TEACHING-EMPOWERING-MENTORING-BUILDING OPPORTUNITY Mission: to partner with individuals and communities in Western Kenya to support entrepreneurial activities, education and health through training programmes, scholarships, water and sanitation projects

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Although 'petty' corruption is often seen as the 'cost of doing business' whether it's to avoid a police summons, retrieve a file from a government office, have an application processed speedily, acquire a job, Kenya is awash at the moment with allegations of massive fraud at the highest levels.  We have lost count of the number of officials, politicians and senior executives implicated in swindling the country out of billions.
A new report from Price Waterhouse says the country's economic crime has risen 25 % above the global average. Whereas the global average was 24 %, Kenya reported 47 % incidence of bribery and corruption, the third highest globally.
In 2015 the country reported an incidence level of 61 % having increased from 52 % recorded in the previous year.
Most of the cases of economic crime in Kenya are committed by internal fraudsters accounting for 70% of the cases reported by local organisations.

One cannot be surprised that donor money is shrinking as appeals are made for education, drugs and infra structure projects when so much wealth is being salted away in foreign banks.

Those of us in the Virtues community are looking at the idea of organizing a conference based on fighting corruption through Virtues, highlighting integrity in parenting, teaching, business and religion. Raising children of integrity and awakening the Virtues in adults is surely one powerful way to battle this endemic disease.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Caning and Virtues

This video will show why we promote positive discipline in schools through Virtues. Caning is illegal and has been for over 10 years, but is common in the majority of schools at all levels.In some schools where we have tried to interest them in the program, the teachers have laughed at us. In others they have adopted Virtues and are flourishing


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Virtues training for more students

On Saturday we did our second Virtues training for Nursing and Education students at MMUST. These young people are soon going out on 'attachment' for internship. We planned for 60 and somehow finished with 65 as 'extras' snuck in. Still some were turned away. We plan four more sessions before I leave at the end of March.
Again, their anonymous evaluations were very positive and they are eager for more. I think it will be easy to spread the Virtues culture throughout the student body with these ambassadors


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Virtues training at MMUST

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kakamega is the first university in the world (to our knowledge) to adopt the Virtues Project campus wide. We have already trained a good number of senior staff and lecturers using the Business and Professional package. Yesterday we received our first group of students to be trained in Phase One. They were student leaders,many the chairperson of different clubs. Throughout the six hours for the 'Community' package they remained attentive, active and cooperative. Their evaluation reports (anonymous) were all positive and enthusiastic, wholeheartedly supporting the spread of to other groups and even to the whole country. On Saturday we shall welcome a mixed group of nursing and education students who will be going out on internship. In amny cases, medical staff in hospitals are considered harsh and uncaring and in schools the use of the cane and other severe punishments are common. We hope we shall be able to give these young people a different approach to use positive discipline, compassion and service.

Writing the Virtues of others on their gem tags

Master Facilitator Richard has everyone's attention

Choosing the core Virtues for our club

Writing a rule in Virtues language

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Water is Life but Sanitation is Dignity. These were the words of a student last year when we handed over composting toilets in a school. We have often posted pictures of the appalling state of many school latrines and have been grateful for the funding we have been able to find. Since half the population is under fifteen, the needs in schools cannot be met at the moment. This article underlines the need for good sanitation throughout the country.where fewer than 20 percent of households have access  to proper toilets and communities are driven to declare themselves 'defecation free zones'.



all good again

The power in Ebulako was fixed at the weekend and we were able to complete the handover of the composting toilets. With close to 700 children in grades 4-8 we had to rune two sessions in the small church to show how to use and care for the toilets. Then we had to select a few from each class for the practical demo. The school has virtually no play area and as their numbers increase becasue of their excellent results, the infra structure becomes more and more fragile.

The other good news is that my new power supply arrived well under the promised 5 days and my laptop is now functional again.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Never a dull moment

An up and down day on Friday. We went to Ebulako Primary School (Picture below) to handover two blocks of composting toilets only to find that a local transformer was inactive and the whole area was without power. We tried a local generator and after much effort decided that there was a problem with our projector which would not stay on. So we accepted a huge amount of local fruits which the children had brought and promised to return on Monday with our other projector. The goof news is that the school has had its best exam results ever with the class that did Read for the Top two years ago!
On our way home we called in at Ebukoolo Secondary which is a growing school boasting a new set of traditional pit latrines for girls but only one hole and a brick wall for 75 boys. (Picture below) We have enough funds left to put in a block for the boys. At home we found there was no problem with the projector so the generator was not giving us enough power. Rod spent the morning trying to fire up our (not often used) generator only to be obliged to take it to a local fundi (workman) for repair. Hopefully it can be fixed so we can take it out with us on Monday.
To crown everything I also found that my laptop is not charging. We were able to locate a new power supply on line which will take 5 days to arrive. So while Rod was messing with the generator I was checking that I have all the files I need for the immediate future on my back up drive and my old standby laptop.
One hole and a wall for the boys at Ebukoolo Secondary

Ebulako children were disappointed no handover on Friday