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Monday, 10 July 2017
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Jorge Burón, a Political Science student at UAM (Autonomous University of Madrid), shares his experience during the third talk of a four-part cycle on Rights, Freedom and Democracy, from the point of view of politics he will undertake for Afrikable’s women beneficiaries, as part of his internship in the area of women empowerment in Lamu.

"During the third talk, we talked about rights. About specific rights. About rights that appear in the Constitution of Kenya, and disappear in their society. Those they should know about, but what for if the reality is that they are not respected? The 2010 Constitution is one of the most advanced political texts in sub-Saharan Africa. But, what does it matter if the reality is that it fails to defend its citizens even though it has many fundamental rights drafted?.

But then, why were we talking about rights if it seems like, even if they are written on a paper, they don’t exist in their daily lives? They asked for it, they wanted to know them, and I prepared them and showed them to them. I think they already knew what they wanted them for, why they wanted to know them, even though I didn’t understand where things were headed yet. Once again they were the ones who would give the talk.

And not only them, in this third talk we had my colleague Ana, a student of the Master’s Degree in Gender Studies of Seville who came to Afrikable to do her master’s thesis with the women and who had already been here two years ago in the Volunteer Holidays program. Who better to tell them about their rights and their situation as women regarding those rights that are rarely respected and if you are a woman even less? So it was the two of us. Along with Lola, the founder of the project (together with Merche) who we were lucky to have and who had just arrived to the island. She provided essential support to bring about new dynamics to the talk and bring it to a successful conclusion. It was a success indeed, thanks to them and to Khadija, as always.

So we talked about rights. About their rights, those they have even though they are not fulfilled, those their Constitution shows off. About freedom of movement, Article 39.1, that no one can order you where to go or where you should be, no one can stop you from going or being where you want to be. About equality between men and women in marriage, Article 45.3, both sides have the same right and freedom to decide on their lives and their household. About universal access to emergency medical treatment, Article 43.2, if your child breaks a leg a doctor has to see them straight away, no excuses. About the right to life, Article 26.1. About equality before the law, Article 27.1. About all those issues that are central to their lives and they were organising in their heads. They were astonished, paying attention like never before, which is a lot to say, capturing and absorbing all the information well aware of its importance. In one of those heated but fun discussions they like to have, the real question, the purpose and the point of it all came to light.

Constitucion Kenia 01

One of them said that if they didn’t claim those rights, if they didn’t fight for them it was because they knew they didn’t stand a chance. Only a few of them are heard and many others are not heard because no one will listen to them. And it was then when another said, as if it were an evidence well-known by all: ‘but let’s see, if these rights are not for us, we must know them to pass them on to our children so they can experience them.

It has been the longest, most exciting, productive and beautiful talk so far. The more help, the easier, of course, but it also seems like we are going somewhere, that we are starting to take a direction. An idea about democracy and freedom that can be useful and necessary even though everything is contaminated by corruption, even though sometimes we fall into pessimism and it seems like we are stuck in stagnation. It’s not true. The children who listen to the talks and don’t understand while they cry in their mothers’ arms, start to make a lot more sense, sitting there watching and listening to the talk, even if it’s only so that they start to hear the words of the rights that one day they will have to defend and enjoy."

Derechos de la mujer 01

 

Author: Jorge Burón | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Monday, 03 July 2017
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Jorge Burón, a Political Science student at UAM (Autonomous University of Madrid), shares his experience during the second talk of a four-part cycle on Rights, Freedom and Democracy, from the point of view of politics he will undertake for Afrikable’s women beneficiaries, as part of his internship in the area of women empowerment in Lamu.

"Yesterday we talked about gender equality and I don’t know if we understood each other. I don’t mean the language, which is also an obstacle because simultaneous translation does not always work perfectly. How can one mediate as an interpreter in a discussion with 20 people at the same time? It’s complicated, but even so we understand each other quite a bit. Besides, I think it’s better that way. Sometimes they look at me after saying something and they all laugh at the same time as if to say ‘Poor guy doesn’t understand anything we say’. No need to, right? What am I going to teach them about their lives? About their husbands? About men?.

