Afrikable - Cooperación para el desarrollo en Africa

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Monday, 19 June 2017
Published in PROJECTS

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?.

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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
Published in PROJECTS

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).

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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!.

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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.

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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..

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Author: Irene García-Durán | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Tuesday, 07 March 2017
Published in PROMOTION

Today is our day, the day to remind the world of our rights, that we exist, that we are just as intelligent as men, that we want equality.

Today seems to be the day that has been granted to us to give us value, to thank us for our role as women, mothers, wives, single, workers, unemployed, tall, short… the day society acknowledges our existence.

Although we at Afrikable fight for women’s rights all year round, not only on the 8th of March.

Because our project’s aim is to empower women. To make sure they have a job, learn a trade, learn to read and write, explain to them which are their rights so they can defend themselves all over the world.

Yes, the verb “defend” is the best one to explain this world and this society.

Because having to say that in this century we still have to fight for our most fundamental rights is surprising, to say the least.

That there are still men in political positions who continue to believe and say flat out that women are intellectually inferior and that this is one of the reasons why they should get paid less money than men.

That each day we have to justify and prove our position in an office in front of male colleagues.

That women die every day at the hands of psychopaths who think they have power over someone else’s life.

There are so many examples...

And it is a shame that, on such a beautiful day as Women’s Day, the words that stick out are: fight, rights, hope, union, survival, empowerment.

If everything was alright, if we were given the value that we have, today we would hear words like: love, life, excitement, eagerness, equality.

For our part, we want to congratulate all women for their daily struggle, for not losing faith, hope, the eagerness. Because each day there are more of us willing to scream to the world that there are many of us, we are strong and united.

Afrikable and its women prove every day that it can be done. With a job they like, a living wage, a family to feed, and all of this with a smile. Those smiles that light up Lamu.

 

Author: Ana Carlavilla | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Tuesday, 07 March 2017
Published in PROMOTION

International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate that in the face of inequality and injustice we are not alone. Many women and men have decided to act in favor of women’s rights and our empowerment as agents of change and social progress.

All over the world, women have to face economic and employment inequality, violence inside and outside the home, lack of access to education, to health services, etc. International Women’s Day should be used to denounce and make visible such inequalities and situations of social injustice, to not silence us, to seek compromises and commit ourselves to our future, ultimately, to take action.

I wanted to focus my commitment on March 8th, 2017 on one case of inequality and injustice that I’m especially concerned about, which is, access to women’s reproductive and maternal health. Access to health is a human right but women and girls, mainly in developing regions, have to face situations of helplessness caused by economic dependence, discrimination, lack of social support, lack of education, lack of power over their own sexual and reproductive lives, lack of resources for better care and inaccessibility to health care services. According to data from the UN only half the women in developing countries receive the medical care they need and many women suffer and die every year from complications during pregnancy and childbirth (the maternal mortality rate in these countries is 14 times higher than in developed regions).

We need to take action because maternal morbidity and mortality is a danger that could be avoided by providing developing regions with the resources needed to provide information, education and easy access to quality health care. By supporting and promoting measures such as the new Afrikable’s project Maternity Home, with our commitment, we can achieve this..

Happy International Women’s Day to all!

 

Author: Lidia Jimeno | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Saturday, 18 February 2017
Published in PROMOTION

Those were the options I chose to continue collaborating with Afrikable from Spain and to help launch the Maternity Home. A Center for Reproductive and Maternal Health, through which Afrikable empowers women from health, standing up for women’s sexual and reproductive rights and promoting their health, which are key to achieving gender equality and women empowerment.

Erika Bergara

When I arrived in Lamu last August and met Afrikable, I knew right away that I had made the right decision. I was right in choosing a Volunteer Holiday that became the best experience of my life.

A holiday full of color, smiles, surprises every day, brave women who are beautiful inside and out, and children who instill happiness with just a smile. I lived there with 11 colleagues and the best coordinators. When the time to leave came, I couldn’t help but say those words that are heard at the end of every month at Afrikable: "I don’t want to leave".

Upon arrival in Spain, I began to think of ways in which I could continue to collaborate with Afrikable. I wanted to do my bit to help bring the new project forward: Maternity Home.

