Friday, February 3, 2012

Actualizing our vision

Every problem that the country faces is being solved in some community by some group or some individual. The question is how to get connected so that the whole nation can solve problems. A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see; who can feel what most do not feel. Often, such gifted persons do not think of themselves as volunteers, but as citizens – citizens in the fullest sense; partners in civilization. AZMA is merely a collection of citizens in the fullest sense. It is not made alive by an individual but a community of believers and doers. Believers in the possibility of change through coming together to do good, and doers who turn ideas to action!

Volunteers aren’t paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.

The Japanese say that vision without action is a daydream and that action without vision is a nightmare. The AZMA idea is great, but if you and I are not willing to share our ideas, thoughts, question systems, or take part in voluntary activities, then it becomes just another idea. We are moving from the point of talking to the point of acting.

We had a meeting with AZMAtics at the cake plaza on Friday the 20th. With an attendance of about 30 people, this meeting put emphasis on the need to have initiative as an AZMAtic. I cannot emphasize enough on how much AZMA really depends on YOU and how you use it. We merely created the platform for you. It is now for you to engage with as much enthusiasm in both our online and offline activities. The future is ours! Let’s reconstruct it!

My happiest day will be when young people not only realize what this network can do but also begin using it to make that significant, insurmountable difference!

Some people want it to happen, some wish it to happen, others make it happen. Where do you lie??

Cross Posts from AZMA website AZMA Actualizing our vision

Mental Health in Kenya

There are 3 million, mostly poor Kenyans living with intellectual and mental disabilities in Kenya today, and only 79 registered psychiatrists. Our government spends less than 1 % of its health budget on mental health issues, yet a quarter of the patients seeking medical help in public health facilities complain of mental issues. After hearing this, what we typical Kenyans do is blame the government for forsaking its own saying “Serikali haifanyi kazi” but what have we done to help the situation?

Nobody wants to stand up and speak of this issue which is soon becoming prevalent in our society. Those with family members who are mentally handicapped are even more petrified to bring their kin out to seek medical help or even enjoy the warm afternoon sun because of the stigma, the odd stares, and the whispers that follow them. Ironically, research in South Africa shows that levels of stigma are more in the urban areas among the people with higher levels of education

So why is it that when we meet a mentally handicapped individual by the streets, we cross to the other side of the road, when we go swimming and one makes a splash into the pool, immediately we make a run for it, when in a matatu, or bus, we give odd stares and make it even more uncomfortable for the mother who is trying to make ends meet for her family, and at the same time give her child the best she can? Is it because we think we are better, more brilliant, more successful, more beautiful/handsome? No. I’ll tell you why. It’s simple. It’s because of the fact that we forget that it is only by grace that we are not in their shoes. We forget that none of us filed a petition to God to create us the way He did. We simply forget that they are as much human as we are, and deserve the same love, friendship and appreciation that you and I also seek.

We need to reach deep into our hearts, and find the love that’s within and share it. It might be difficult at first but it does not hurt to try. Imagine a life of seclusion,and total isolation..No one deserves that pain. It’s not something to think about. It’s something that we need to realize right away.

Cross Posts from AZMA website Mental Health in Kenya