It was during the times that we managed to have a fluid English-Swahili dialogue when we did not understand each other much: ‘What inequality? Of course we are different. So what? What is the problem? Everyone plays a role, fills its role, contributes with some things and receives others.’ What if it’s true? But sometimes, many times, it doesn’t seem to be true. If a woman gets a job, often the husband leaves his and dedicates himself to the contemplative life, why should he work if she does it? A man who does not find a woman, kidnaps one, rapes her for three days and lets her go. But, who’s going to want her now she has been defiled? So he asks for her hand and they marry her. If they get divorced, the husband disappears; forget about the financial aid, the woman and the children have to live as they can, and the State does not help much either so that the maintenance obligation is complied with.

Not all of them do this, not all of them are like that, but these stories are their testimonies. Some of them have experienced it, and many more outside Afrikable, and others will experience it. So life does not seem the same for everyone, and yet they don’t see it?

Igualdad 01

Or maybe they don’t know what is it that they have to see. But unlike us, that think we know everything and actually we are just as blind as them or even more, they do listen, they do want to learn to look. They, these women, truly have an open mind, which does not mean knowing a lot of things as we think in our Western world, but wanting to learn lots of things. They really do have an open mind. Right before the end of the session, when it seemed like we weren’t going to find a point of connection, they saved the day again and said to me: ‘But let’s see, which are those rights we don’t have? What would the freedom we should have change? What’s with women’s rights? We don’t know them. Tell us about those rights, we want to know what they are, tell us about it and maybe we agree’. They are teaching me so much and I have so little to give them. But at least we have that, even though it’s hard, we manage to understand each other, because they have an open mind and they open mine.

So next week we will keep trying, this time we will talk about those rights they want to see but don’t know and those injustices they experience and that maybe one day can change for them, for their daughters, for their society. Disappear.

 

Author: Jorge Burón | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Monday, 19 June 2017
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Jorge Burón, a Political Science student at UAM (Autonomous University of Madrid), shares his experience during the first workshop of a four-part cycle on Rights, Freedom and Democracy from the point of view of politics he will undertake for Afrikable’s women beneficiaries, as part of his internship in the area of women empowerment in Lamu.

"I was feeling nervous when I came into the room half an hour before the time of the talk to prepare my introduction in Swahili, it was translated by Khadija. It was just five sentences but many of them do not speak English and it seemed to me a small gesture, although I continued in English with Khadija as an interpreter.

What shall I begin with? Should I tell them about Kenya’s political institutions first? Do we talk directly about the August 8th elections? Do I ask them what they think about the rights of their Constitution? After a presentation on what it means to have rights, to be free and to live in democracy, I did not know what to do. Until it began, and then they did it.

All I had to do was ask them about their concerns: everyone said education and health. One said safety, another equality for women. Khadija only said corruption. That is the problem here and she knows it; she knows a lot. What is the point of a Constitution or voting if everyone steals from us, if women continue to be battered and raped, if the police only work for those who pay them and for others can be a danger?.

Taller Derechos 01

And then they definitely took over. They discussed, shouted, grumbled, laughed with resignation. I didn’t understand anything they said because they spoke in Swahili, but I understood them. They talked about politics and rights, many of them for the first time.

The first day we found out that democracy is not just voting. Democracy, as they said, means to be free. Democracy is knowing which are our rights and demanding them when we are not allowed to exercise them. It is to keep fighting for what we deserve instead of giving up. It is discussing our problems and solutions. The society that we have and the one we want.

At the end of the talk I asked them what they wanted to discuss at the session the following week: constitution, institutions, women’s rights... Everyone, with no exception, said women’s rights. It is obvious that they know what they want.

It was only the first talk and I learned more about politics, democracy and society; about fighting, hope, resignation and progress than in all years of my degree. I hope they continue to teach me and that when I leave, they feel like they can achieve what they want. What they are so sure about."

 

Author: Jorge Burón | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Saturday, 10 June 2017
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Out of sight... out of mind, they say. Well, we don’t know about that what is certain is poor eye sight means not getting the full potential out of a lesson, not being able to do small tasks like sewing or simply not being able to recognise people who greet us down the street or not being able to read something (those who wear glasses know what I’m talking about).