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Then I had the idea to organize a charity market. It was a great experience that I recommend to everyone. .

I loved being able to remember and share everything I experienced during August with everyone who came by to buy the handmade items that women at Afrikable made.

 

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In addition, I talked to 4 friendly businesses: Kukumiku (a candy store in Algorta, Getxo), Bar Amalur in Legutiano, 15.000 Hops (a bar in Barakaldo) and Kaki Frutadenda (a fruit shop in Romo, Getxo) and asked them if I could install money boxes in their establishments along with a brief explanation of the project Maternity Home in order to raise some money. It has been a success! It was as easy as installing four money boxes.

I can only say asante sana (thank you very much) to everyone who has made this possible, thanks to everyone who has helped me and has collaborated in one way or another, and thanks to Kukumiku, Bar Amalur, 15,000 Hops, and Kaki Frutadenda for their great contribution.

 

#EmpoderaLaVida   Collaborate! 

 

Author: Erika Bergara | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Friday, 23 December 2016
Published in PROJECTS

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
Published in PROJECTS

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.

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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.

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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.

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Author: Ana Carlavilla | Translator: Sheila Castro

Sunday, 13 November 2016
Published in PROMOTION

It’s already been seven years since we undertook this wonderful project. Seven years full of joys, many smiles, and also more sorrows than we would have wanted to experience, but, ultimately, seven intense years that have changed our lives and mainly the lives of many families in Lamu.

It’s already been seven years since we realised that women in Lamu deserved us to leave our comfortable European life, families and friends aside, and to fight for a fairer future for them and their families, because they deserve this and much more.

Our beginnings were easy: A sewing workshop with 10 women, who were offered training, literacy, a decent job according to fair trade’s standards, children education, and dining room service for their children –a total of 15 back then–, both free of charge.

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Seven years later, the project has so grown that, during these years, we found ourselves in need of buying a piece of land to be able to take in the over 40 women who are part of the already four fair trade workshops nearly 100 in high production times– and the over 120 children we support in their child development. Moreover, a new project we dreamt of since our beginnings can finally see the light and get started: Afrikable’s Maternity Home, where a lot of women will be able to receive high-quality gynaecological assistance and pregnancy follow up, with the purpose of improving their sexual, reproductive, and maternal life.

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After these years, we can see big personal changes and little big leaps towards women’s empowerment in the evolution of women like Khadija Hassan, who used to sleep on her mother-in-law’s hut floor after her husband having abandoned her and her daughter, and who, after standing out in the sewing workshop for her qualities and skills, became store manager and has been the inland director of Afrikable for a few years now.

 

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A little big dose of magic when a woman like Fatuma Hassan when the only thing she’d ever done in her entire life was cutting wood, bringing water, and giving birth, is given the opportunity to show her worth, to learn to read and write, to overcome the difficulties and learn to use the sewing machine –though no one can stop her now...A little big dose of magic when Fatima gets to know her rights and doesn’t want her daughter to get married when she’s only 15 years-old: She wants her to study and to have a different future, a future she is able to choose.

 

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A huge dose of magic when Maryam Ramadhan faced her husband, who did not want her to work, nor to be seen by any other men –despite them being doctors when she was ill...and, despite receiving death threats from her now ex-husband and falling into deep depression, has overcome all these obstacles life has put in her way towards her empowerment. She’s now the CEO of her own life and she decides to work in Afrikable’s store, working face-to-face with customers, and to go to the doctor if she needs to, and she lives on her own and says she can now choose, and she chooses not to marry until she finds a man who respects her the way she deserves.

 

During these seven years, over 400 people have taken part in our solidarity holidays programme, been part of our joys and our sorrows, and have been able to see firsthand all this progress.

Seven years full of stories, many of them happy, some of them very sad, which break our souls...Seven years which would not have been possible without your help and cooperation. Thank you so much for trusting us, for supporting us, for reading us, for spreading our work. In short, thanks a lot for being there!

To other 7, 70, or 7 000 years! CONGRATULATIONS, AFRIKABLE, and keep on growing!

