Wednesday, June 22, 2005


With baited breath we read the screaming headlines on June 22,2005 Nation newspaper, “Yes, we have HIV too, say four clergymen.”

For the first time in the living memory of any Kenyan, we witnessed clergy come out in the open without fear or shame about their HIV and AIDS status. In fact l am appalled that some of them have suffered discrimination and stigma in the hands of the church, an institution that is supposed to have protected and even embraced them. But what held my breath was the fact there is a strong feeling now about making the church respond to this disease. Not just acknowledging its existence, but tackling it.

Trans World Radio – Kenya in conjunction with Tearfund launched a Kiswahili HIV/AIDS Pillars Guide manual titled - Jinsi Ya Kukabiliana Kikamilifu na Viini vya HIV na Maradhi ya Ukimwi. The English Translation - Responding more effectively to HIV and AIDS is also available.
Hearing these brave clergymen acknowledge that they had HIV and in a public place has become a plus in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Canon Gideon Byamugisha of Uganda who is believed to be among the first among the clergy to declare he was HIV+ said something strategic. “Many of Africa’s deaths are preventable, postponable and reversible if only we can defeat stigma, shame, discrimination, denial and inaction”- Nation June, 2005. This statement shows a great gap in the efforts of the church and it’s fight against HIV/AIDS. This is the gap that this book addresses in its 24 chapters.
In its highly interactive format, it helps the reader acknowledge not only the existence of the disease but also the growth of stigma and discrimination in the church. This book critically looks at the role of the church and what should be its response. It covers health issues like medicinal drugs, tests for HIV and healthy eating.

What stands out is the format that it has been presented in. After every subject has been highlighted, and discussed, then comes the discussion bit. At the end of the book there are 11 soul searching Bible studies that call for open discussion. This Pillars Guide is meant to be used in small groups. The Bible Studies cover subjects like Attitudes towards the disease, Sex, caring for orphans and widows and God’s amazing love among others.

Church leaders who find themselves overwhelmed with the idea of starting discussions on HIV and AIDS will find this material valuable. This book will not only help them start discussion on this subject but will also help them tackle different areas as far HIV and AIDS is concerned.
A church leader, Faith Based Organization or any individual experiencing difficulties in breaking the silence about HIV and AIDS in the Church should get this book and use it as a tool to do so. Leaders can also purchase it in bulk for their members at discounted prices. They can also encourage their members to get it.

The book, which is now available at Trans World Radio – Kenya situated off Ngong Road on Kamburu drive will soon be in all leading bookshops in Kenya.
The costs are as follows:
Ordinary cost – Kshs.350
Orders above 15 – Kshs.325
Orders above 25 - Kshs.300
Authored by Isabel Carter
Translated to Swahili by – Trans World Radio – Kenya
You can call us and ask for Maria Wanza at 573938/20/46

This review will soon be appearing in The Christian Professional Magazine - the magazine for the society conscious.


There are things l personally believe in. One of those things is being part of helping make this a better world. In that vein of thought, l would like you to read this. If you want to make a change support it.

Appeal to ensure the girl child does not miss school due to menstruation

Across Kenya, the lack of appropriate and adequate sanitary and sanitation facilities prevents many adolescent girls from attending school consistently, especially when they are menstruating. Due to the high cost of sanitary towels which presently stand at Kshs 79 per pack of 7, children from economically disadvantaged families continue to suffer in silence, using unhygienic material like sponges, mattresses, tissue paper and even leaves or avoiding school altogether during their menses. The irony is that, girls do not choose whether or not to get menstruation. This is a natural biological process.

The Girl Child Network (GCN), a network of 312 organizations supporting the rights of the girl child drawn from individuals, local and international organizations in recognition of the gravity of the situation facing adolescent girls, has initiated the Sanitary Towels (ST) Campaign. The aim of this campaign is to mobilize and distribute sanitary towels to 500,000 girls in upper primary schools and secondary schools, all over the country, and to lobby the government to include budget for sanitary wear in the primary and secondary education package.

In a bid to raise funds to meet the project costs, GCN would like to invite your organization to be our media partner and thus make this campaign a reality. The event/campaign will be launched on 6th July 2005 and targets to raise over Kshs.600 million to fund campaign activities which include demystifying menstrual periods through awareness campaigns, advocating for policy change in all sectors of government and distribution of sanitary towels to needy adolescent girls. All major sponsors will be recognized in the mass media and also receive commendation.

A bank account No. 0181799021 titled GCN sanitary towels campaign has been opened at Commercial Bank of Africa, Mamlaka Road Branch. Donations to the fund will, without exception, be ploughed into campaign activities. KPMG will audit the project and a dossier, complete with the detail of activities undertaken and schools supported, availed for scrutiny to all supporting partners and members of public.

The campaign is being spearheaded by the sanitary towels campaign committee and coordinated by Mercy Musomi, co-coordinator, Girl Child Network. Mercy can be contacted at the Girl Child Network, AMREF headquarters, e-mail and telephone/fax 604510.

All cheques should be drawn in favor of GCN Sanitary Towels Campaign and addressed to Mercy Musomi, Girl Child Network, Post Office Box Number 2447-00200 city square Nairobi.

For all further information on this program please contact the undersigned.

We look forward to your generous support.

Yours sincerely
Mercy Musomi

National Coordinator
Girl Child Network (GCN)


I have been thinking and thinking deeply.

Why is it that most of us diss the organizations we work for yet send our cvs out to get other jobs? Haven't we thought for one minute that as we diss our organizations or bosses that some other bosses who could be our potential bosses could be listening? Don't we ever think of what these bosses would think? If you were a boss today and you heard someone diss their boss, would you employ that person if they asked for a job in your organization? You have your answers.

But think for one minute. What goes around comes around. Today it is that person dissing their boss. Tomorrow you will be their boss. What will you do when you hear they are saying nasty things about you? I know once you accept leadership, it comes with an automatic bag of criticism. So basically you need to be thick skined.
I have also noticed that people who are totally critical are the worst performers at their jobs. They have zero performance. They have zero delivery.

Am l just being too critical or truthful? Observe. Check people out and especially those who have criticism as their middle name. Then get back to me.