Visita oftalmologos 01

Well in Lamu is no different, on an island of sun, sea and sand we can get an idea of how many eye problems there are. Most of this problems can be solved with one simple gesture, by wearing glasses, but of course in Lamu is not that easy, since we are faced with a significant lack of quality ophthalmology or optical services. The vast majority of the population have never got their eyes checked and don’t have access to glasses like we do. Therefore, at Afrikable, we did not hesitate one second when the chance arose to collaborate with Fundación Cione - Ruta de la Luz. The answer was immediate: OF COURSE!.

Visita oftalmologos 02

And thus Sebi and Jessica came to Afrikable, two volunteer opticians who for a week gave their all checking the eyes of as many people as possible, both of people who came to Afrikable and people from villages who because of their age or state of health could not move. Giving people the opportunity to see clearly for the first time. It was so exciting to hear the “Wow!” they let out when they could see everything clearly.

Visita oftalmologos 03

Visita oftalmologos 04

With this ophthalmology campaign, more than 400 people got their eyes checked and about 140 glasses were ordered, both eyeglasses and sunglasses (let’s not forget we live on a sunny island), thus promoting the health of Afrikable’s beneficiaries and the rest of inhabitants of Lamu. We can’t wait to see everyone with their glasses and how they improve people’s quality of life. Children will be able to see the blackboard, women will be able to sew, get more out of their alphabetization lessons and many more improvements.

We can only say ASANTE SANA! Fundación Cione - Ruta de la Luz for this project and for helping to improve the lives of Lamu’s women, men and children..

Visita oftalmologos 05

 

Author: Irene García-Durán | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Friday, 23 December 2016
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The new Afrikable’s Solidarity Holidays programme comes out at last. This is our 8th edition and we are very proud to say that so far more than 400 people have been able to participate in the project, understand a new reality and fulfil many of their dreams :)

Afrikable is not an intermediary agency, which is why our project remains the same: we work towards the holistic empowerment of women as a way to achieve their independence and improve their lives, for this purpose we empower women economically by offering them a decent job under fair trade standards and access to microcredit. Social empowerment is achieved by offering them an education and literacy, as well as information and advice on their rights. Women are psychologically empowered through reflection circles where we work on their self-esteem and self-confidence, develop their leadership and communication skills, awareness and decision-making, as well as their emotional development.

With the new project we are launching, Maternity Home, Afrikable empowers women from health, through a Maternal and Reproductive Health Center where we stand up for women’s sexual and reproductive rights and promote their health, which are key to achieving gender equality and women empowerment.

While women are at work, their children attend Afrikable’s free preschool. We take care of their babies so they can balance work and family lives in the best way possible.

New this year is an organic vegetable garden and a chicken coop that help us provide a balanced menu at the dining hall, which is also free and provides food for children and pregnant women living in extreme poverty and at risk of exclusion from the area.

Fill out the application form in order to participate and receive more information and send it to us via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can see the changes to the 8th Edition programme on our website: www.afrikable.org/en/volunteer-holidays.

 

Infografía Vacaciones Solidarias Afrikable

 

If you have already been on our solidarity holidays in previous years and you want to see the great changes that have taken place since then, or you are a member and want to know first-hand the project in which you collaborate to see where your help goes, we make your participation in the programme easier by offering you a 25% discount on your stay (see conditions here).

The next briefing will take place in Madrid, on January 21st, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Those who want to participate only have to confirm their attendance by sending us an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Attendance does not commit you to anything and is completely free.

In case you haven’t decided yet :), here’s Sandra Fernandez’s testimony, who participated in the project during August:

"JUST ONE MONTH
It’s been almost 4 months, 4 months since I came back from the most amazing month of my life.
A month in which I experienced new cultures I never thought I would experience from within.
A month in which for once, day after day, I would get up feeling happy, even though I find it so hard to get up early!
A month in which I knew I would get hugs, genuine hugs, first thing in the morning.
A month in which I met a group of holidaymakers with the same enthusiasm as me, I met them and today we know this is long term.
A month seeing women with a smile on their face despite the weight they carry on their shoulders, which is a lot!!
A month that made me forget the absurd idea that I was going to feel sorry for them and start feeling sorry for us, who have everything we want but are certainly empty.
A month enjoying the people of Lamu, the way they feel music, their beaches, the boat trips, their “pole pole” and *HAKUNA MATATA*, Afrikable’s enthusiasm and, especially, the affection. Seeing the wonder Lola and Merche, Afrikable’s founders, have created and becoming a part of this big family thanks to Anita and Cris, my coordinators.
Many will think it was just one month, that’s nothing, what an exaggeration! That’s what I thought at first, but it was an intense month, with all kind of emotions. Experiencing things we had never experienced before.
A month that was enough to make me want to come back, well, enough to know that I’m coming back.
And yes, it was JUST ONE MONTH”

 

If you want to read more testimonies and opinions on the project and Afrikable’s Volunteer Holidays, follow the link. We hope to see you all soon! Karibuni-Welcome!