 

 

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Author: Lola Serra | Translator: Sara Vivarelli

Sunday, 31 July 2016
Published in MATERNITY HOME

Fatuma Jarso has recently become a mum. She gave birth in her house, as nearly every other woman in the project has. The baby is okay but she is hospitalized because the labour got complicated, and she is undergoing a strong haemorrhage. From the heart, we truly hope there is not any other complications and for her to get the discharge.

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In the bed next to Fatuma’s, there is a woman that has just given birth to twins, and one of them has unfortunately not been able to make it through the labour. The girl in bed on the other side has to be operated due to a vagina deformation after the complications in her last labour.

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The fact of being a woman means having an added risk in the developing countries, and Kenya is not an exception. It is estimated that, in 2015, over 300.000 women died both during pregnancy and while they were giving birth or after it all over the world. Moreover, for every woman dying when giving birth, a dozen undergo either an injury, or infection, or illness.

Most of maternal deaths are either caused by haemorrhages, infections, dangerous abortions, and preeclampsia (serious hypertension with convulsions), or due to complications because of pre-existing illnesses that get worse during pregnancy. It is quite obvious that both the lack of a suitable medical assistance and the high cost of the services are key factors which determine the woman’s and baby’s survival.

When a mother dies during labour, the child left orphaned is much more likely to die in the next two years after her/his mother’s death.

Maternal mortality rate in Kenya is very high, for the figures collected by the WHO (360 deaths out of every 100.000 births) only take into account the births in hospitals, being Kenya a country where only 44% of the births is assisted by suitable nurse staff. Lamu is one of Kenya’s districts with the highest mortality rate in the whole country (676 women die for every 100.000 births). The difficult access women have to sources and healthcare services, as well as the lack of suitable infrastructures, are the origin of this situation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has committed to support the fast reduction of maternal mortality by 2030 as a part of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda.

From Afrikable, we want to contribute to this goal by launching a Reproductive and Maternal Health Centre in order to be able to provide women with a quality assistance service that is accessible and suitable for all the women who need it.

The great majority of maternal deaths would be prevented if women had access to quality family planning health services, appropriate assistance during pregnancy, birth, and the first month after delivery or assistance after abortions. This is the reason why, in Afrikable, we have started a first stage of training and awareness, through family planning, health, first aid, and HIV workshops, as well as other topics related to sexual, reproductive, and maternal health, for both women in general and midwives.

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In future stages, we will cover gynaecological needs, support during pregnancy, and in the last stage we will assist in labour in order to be able to stand behind women’s rights in regards to reproductive and maternal health, thus providing women with a complete assistance and empowering them in every aspect of their lives.

 

Author: Lola Serra | Translator: Sara Vivarelli

Monday, 22 February 2016
Published in PROMOTION

Here we have four situations that will make you smile thanks to the Volunteer Holidays’ program with Afrikable:

1. The arrival and the greetings: The welcome to the tourists in Lamu is a mix between fun and surprise. The inhabitants of Lamu will take care of embracing the visitor with a sample of effusiveness. You will hear “karibu” from the autochthonous’ mouths: a word that will accompany you during a good part of the trip. You will also hear “jambo” or the familiar “mambo”, which will serve as a greeting at any moment. This gesture is still present in Lamu and it is appreciated. In addition, it makes you smile.

2. The laughter of the little ones: As soon as you arrive to the Afrikable’s school, you will notice the contagious laughs of the little ones. Kids in Lamu do not stop smiling. They will not only transmit their laughter but they will also teach us a lesson of humility and enjoyment of life facing the problems.

3. Donkeys have priority: As a famous Swahili proverb says, “A man without a donkey is a dumb”. So it will not take you a lot of time to realize that there are donkeys at every corner on the island of Lamu and that this animal is the common mode of transportation. One of the funniest situations is having to wait for donkeys to cross the narrow streets of the village… Everything else can wait.

4. The food, the beaches and the local people: On this small island you will realize that the little pleasures are a reason to smile. And you will do it as soon as you try the delicious local gastronomy (very inexpensive and affordable) with fish and fresh fruits, or when you have the opportunity to lay down at the beaches or to make a trip on a lateen sail boat, known as “dhow”. A trip to paradise that will make you consider life with utter happiness for a few days.

 

Author: Carmen García | Translator: Paula Aparicio

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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