanced on their heads. (Jamal, one of our academic directors is in the blue shirt.).


We walked to our new homes, thinking it would be impossible to differentiate between the different dirt paths and mud houses on our way to and from school the next day.

Many men in Shirazi were either farmers or they were fishermen because for some the Indian Ocean is only a 2 minute walk from their house.

We bought mumus, kangas, and kikois to fit in better with the community.

Hii ni picha ya darasa ya kiswahili.

Everyone welcomed us into life in Shirazi. The kids especially loved us - breaking up their repetitive days where they rarely see foreigners.

All of the girls got were taken by their families to get their hands and feet painted with henna. But, usually the people on the coast of Kenya wait until their wedding day to apply henna for the first time.

As foreigners and newcomers to the cultures of the Swahili people, we were encouraged to attend events such as funerals, community prayers, and weddings [pictured above].

A lot of our mothers wouldn't let us dress ourselves. We wore a lot of prom dresses.

On a boat from Fundi Island. Someone said the most expensive resort in Kenya is on Fundi Island.. but, I might be remembering wrong.