 

Author: Lola Serra | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Friday, 09 December 2016
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Dawn and you already feel that it is a special day, like every day here, but today with a different touch, 9 of our children graduate and in January they will go to primary school. To celebrate, the women of Afrikable have dressed in yellow or blue to fill this moment with colour and joy.

Graduacion2016 01

It's impossible not to be proud, but it's also a chain feeling. This event is due to the work opportunities that Afrikable gives women, to the desire to fight and get ahead of these super moms, thus giving an education to their children, through the teachers and the important role they play here and these 9 nerds wanting to continue learning and knowing beyond what is made in the streets of Lamu.

Today is a good day to dedicate a special word to Madame Grace and Madame Joyce, the two teachers of Afrikable, their work here is impeccable and they start and end the day with a smile, although it is hard to believe it has not been easy to find teachers who don't hit children, respect them, motivate them and inspire them hope.

Graduacion2016 02

It is almost impossible to describe the roller coaster of emotions you have on this day. I will forever be grateful to Afrikable for every second on this project.

Graduacion2016 03

 

Author: Ana Carlavilla | Translator: Sheila Castro

Thursday, 27 October 2016
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Guided by Manu, an ex solidarity holidayer who never keeps still and loves to get involve in new adventures, and with Pablo’s help www.huerteamos.com, Afrikable has now an ecological allotment and a henhouse!

Our shamba was already taking shape with the school, the dining room, the holidayers area, etc, but it was time to start making the most out of the whole available land.

The goals were clear: Supplying the kitchen with highly demanded products, giving the shamba some freshness by contributing more green areas, and educating women and children in environmental and farming topics, all of this by recycling as much as possible, both when producing and in the future maintenance in order to make it more sustainable, which is also very important in Afrikable’s culture.

Our “allotmenters”, Manu and Pablo, who was convinced by the first one to come to Lamu for a few weeks, started to do some tests to get the necessary conditions. They told me they were facing a big starting problem since the soil in Lamu is very sandy, itdoesn’t keep the nutrients, and, therefore, it is not suitable for farming. The solution was found by mixing it up with the clay soil in Manda, the opposite island, and providing it with nutrients containing cow manure. After several tests, they have come up with the perfect mixture for our allotment. Substratum ready!

Huerto 01

With the kids running around everywhere and everyone happily walking the shamba, it was necessary to set some terraces up, for which they used the abandoned coconut palms wood –to fence the substratum and the plantation zone in.

Mainly tomatoes, peppers and potatoes –besides aubergines, passion fruit, papaya, mchicha and lady’s fingers− have been grown for self-sufficiency. Aromatic plants such as mint, lavender or basil have been included for consumption, but also to create an ecosystem that attracts plague predators such as bees. We must remember our ecological allotment and avoid any ‘pesticide’.

Not only the allotment area has been grown but also terraces have been put around the fence, where climbing plants will be grown not only for decoration but also to provide freshness and to work as windbreaker.

In the future, they will carry on the work in the school area, where the idea is to grow passion fruit and a flamboyant tree to provide that area in the shamba with shade.

And with our intention of recycling, some large cans have been placed to work as compost bins, to recycle Afrikable’s organic waste, and to get our own compost for our allotment to be able to be self-sufficient.

 

 

What can we do about food leftovers? With the same recycling spirit, our boys have set a henhouse up with the macuti of the former school. This henhouse has a capacity of roughly 25/30 hens, although at the moment we just have 4. We hope they can provide the project with eggs. Our ‘posh’ hens, as Manu has called them, will feed on food leftovers, thus reducing the project leftovers to the top.

Gallinero

 

Author: Ana García Chaves | Translator: Sara Vivarelli

Wednesday, 03 August 2016
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In the last few weeks, Afrikable facilities in Lamu had great progress. Thanks to the effort and hard work from the whole team, we have accomplished major milestones.

