Thursday, June 21, 2012

Young environmentalists visits the Maarifa centre

Students from Patterson memorial secondary school environmental club paid a visit to the Maarifa centre on Sunday on their field tour to Nguruman area. Accompanied by three teachers, the 54 students were excited to have a touch of technology when they were given opportunities to operate computers, got to know the parts and their functions as well as knowing other equipments used along with the computers like scanner, digital camera and a printer.
Patterson memorial students being introduced to computers at the Maarifa centre
They  were also informed of all other services offered at the Maarifa centre and most interestingly, they all wanted to enrol for computer training.

The students were also excited with library services and publications like Baobab and Joto Africa were of great interest to many. They wished the centre was close to their school so that they can fully utilise the facility. They requested if they could be allowed to borrow books from the library through their school and they were informed to organize with the teachers and draft the subject areas they feel that they need Maarifa centre support then action can be taken immediately.   

Patterson memorial students at the Maarifa centre library
Mr Mathu, the divisional Agricultural extension officer  took the students through green house drip irrigation system where students taking Agriculture as a subject had many questions to ask. The students were interested to know inter-row and inter-crop spacing in drip irrigation system and were professionally answered by the officer in charge. Mr. Mathu also urged the students not to look down upon Agriculture since its the backbone of our countries economy and that they need to come up with innovations which will help improve the current systems.
Mr. Mathu explaining  green house drip irrigation system to students 
The students expressed their desire to be trained on computer skills and appreciated the services offered by the Maarifa centre. The same sentiments were echoed by their teacher Mr. Jeremiah Kutanya adding that, students from Nguruman area have advantage over others and have shown competence in computers because they do their training during school recess. He urged the Maarifa centre management to plan and see how they can train the students at school since they have computers which are not optimally utilized.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Olkiramatian Open day

Nguruman maarifa centre visited traders at the Olkiramatian market during a field visit intended at reaching those people who cannot access the services at the Maarifa center. The market day that is held on Wednesday every week is the main meeting point of traders and customers around the location and beyond.
Traders arrive at OLkiramatian market
The open day was done in collaboration with African Conservation centre which promotes environmental conservation in the area and React Africa Company who promotes renewable energy forms like Energy saving jikos and solar panels and solar chargeable lights.

Community members recording their enquiries to Kelvin, Lorene & Joe 
The visit was a good platform for community members to share their knowledge and record enquiries on information they may want during our next visit. They were also informed on services offered at the Maarifa centre and to many, distance was the barrier. It was also an opportunity to publicize the Maarifa centre and its activities. 

Members of the Maarifa centre offered a number of services to the traders on location at the market. The services included; internet services, library services, video show and addressing general inquiries and consultations. Information materials like Joto Africa and Baobab magazines were also distributed for free to the residents.

A Community member reading through joto Africa issue 7 on the future of pastoralism in changing climate which caught attention of many readers
One of the services that raised the most interest was computer training which most of the parents were interested in either joining or bringing their children after they completed their A levels. As a result of the visit, three parents have brought their daughters to the Maarifa centre for computer training..., "I saw this as a good opportunity to have my daughter trained for free that going to town and pay for the same packages. I will use the money I intended to pay her computer course to pay school fees for her brothers and sisters..." said Patrick Parseiyo, one of the parents.

Community members viewing a video on Boran cattle breed.
Regular users of the maarifa centre hailed the field visit commending that the visit will enable those people who cannot access the Nguruman centre to access these services that are otherwise inaccessible to them. We recorded over 100 visitors and 24 enquiries.