The morning before heading to our predestined sites, we went to devotional. This is a time to get our minds and hearts right, to talk with local Kenyans, and to pray to God. We worship together, which is so powerful, and a wonderful way to start the day before meeting with vulnerable families.
Afterwards, John went to the clinic and learned about the systems used to keep track of all the patients. He spent time listening to doctors and nutritionists as they shared success stories as well as problems they currently face. The national insurance plan offered by the government to cover the patient fees is affordable when their home clinic is Beacon. Yet, this coverage is for times when the clinic is open. The challenge comes when patients are sick after hours and have to go to a hospital outside of Beacon. Insurance is not covered there, and patients end up paying out of pocket, which can be a deterrent to choosing Beacon of Hope as a home clinic. In an attempt to keep patients, the clinic at BOH is working to expand to a 24 hour service and include more service lines.
Another barrier the clinic faces is documenting data twice until IQ, the government data system, is implemented. Until then, doctors, nutritionists, and pharmacists use their own paper documentation to keep track of patients who are HIV positive. Once documented, then they type the information in the IQ system, which is not in full effect yet. HMIS is another system they use to document clients who do not are not HIV positive. Yet, eventually, the data from the paper systems will be absorbed into HMIS and IQ. Considering this computer system needs governmental approval, the turnaround may be a slow process.
As John spent time at the clinic, I went to the schools, where I taught students Swahili and the English word to go along with it to 4 and 5 year olds. As the children learned Swahili, they drew pictures to match. Regardless of how well students can speak their language, it is important to learn how to read and write the words.
“Chupa…what is the English word for Chupa?”
“Bottle!!!!!” The children would scream.
“Fish…what is the Swahili word for fish?”
“What is the Swahili word for car?”
“Gari!!!” “What is the Swahili word for duck?”
Jane met with us as well to debrief about our time at Kibera. She was reminded of our trip to the slums and meeting with poor and needy families because that is what drove her to have compassion for vulnerable families; as her compassion grew, so did a vision of how she and her husband could help the community, especially the women and children. This is how Beacon of Hope was born.
God is so good. He transforms families, and in turn, a community of people can be transformed.