On the one hand, we have water in the kitchen (we would like to thank Miguel Santolaya and Miren Estrellas for their effort). You wouldn’t believe how happy the cooks are!.

Avances Agua Cocina

On the other hand, we finished the school bathroom, the sink in the dining room and the school walls.

Avances Banyo escuelita

And to top it off, we are preparing our own vegetable garden. We can’t be stopped!.

Avances Huerto

If you would like to know the rest of the facilities, please read this post.

 

Author: María Carrió | Translator: Celi Pecorelli

Monday, 11 July 2016
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We start the week with an announcement that makes us feel very proud and full of joy, as someone might say ;) … Afrikable has been recognized by the Ministry of Interior as a Public Interest Organization!

We are going to explain what it means, what implies to be a Public Interest Organization, and its benefits.

 

The Public Interest Statement is an official recognition given by the Minister of Interior for the important social work of the organization. It is a stamp that gives prestige to our entity and shows our efficiency, transparency and good practices to the society. It is a guarantee to our partners, donors and collaborators.

In order to obtain this title, it is necessary to fulfill certain requirements established by the Ley Orgánica 1/2002 of March 22nd, from the Derecho de Asociación:

  • The statutory purposes must promote general interest.
  • Its activity must not be restrained exclusively to benefit its associates.
  • The representative members that perceive payment must not be from funds or public grants.
  • They must have personal means, adequate materials and appropriate organization to ensure the statutory purposes.
  • It must be constituted and enrolled in the Register, to be running and implementing its statutory purposes continuously and concurring all previous requirement, for at least two years prior to the submission of the application.

 

Benefits to our partners and donors.

To be part of a Public Interest Association makes its partners and donors feel proud, since they have the State guarantee that their contributions go to a solvent entity that works for the common good.

This honor guarantees that we are achieving our statutory purposes to promote the empowerment of women, the fair trade, the nutrition and education for kids in the island, the respect for the environment, and that the entity is solvent and develops the project.

There are also certain tax benefits, which our partners and donors were already benefiting from and will still do because from 2010 Afrikable is registered as a Development NGO in the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

 

Donaciones Desgravacion Fiscal IRPF

Fiscal Deduction table in IRPF per donation

 

Donaciones Desgravacion Fiscal IRPF Ejemplo

TFiscal Deduction table in IRPF per donation. For example, a monthly fee of 15€.

 

Benefits for Associate and Sponsors.

Our partner companies will still have the tax benefits from before, and now they will also have the additional guarantee from the State regarding the use of your donations.

If you would like to know how your Company can collaborate in this Project, read about it in the post regarding Corporate Social Responsibility and how your Company can also benefit collaborating with Afrikable.

 

Donaciones Desgravacion Fiscal IS

Fiscal Deduction table in IS per donation

 

Benefits acquired by Afrikable.

With this recognition, we guarantee quality, solvency and good deeds to everyone who collaborates with Afrikable, and also acquired some benefits that will help us strengthening the project:

  • Use the mention "Declared as Public Interest” along with our name.
  • Have certain tax exemption and economic benefits.
  • Have free legal help.
  • Expansion of potential funding through grants from different Public Administrations, not forgetting those of the European Union.

 

If you believe, like us, that a better and fairer world is possible. Support us!

 

Author: Lola Serra | Translator: Celi Pecorelli

Monday, 27 June 2016
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On the occasion of Africa Day, the radio program Tres Mundos, Solidaridad de Radio 5 RNE, interviewed Lola Serra, co-founder and partner of Afrikable, to share with the audience what we have been doing in our project in Lamu to Empower women.

We appreciate their interest in our project and we hope you like it!

 

 

Click here, if you want to listen the complete program, in which they interview another Spanish ONGD that works in Ethiopia.

 

Translator: Celi Pecorelli.

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ABOUT AFRIKABLE

Afrikable is a Spanish charitable organisation, registered in the National Register of Associations under number 1/1/594088 and in the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID)'s Register of Non-Governmental Organisations under number 2033.

 

In Kenya our association is called Afrika Able Organization and is registered with Kenya's NGO Coordination Board under number 10976.

WHERE ARE WE

  • Lamu, Kenia.
    Madrid, Spain
  • +34 605 722 162