K4A - Night of the Nets
3rd April 2010 - Watamu (Kenya)

Evaluation of this event:

[ Photos of the day

It is wonderful to realize you are all it takes for the world to change? How great can it be when all your limitations do not limit you to make an impact in the world? What a blessings it is to use what you have however little and at the end of it to know that the small you are / have is all it takes to make a difference.

When I first heard of Night of net and the World Vision ACT:S, I felt I could act too, and made a commitment to host an event.

I gathered a few of my friends and put the idea on the table and we agreed that all it takes to make change the world like someone said once is a group however small of like minded people and we formed our little group. “Epuka Squad and our Slogan Epuka Usave” Epuka is a Swahili name meaning Flee/ keeps off while the slogan basically means Flee to save a life.

We had a lot of to learn especially considering that none of us has any medical background except for science taught in schools.

Prior to the main event we held two minor events in secondary schools around the district and while we were teaching them we were learning and practicing what we shall say on 3rd April 2010 the day we held the Event Night of Nets.

Our Event:
We held an open air Gospel Music extravaganza in a small Village Called Watamu, which is in Malindi district, Kenya. Several gospel artists came to grace the event. God bless you all for volunteering, you touched our hearts in a big way.

1. Krax Blaze from Nairobi
2. DOD from Nairobi
3. Eunice Salama Soda from Mombasa
4. Leonard Mambo from Watamu
5. Kiema from Malindi
6. Beatrice and Leah from Nairobi… though not musicians their presence was very important in the ground.

We started the event at 3:30pm and closed it at 8pm after showing the movie on a big screen using a projector for all to see. I acted as the master of ceremony and in between the performances taught the public about Malaria. We had more than 300 people attending the event, and the sad news is that we realized very few people know the effects of malaria to be as fatal as they really are; there is a lot of ignorance in the community. Extreme poverty in this area contributes to a lot of death cases especially among the children.

Many of them have no idea that malaria is contagious and neither do they know the connection between HIV and Malaria. Community education is required in a huge way. People take malaria as a simple disease which one can simply walk into a chemist and buy medication for… they have no idea that the parasite becomes resistant to drugs. Most of the Kids in the meeting were shocked after seeing the effects of Malaria as Africa’s deadliest predator on the Video James Pedrick sent to us.

A big number of deaths in the area is attributed to witchcraft rather than natural causes, this includes children’s deaths which when I was thinking of hit with a bang that high chances are malaria is a major contributor. We have had calls from other places in Kenya who desperately need to be taught and helped to save their families and we plan to extend this mission far and wide.

We have started small but we have a bigger dream to free Kenya, Africa and other areas affected of Malaria. World Vision’s involvement touched our hearts after knowing you are in places not affected by Malaria and yet you are doing so much to help. It’s a big challenge to us.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Is important for people on the ground to participate on fighting and creating awareness for Malaria.
  2. Actions are required to accompany the teachings as that helps those taught to practice the teachings.
  3. There is need to get and distribute mosquito nets to pregnant women and mothers with children under five who cannot afford a net.
  4. Lots of resources are needed, hence we need to get a funding system to fund these projects.
  5. The right people in these medical fields need to be involved in the events.
  6. While doing this we need to be able to organize medical camps in which people are tested for Malaria and given medication for the same as most of them have no money to go to the hospitals every time they experience symptoms.

Special Thanks to:

  • Krax for designing our advertisments and for making all those very useful suggestions. He is organizing a similar event for Nairobi later this month which I can’t wait to attend. We are looking at the 24th April 2010 subject to confirmation.
  • Pastor chosen of Hossana City Church and his wife Pastor Joyce who helped us with the equipment needed to host the event.
  • Frank Charo who even though had lost his first and only son on 2nd April still came to the event to help us connect all the equipments without which the event wouldn’t have been impossible.
  • Mom was great when it came to encouraging us to move on and the task of feeding the 15pax in the house wasn’t easy.

Below are names of the people who sat to organize the event and despite the fact that all of them earn between 100 and 300 USD per month gave their money and resources to fund the event.

This group is so amazing that even when we hit walls and all sorts of opposition from people who thought we had been paid to do this stood strong and made a stand to fight for humanity. Am proud of these guys.

• Epuka Squad comprises of:
1. Rosemary Mwihaki Kahiga
2. Grace Atieno Onyango
3. Joseph Karisa
4. Jeremiah Mthawali Ngari
5. Cecilia Kahiga
6. Catherine Njeri Kahiga

[ Click here ] for a few photos from the event and we recorded parts of the event which we will send to you after editing. Most of it is in Kiswahili which is our national Language but is sure you will at least have a clue of what it was like. Looking forward to working more with World Vision.

God Bless World Vision.

  Contact Rosemary Kahiga for more details.