Project Daraja

Project Daraja takes its name from a Swahili word meaning bridge; and it symbolizes the partnership among organizations and individuals in the United States and Kenya who have joined together to build strong bridges of relationships and support.

These bridges will help Kenyans (in Kenya and Minnesota) meet the challenges they face as they seek to alleviate poverty, improve health, expand the use of restorative justice mediation principles, and overcome problems commonly associated with immigration. These bridges likewise help us in the United States to perceive worldwide realities through the lens of the people of Kenya.

To learn more about Project Daraja, visit the links on the left.




Barbara's Trip to Kenya



Barbara’s long anticipated working trip to Kenya took place from the 23rd of August to the 5th of September. The highlights and accomplishments of that working trip include the following:

• Barbara held two meetings with the ministry of local government officials to explore work prospects. Both parties agreed that steps would be taken toward discussions in the area of capacity building. The Center's formal proposal to the ministry of local government is under development.

• Barbara met with officials of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology on the possibility of mounting short courses on NGO Management. As a result of this meeting, the prospects for a relationship look good and plans are underway.

• As a follow-up to meeting set earlier while in the United States, Barbara and Evans had a very useful meeting with the program officer, environment and development one Ms Milagre Nuvunga. She did suggest that CPPP send her the organizational profile that is being redone and fine tuned outlining our areas of accomplishments and interests in capacity building and research. She did offer to talk to the program officer in charge or governance on our restorative justice program interests in Kenya. To that effect I will in a week’s time deliver CPPP’s profile.

• Barbara toured, inspected, and commissioned the Center's new offices located at Vision Plaza, Mombasa Road Suite 12C. They are spacious, modern, newly furnished, and wired for the Internet.

• The scheduled meeting and tour of Western University of Science and Technology failed to take place because the acting chairperson in their new department of NGO Management was away to attend a workshop in Nairobi. We had hoped a meeting would then be possible in Nairobi, but we were unable to work this out because of further scheduling conflicts.

• Barbara had a series of meetings with Mr. Reuben Nyakundi, chair of the local advisory board of directors. They discussed the direction, leadership, and programmatic priorities of the Center's Kenya office. Reuben was also gracious to make provision for a tour and for Barbara to attend a court session in order to provide a learning opportunity on Kenya’s criminal justice system and to contrast it with out proposed restorative justice program in Kenya. The session provided valuable insights — especially in mapping the thematic scope of the soon-to-be mounted restorative justice program.

• Barbara facilitated a one-day luncheon for the International Women’s Media Foundation. This consisted of participants sharing their experiences with the Maisha Yetu Project which has changed health coverage in Africa.

• Barbara met with representatives of the Street Children’s Rehabilitation Center in Nyeri (Central Province of Kenya). They expressed a great deal of interest and support for our proposed Round-A-Bout water pump project and perhaps funding to create capacity to build the pumps as a micro-enterprise for young street kids and their families.

• The restorative justice project with the Kenya prisons is also proceeding on track and confirmed by the Commissioner of Prisons. The project will be to provide re-entry and community sentencing programs/services for people being released from Kenya prisons

CONCLUSION

High cost notwithstanding, the overall objectives of the working trip save one were justifiably met. Without a doubt the trip also did provide learning opportunities and insights on planning ahead. Some of the earlier held assumptions were challenged by reality and found wanting. Besides the useful work contact and doors that Barbara’s trip did open, potential for much and accelerated work did emerge and I plan to tap them accordingly.

For next trips planning and logistical management the following stuck out as expense challenges that I will ensure are better handled in advance to ensure that we maximize our minimum:

1. Boarding and lodging
2. Business lunches and dinners
3. Transport related costs
4. Discretionary and incidental expenses

I sincerely hope this snapshot report helps to capture the spirit of Barbara’s trip and provides some basis for better results focused planning in future.

By
Evans Mirieri B.A, M.A, [UON], MANM [HAMLINE]
Project Manager CPPP Kenya
Vision Plaza Suite 12 C
P.O. BOX 33936, 00600
Tel: +254.2730655
Mobile: +254.721662496
Email: eromirieri@hotmail.com, emirieri@effective.org