Gynocare Fistula Center
This year students visited the Gynocare Fistula Center in Eldoret and met with founder Dr. H.M. Mabeya. Manager Carolyne Atwani gave the students a tour of the Center, explaining its work and success at repairing fistulas and the followup social work and counseling to help patients return to normal lives. Having read Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wu Dunn’s Half the Sky, the students were familiar with the medical and social dimensions of fistulas. Patients at the clinic shared their personal stories with the students.
Homa Lime Co., Ltd
The class also visited Homa Lime, LTD in Koura to learn about a diversified business that focuses on “green” practices and sustainability. Joshua Odingo, public relations director for Home Lime, gave EaSEP students a tour of the family-owned business, founded in the mid-1920s.
Homa Lime quarries and processes lime into a range of products, but also rehabilitates its quarried areas. Lime products supplement livestock feed and manure is used as biofuel to help generate electricity for the farm. Sugar cane is harvested and unrefined natural sugar produced for sale; cane stalks fuel fires to process the sugar. Timber is harvested and the land replanted. The farm also books tourists for its hilltop retreat.
The Company is the principal sponsor of the Nyando Valley Development Trust which offers extension services to area farmers and foresters and helps the community market its produce and crafts. Homa Lime built and operates a primary school on its farm.
Kakamega Forest National Reserve
EaSEP students rarely have the opportunity to visit protected areas, even those near their homes. The 2012 group hiked through the Kakamega Forest National Reserve in the Lake Victoria basin to observe Kenya’s only remnant of the Guineo-Congolian forest ecosystem. The park is best known for more than 400 species of butterflies, 300 species of birds and seven primate species including the flashy black and white colobus monkeys which set tree tops swaying.
The Reserve protects some 350 species of trees, leaving intact a forest that otherwise would be as degraded as the area surrounding it.