This oasis-like development is sponsored by Tigard Community Friends Church and supported by Harambee Centre through the power of volunteers and supporters like you. This Cause was first put on Portland’s radar when the late former Sen. Mark O. Hatfield, former State Sen. Avel Gordly, and former Oregon Health and Science University president (Dr. Peter Kohler) became key voices for it in 1998. It provides life transforming educational and cultural-exchange opportunities which empower self-sustainable programs at Chwele to support women, children, and their families for many generations to come in areas of health, education and micro enterprises.
We must raise $35,000 to complete the Chwele Community Peace Center in 2015
- Specific End-of Yr Appeal for Chwele
- Sell See’s Candy
- African Dinners
Grace Kuto, a Portland State University alumna and OHSU employee (26 years) was born and raised at Chwele-Namwela, a rural village located below the slopes of Mt. Elgon in western Kenya, near the Ugandan border in East Africa. Chwele is an 8 hour drive northwest of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. There are approximately 60,000 people living in the surrounding catchment area.
This region of Kenya, along with the bulk of sub-Saharan Africa, faces a range of troubling health and economic development issues. Residents suffer from poverty and food insecurity, health, educational, ineffective agricultural management systems and other economic factors. According to the United Nations Population Division statistics, the life expectancy in Kenya currently averages less than 55 years, and in 2007 carried an HIV prevalence rate of roughly 6%percent. These health indicators, coupled with harsh demographic realities – 43% percent of the population is under the age of 14 – translate to an acute need for effective preventive community health care and health education.
According to a 2006 World Vision feasibility report, more than 70% of Chwele’s residents live in poverty. A few work as teachers but most earn livelihoods as peasant farmers with meager marketing opportunities and lack of capital.
Chwele Health Clinic:
Also known as the Chwele Dispensary, the original Chwele Health Clinic was first built in 1948 by Quaker missionaries. In 1999, it was replaced by a new clinic funded by support like yours through direct donations, African Dinners, speaking engagements, classroom visits, and proceeds from Grace’s Story Cookbook (1995). In 2001, Medical Teams International donated all medical equipment and supplies in use today while John and Jane Emrick donated solar power and fridge for medications. Thousands of premature deaths especially among children have been prevented. It is open 24 hours a day responding to emergency, preventative, and primary health care needs which include:
- Childhood immunizations
- Maternal health
- Respiratory and waterborne diseases including typhoid and cholera.
This facility is also a satellite clinic to Lugulu Friends Mission Hospital which oversees the quality of treatment programs, accounting, and administration. It will be a stand-alone facility from Jan. 2016. It is staffed by one Registered Nurse, a Clinical Officer (Physician Assistant), two Patient Attendants, a Lab Technician and occasional volunteers who have included OHSU Nursing and Medical students-see pictures below.
Chwele Community Amani (Peace) Centre
This facility is funded by support like yours through direct donations, African Dinners, speaking engagements, classroom visits, and proceeds from Grace’s second Story Cookbook (2008). When officially opened in summer of 2013, it will provide space for:
- Micro Enterprises for Women
- HIV-AIDS Orphans, Widows and Grandmother Support Groups (Nursery School with feeding programs)
- Public health Education
- Nutrition Education
- Dental Health (2016)
- Library/Bookstore (2016)
- Youth Leadership Training/Community Service (scholarship driven)
- Peace Programs
- Arts Camp & Cultural Exchange Programs
- Camps, Retreats, Conferences, Social Receptions etc.
- Guest House (capacity-28 guests) for international and local visiting volunteers (like YOU!)