In our last program blog Renew and Renovate: Nuru International Healthcare’s New Year Lindsay Cope wrote about our Training Manager, District Manager, and new Program Manager. We are so grateful to have them as part of our team. And this week, I have been so proud of our entire staff in their display of understanding and passion for our Healthcare Program Goal. On Monday of this week we welcomed FT8  to the field, and Claire Rumpsa met the Healthcare Team for the first time. All of the Nuru program’s prepared for a presentation used to tell the What, Why, and How of each of our programs and departments of our Nuru Kenya operations. Only Kenyan staff presented, and they were asked to be creative in their presentation.

It didn’t surprise me one bit that our new Training Manager, Robert, would come up with a role-play to exhibit what Healthcare does. What did surprise me, however, was my response when I watched them practice it the week before presenting. I cried. Let me explain, and you’ll see why!

The role-play starts with Becky (District Manager) hanging up some Social Marketing messages. Then we see a mother, Nelly (Isibania Field Manager) cradling her baby girl and talking to her son; Joseph (Kehancha Field Manager) who is playing all around her. There’s a knock at the door and it’s a Nuru Field Officer, Juma (Mabera Field Manager). He asks to come in, and starts talking to the mother about her children’s health. She tells Juma that her daughter hasn’t been well, she’s not breastfeeding. Juma reaches over and touches the child feeling her fever immediately; he starts to ask the mother some questions about the girl’s symptoms, and says she may have malaria.

In the mean time, Joseph who was playing starts to whimper and runs outside quickly – he has diarrhea. As Juma is talking to the mother about taking the girl to the clinic and preventing malaria with a bed net, he notices Joseph’s issue and starts to ask where the mother collects her water and if she does anything to it before drinking it. Nelly is concerned and engaged, answering all his questions while caring for both her children. All of a sudden, the husband, Robert (Training Manager) stumbles into the house in a drunken state. He hears Juma talking about the bed net and Waterguard that could help prevent these sicknesses the children are feeling. Robert brushes off his son’s diarrhea as a response to him eating too much, and says that the kids are fine and don’t need to go to the Health Center as Juma is recommending. Nelly is more convinced, but comments that she will have to ask her husband for the money to take the children to the Health Center. Juma isn’t getting anywhere due to Robert’s belligerence and promises to follow up tomorrow.

The next day, Juma returns and Nelly says her daughter and son are worse and she’s very concerned, but her husband hasn’t given her the money to go to the Health Center. About that time Robert stumbles in and sees Juma again. He asks how his children are, and Nelly says they need to go to the clinic. Juma is agreeing and trying to convince Robert. Without warning, Joseph’s dehydration catches up to him and he slumps over feeling so sick and weak. Robert realizes his son is really ill and the daughter as well, and asks Juma to help them. Juma immediately calls a boda and the family rushes out the door to get the children to the clinic for treatment.

My eyes welled up with tears at the display of what our program is able to do – truly help families protect their children from disease and death. That’s incredible!

During Monday’s Presentation, the Kenyan staff spent 2 hours teaching FT8 about each program, and when Healthcare presented everyone was glued to their role play. They all did an amazing job showing and then explaining what our program’s goal is, why we focus on children under 5, and how we will accomplish our goal through our Home Visit strategy and our Social Marketing strategy.

FT8 had a front row seat this week as they each shadowed one of our Field Officers on their home visit rotations. Each of them got to see first hand how the Tailored Interpersonal Communication and household assessment work to help the FO and the household connect and communicate about the practice of healthy behaviors that will prevent disease in their household.

Our program is truly at the cusp of something great. We are very “eager to unveil so many of the activities and systems we have been preparing for.”