8/7/2015 2:36:00 PM Ministry Health Care associate making a difference in Kenya
Ministry Medical Group Tomahawk associate Christine (Chris) Kincaid, CMA, will journey to Kenya, Africa, for the third time this October. She will be traveling with another CMA from the Fox Valley area. The two will be researching projects for Kincaid's daughter to work on there in the future.
In the summer of 2006, Kincaid made her first two-week trip to Kenya with her daughter Valerie Confer. Confer returned to Africa in 2010 as a volunteer for six months. Both mother and daughter made another trip in 2013 and while there decided to start their own non-profit organization, Tumaini Volunteers, Inc. Tumaini means "hope" in Swahili and is pronounced "too-my-ee-nee."
The goal of Tumaini Volunteers is to take groups of volunteers to Kenya to complete projects which will provide for the sustainability of developing communities. Ideas for projects include building chicken coops, stocking schools and medical clinics, drilling wells and constructing gabions. The organization was granted tax exempt status last August.
Following the 2007 presidential elections, violence erupted throughout Kenya and a half a million people were driven from their homes. "Many of them had no homes to return to and settled in refugee camps across the countryside," said Kincaid. "Volunteer organizations from around the world have been supporting these people through donations. My daughter Val and I hope to help them find sustainable means of making a living so that they no longer need to live off of handouts. Some of our thoughts are building chicken coops or helping them plant gardens."
Confer has also been touched by her experience. "In my travels, I've seen children wearing nothing but rags who hadn't eaten for days; bed-ridden mothers weakened from HIV, feeding their children instead of themselves; and communities who wait for their next meal from a garbage truck while home is just yards away," she said. "So much of the poverty in this world could be solved by providing education, clean water, and reliable food sources. Tumaini Volunteers will provide these impoverished communities with the education and materials needed to learn how to live a more self-sufficient and sustainable life."
The duo volunteered at the Agape Hope Center in Kenya in 2010 and visited the center again in 2013. It was during the 2013 visit that they met a young girl named Monica and heard about her tragic story. "Monica's mother was raising her alone in the slum and had no means to support her daughter. Falling into despair, the mother hung herself from a tree outside of their meager home. A neighbor found Monica and took her to the Agape Hope Center," said Kincaid. The center was founded as an initiative to assist orphans and vulnerable children in the community.
Kincaid celebrated her 27th anniversary with Ministry Medical Group this May and has been working in family practice at the Tomahawk office for 15 years. To learn more about the organization 'like' Tumaini Volunteers on Facebook or visit www. tumainivolunteers.org.
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