Grantee spotlight: Making a difference in communities
The Ipas Collaborative Fund aims to provide flexible funding to local organizations all contributing to our shared goal of reproductive justice. Each one of the organizations highlighted here were part of the Fund’s pilot year—and all, along with the people connected to them, are making an impact in their communities.
Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance (PACIDA)
Abdia Lalaikipia, PACIDA project coordinator
Abdia says that the work PACIDA did with the Ipas Collaborative Fund grant addressed the links between climate change, a problem the community is facing, and sexual and reproductive health. “Most people did not know there was a link,” she says, but now the community is aware. Through trainings, she says “Samburu Women are now embracing alternative means of livelihood like agro-farming to address malnutrition, hunger and poverty.”
Abdia Lalaikipia of PACIDA talks with members of the Namaiyana Youth Group during their weekly meeting
Abdia demonstrates how to use washable sanitary towels and menstrual cups.
Margaret Leparkry (left) and Christine Lekamario (right) of the Namaiyana Youth Group
“Through PACIDA I have been taught about family planning, kitchen gardens and climate change. I also have been educated on the benefits of taking my child to the clinic. Before we could not afford sanitary pads but through PACIDA we get the washable ones, and we are also taught about hygiene and disposal of pads,” says Margaret Leparkry.
Nancy Ruoro, a member of the Environmental Justice Youth Group.
Nancy really liked that this project incorporated different members of the community, “Because climate change involves all of us.”
“PACIDA has educated us about sexual and reproductive health, and I have seen my peers incorporating the lessons that we have been taught, like planting kitchen gardens and using reusable sanitary pads.” PACIDA, she says, has “opened our eyes” about how to fight climate change.
The Mamas (older Women) of the Environmental Justice Youth Group help in planting trees in the tree nursery.
Ng’athkie Akoriye, Alimlim Lokipeth, and Akwanomore Emayie started a tree nursery and taught others how to plant trees.
“We are happy with what the youth are doing on conservation of the environment. We help them in planting trees. [This] is important, and we thank PACIDA for their support,” says Alimlim.
Women of Blessing Women’s Group and John Jamaica Leddipo, an environmental officer from Samburu County, who collaborates with PACIDA
The Women of Blessing Womens Group gather for their weekly meeting with PACIDA in Suguta Marmar in Samburu County.
John teaches the women about the trees that brought by PACIDA, and how to plant and take care of them.
Julietta Lekinasia, of Blessing Women’s Group in her kitchen garden.
Through PACIDA, Julietta traveled to Makueni County to learn from women farmers there. “I was very inspired by the women in Makueni County, especially because we have the same environment. They have succeeded in farming and planting trees, and I want that to be the case for our community as well.”
Entashata Loita CBO
Elizabeth Poyio in her agrovet shop at the market center.
“I was sponsored by Entashata to go to high school. I have been empowered and educated about sexual reproductive health and female genital mutilation (FGM).”
Noorimrim Nairoto (Mama Kijiji) has attended Entashata trainings on reproductive health.
“The training really opened my eyes to issues that I did not know of before. I have preached what I was taught to my fellow women in the community because I want them to also benefit from this knowledge. I have also learned about my rights and where to seek help from in case I am in trouble.”
The women of the beehive project stand near the hives.
Seeking to empower themselves, women approached Entashata for help and started the beehive project. They now have a bank account where they keep all the proceeds from the honey they sell.
"Through this project we have become empowered and independent. From the income we have gotten we have been able to help the needy and sponsored two children through school."
Angela Nashipai stands at the local clinic where she is an intern.
“Through this project I have been taken through school and I have also been educated on female genital mutilation (FGM) which also inspired me to educate others about FGM.”
Lolturoto Poyio says learning more about gender-based violence and family planning has benefitted the community.
“Learning about GBV and family planning has really enlightened us. I have learnt what family planning is and what its benefits are. I have also learned about the importance of dialogue at home instead of physical violence. This project has really benefitted the community.”
Phillip Simpano, Entasekera area Chief shows the community tap that was installed as part of the water project.
“Before this water project, the villagers would drink dirty water because the source of the water was not protected. Now the members of the community can drink the water as it is clean and use the water for other chores at home.”
The water tap brings water from Kilueni spring.
Entashata dam had been the only water source in the dry and arid area of Olturotale Ntashata.
Women walked up to 12 kms to get water; taking almost the whole day and leaving them little time to do anything else. The water is very dirty and can cause illnesses.
Normejooli Munka a community member who lives near the water source uses the water for cooking and cleaning in her kitchen.
“I am so grateful and happy that the water project came. The water is clean for drinking and use at home. I now have time to take care of my business instead of spending almost the whole day walking to fetch water.”
Amos and Hellen Topisia, staff, outside the Entashata Loita office.
SAIF Advocacy Foundation
Photos by Nelson Apochi Owoicho for Ipas
Kabiru Muhammed works with Guidance and Counselling Development Association (GCDA)
Guidance and Counselling Development Association is a community organization in Gombe States focused on health, education, and peace and conflict resolution.
“This training has changed the perceptions of a lot of people, mostly people living with disabilities.”
“Ipas really made a huge effort with SAIF Advocacy to help community organizations integrate postabortion care (PAC) services into their strategic plans and in their activities,” says Kabiru.
Munira Saleh, program officer of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities Gombe
The SAIF program, says Munira, has helped erase some stigma in the community. Now, she says, people don’t look at others “like they are bad because they got pregnant” or because they had to end their pregnancy.
“I’m very excited about this program, seriously very excited.”
Munira says her message to SAIF and Ipas is that she appreciates the inclusivity of the program. “We are part of this program, persons with disabilities.”
She hopes that training on abortion can be brought to other communities in Gombe.
Retired health worker, Yelwe Abduwlahi of FOMWAN participated in training on gender-based violence
Yelwe says she is grateful for the knowledge she has gained from this training, and ready to share it with her community, noting a need: “So we hope for such training to continue because cases of rape and gender-based violence increase.”