Approaching end of July 2019 and I am again penning news from my office.
The biggest event by far to impact on Ruben Centre in the past couple of week was the conclusion of the Centre Development Director volunteer placement and her subsequent departure.
Bev Watkinson came as a Pacific Lay Missionary Society volunteer in April 2016 and soon was totally immersed in a million and one things, and such was the scale of her immersion that she even forgot about time. Her placement was for two years and the first two years flew by with such a hiss and roar that she extended her time here until three years and three months before finally throwing in the towel.
Bev began working as a Coordinator of the Human Development and Skills Training Program but by the end of that first year she had sorted that out and so I asked her to run with a new position to be known as Centre Development Director. In this position Bev brought the Centre into the 21st Century with a myriad of organisation systems and procedures.
On behalf of the whole Ruben Centre Community I thank Bev for her enormous contribution to the Centre and of course we hope that her connections with the Centre will not end here. Please take 14 minutes and click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkBHCn5wk8w and watch the last interview with Bev during our Project leader’s monthly meeting.
While on the topic of volunteers Ruben Centre is about to lose its second PALMS volunteer Laura Saldanha who has been with us as a physiotherapist for more than one year. The physiotherapist position was a new position and Laura volunteered for the one year, with the vision to work with the occupational therapist and together they would create programs and action strategies with the hope that the position could then be localized. Laura has had the pleasure to see the program grown and flourish and also to advertise the position, interview prospective candidates and having selected the right physiotherapist mentor that person over the past three weeks. A great outcome indeed. Again on behalf of the Ruben Community especially the clinic and special Needs Unit staff I say thank you for the great work done for these little kids.
Laura has written an article on her work and click here https://www.rubencentre.org/latest-news/2019/8/6/message-by-laura-saldanha-on-her-experience-at-the-ruben-centre to read more.
Two Fridays ago Ruben Centre also said good bye and thank you to Denis Graham and Sharon Murphy from Catherine in Northern Territory Australia, who were volunteering for a month. Mid wife Sharon immersed herself in the Birthing unit and was soon walking with the team as they respond to whatever turns up at the door. July has been very busy month there with well over one hundred mothers being assisted resulting in 108 referrals for more specialize treatment and babies. After 14 months of work, the total stands at babies 899. Denis a Principal on sabbatical quickly got down to business with the both the Human Resource Manager and the Information technology teachers in the school. The existing I T learning room was upgraded, with additional storage and charging sites for the tablets, as well as curriculum developed for the classes. Towards the end of the last week all the teachers gathered in the new upgraded room for a presentation on the potential of the facility. A full time teacher is now based in the IT learning centre and programs are up and running. While working with the H R, they were able to update the existing risk management policy and oversee additional safety improvements to the Ruben facility.
At the beginning of July, Ruben Centre officially launched its newest project to be known as the Mukuru Employment Agency. This project was developed last year after consultation and research within the community, but only now is up and running thanks to a sponsor of the program. This is just one of the benefits of my trip to Australia in May of this year.
Heading up this program is our newest Christian Brother to Ruben Centre. Br. Constantine Sunday has doubled our brother’s presence here. He has trained in Community Development studies and community engagement strategies. Read more on this exciting new development www.rubencentre.org/latest-news/2019/8/6/recruitment-agency
In February the Special Needs Unit was officially opened by the Australian High Commissioner All son Chartres and the Nairobi Women’s Representative Ms Ester Passaris. A great day it was but the great day got better two weeks ago when a political promise to deliver financial support for the Special needs Unit actually arrived. MP Passaris delivered herself the cheque of Ksh. 941,900 (US $ 9419).
On behalf of the Ruben community, I offer my gratitude for such support. Thank you, Ester.