Fighting HIV/AIDS and Poverty
Improving Education and Healthcare

Program Updates November 2007

December 06, 2007 0 Comments Blogs by Administrator

This fall and winter has been the busiest fall/winter months for us ever. I just got back from Kenya and we were completely filled to capacity on the farm. We had 14 Indiana University students that were staying with us to complete their student teaching assignments. They taught Epico Jahns, our grade school, as well as several other local primary and secondary schools. In addition to the IU teachers, we had 10 of our own regular ICODEI volunteers working in our Healthcare, AIDS, and MDP programs.  With 24 people on the farm, we had a very full dinner table in the house each night.

Our Microenterprise Development Program continues to further evolve. This is our newest program that is still undergoing development. I spent my two weeks in Kenya meeting with our network of microenterprise groups to try out various business training seminars.  We are in the process of developing a business training manual for MDP volunteers to use in order to give basic business skills training classes to the microenterprise groups.  The groups loved learning from these training seminars on basic business topics such as accounting/bookkeeping, marketing, pricing, savings and investment, good business management practices, business planning, etc.

Program Updates September 2007

October 03, 2007 0 Comments Blogs by Administrator

It had been four years since my last trip to Kenya, but I was finally able to get back during July and August. The growth and positive changes were amazing. The frustrating things are still frustrating. It’s still hard to believe what has grown out of this chance encounter with Reuben back in 1998. We’ve had over 450 volunteers from 21 different countries: Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Iraq, India, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK and the USA.  We now have 46 local workers and six international coordinators.

One of my priorities of this trip was to assess the healthcare program, as it has grown tremendously over the past four years. I was able to spend some time on the mobile clinics and get good feedback from volunteers on the ground. I am in the process of finalizing a healthcare program manual that will provide more information for volunteers prior to arrival as well as help with the daily activities on the mobile clinics.

Program Updates March 2007

April 05, 2007 0 Comments Blogs by Administrator

As the new school year started in January, our primary school opened its doors to Grade 5. We now have pre-school through Grade 5 and plan to continue adding one new classroom each year until a full primary school up to Grade 8 has been established.  The new classrooms added each year are typically funded and built by overseas volunteers.  If any group is looking for a fun, exciting, worthwhile project, please contact us about helping build a Grade 6 classroom.  Volunteers are welcomed to help fundraise for the classroom ($2,000 to $3,000 USD) and then help build it in Kenya with our local masons and carpenters.

This December we had several volunteers conduct a program and impact evaluation on our Empower AIDS Training Program.  The Empower Program is a “training of trainers” course that aims to develop local AIDS peer educators within the very rural communities of western Kenya .  Several volunteers spent their time meeting with past Empower participants to assess the impact our training had on the participants and their community. The volunteers also developed a list of action items and recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the program. We are very appreciative of the time and thought that went into this evaluation work.  The report will not only be useful for internal planning purposing but will also be helpful for future Empower volunteers.

Program Updates September 2006

October 03, 2006 0 Comments Blogs by Administrator

The summer of 2006 has been a very busy and productive one for Volunteer Kenya / ICODEI.  From May to September we had 48 volunteers participate in our education, healthcare, and development programs.  Our summer volunteers included people from the USA, Canada, and the UK .

The HIV/AIDS Education program was again a huge success. Our volunteers spoke to thousands of people in the rural villages and continued our EMPOWER peer education training program.  At the mobile clinics, between 100 and 150 people were evaluated and treated or referred each day.  Due the extremely high demand for healthcare services in the rural villages we were working in, our volunteers typically left the farm to work at 8:00AM and did not return until after dark (around 7:00-8:00PM).  Our main obstacle in running the mobile clinics is obtaining medicine.  Our budget from the volunteer fees was rapidly eaten up by purchasing medicine for the mobile clinics. Any upcoming volunteer medical students are encouraged to check with their schools and hospitals to see if they can get donations of medicine and medical supplies to bring to Kenya .

Program Updates January 2006

February 10, 2006 0 Comments Blogs by Administrator

As we begin the new year we are extremely excited to see the advancement of Epico Jahns Primary School to now include Grade 4. The school was started in 2001 and each year we have added an additional grade (and classroom) to accommodate the advancing students. Epico Jahns Academy now has over 300 students in pre-school through Grade 4. The classroom for Standard 4, the teachers lounge, and office was finished this January. Construction on both buildings was started this past fall by a group of volunteer teachers from Indiana University , but due to a lack of funds they had not been completed until January. The classroom for Standard 5 has been started, but does not yet have a floor or finished walls.

Our nursing school is now beginning its second year of operations. We now have over 30 nursing students and 2 full-time teachers. We hope to start having overseas volunteer medical students, doctors, and nurses come work alongside our Kenyan teachers at the nursing school. Volunteers will not only provide teaching assistance but also assist in curriculum development.

October 2005 Update (Letter From Reuben)

November 04, 2005 0 Comments Blogs by Administrator

Jambo everyone,

I hope you are all doing fine out there. We are praying for all affected by the Katrina and the subsequent one. We hope our friends in Houston and Louisiana were not seriously affected. This email is for everyone who has volunteered with us in one way or another. We have those who have been here in person while others have participated in raising funds for our numerous projects.

Program Updates January 2004

February 05, 2004 0 Comments Blogs by Administrator

The HIV/AIDS Awareness Program made over 250 presentations in 2003, to schools, churches and community groups. The audience reach included thousands of men, women, and children and made use of video, live theatre and lecture-style techniques. Every school in the Bumola Division of Bungoma District has received an Volunteer Kenya visit within the past 24 months. In addition most schools in other divisions within Bungoma have been reached, as well as schools in Butere-Mumias, Mount Elgon , Tesso and a few in Busia districts.

This program utilized the organization’s 10-year old Mitsubishi Pajero and was staffed by an overseas volunteer, and local staff which included a field coordinator, a translator (for local languages other than Swahili), and a driver.

Program Updates December 2003

January 09, 2004 0 Comments Blogs by Administrator

On August 12th, 2003, the Bill Selke Memorial Clinic opened its doors and six local community members in Kabula were treated for malaria. While this may not sound like a major accomplishment to some, it represents a significant achievement for all of us. Local health care workers run the daily operations of the clinic and are assisted by volunteers from abroad. On October 20th, 2003 the clinic began offering HIV testing, with pre and post-test counseling. Plans are being made to eventually offer retroviral treatment for HIV+ individuals. In November, the clinic obtained recognition from the Kenyan Ministry of Health as an official site for the government’s immunization program. The District Medical Officer of Health is working with us to coordinate a home-based care program for people living with HIV/AIDS.

While the clinic has been our main area of focus recently, the other programs we implement are thriving equally as well. The HIV/AIDS Awareness Project and the Peer Education Program have a coordinator, a translator and a driver. There is also a part-time home care coordinator. The Preschool (Epico Jahns Academy), which started as two rooms, has expanded and now five classrooms to allow for students to continue into first and second grade at Epico Jahns. The school has eight teachers and a driver for the school van. We continue to work with the women’s groups on small business development, and the public library serves the local residents as a resource center

Program Updates August 13th, 2003

August 27, 2003 0 Comments Blogs by Administrator

The Bill Selke Memorial Clinic in Kabula finally opened on August 12th, 2003. Six local residents were diagnosed and treated for malaria.

Program Updates July 20th, 2003

July 22, 2003 0 Comments Blogs by Administrator


Just a quick note about recent progress in Kenya. I just received an email from Kenya today with the following news: