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September 27, 2010

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September 27, 2010

Currently KCRC is in the process of doing many things for the community, including becoming a microfinance institution. Robert Kiriago Obanyi is passionate about helping the community, and has made it his life’s work. Having grown up in the area and being educated there and in Nairobi, few people know the people as well as he, or have the ability to help them like he does. I worked for the Kebirigo Community Resource Center (KCRC) under the coordinator Robert Obanyi during the summer of 2008. The goals of KCRC are broad in scope and luckily I was able to contribute to some of its missions. Our primary goal there was to establish ourselves with as many of the hundreds of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the Nyamira District as we were able to. The ultimate intention is to have a complete network at our disposal so we can find ways to connect groups together and find larger sources of help for groups with similar purposes (e.g. find donors in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment foundation for the many groups who want to spread such help through their communities). The network was extremely limited when I got there, and so most of my work consisted of arranging appointments with our groups and trying to attract new groups. I would go to visit the CBOs with Robert and/or another helper we had, viz. Aloys Mecha, who helped me communicate with the CBOs that had English difficulties. We interviewed them, tried to find the problems they were having, and offered any advice we could. After each group I transcribed data from the meeting onto a database for future reference. Many are interested in keeping zero grazing animals and beekeeping, so we eventually want to hold information seminars on those things. I compiled lists of interested groups and Robert is in the process of organizing those seminars. I also helped organize books donated to us by various organizations and incorporate them into our small but growing library, which I then created a simple digital catalogue for. I educated a Form 4 graduate how to use a computer, and in return he kept our physical premises open while I was busy with other things. I went to two schools and gave talks on KCRC, HIV/AIDS, Alcohol Abuse (which is a rampant problem among Kisii men), and on how to study in the United States. Obviously the students took most interest in the latter topic, and I did a lot of research on international applicants and financial aid. I also began relationships between several local banks and KCRC so they might be able to more easily give micro loans to our CBOs. I believe KCRC is capable of great things, and look forward to continuing to help it in any way I can.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We were able to raise money to help raise school and lunch fees for children, ultimately assisting more than a dozen. While I was there we tripled the number of community based organizations in our network, which continues to grow.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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