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intrinsic valuesRecruiting and retaining volunteers is a challenge for any Non-Profit-Organisation. A recent study, done by St. Martin staff Paul Mathubi, shows that intrinsic rewards, like a sense of meaningfulness and progress, prove to be very important for volunteers.

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child participationInvolving children in matters that concern them is important for their development but also for our society. In St. Martin CSA, we believe and advocate for child participation at home, at school and in the community. We thank Kindernothilfe E.V. for partnering with us in ensuring our children thrive in a safe environment where their voice counts.

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In 2019, St. Martin CSA started a 3-year fundraising campaign for its community-based mental health care project. Despite the pandemic in 2020, the campaign was continued and surpassed the results of the previous year: KES 3.1 million could be raised to help support people with mental illnesses. We thank the communities in and around Nyahururu for their willingness and commitment in caring for the needy persons in their midst. 

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Opinion

 In 2018, St. Martin CSA rolled out a pilot community-based mental health project “Making the Invisible Visible.”  The project brought out that dignity and sanctity of life can be found in people with mental illness as in every other person. But the sacredness in people with mental illness is often hidden by their illness and cause them much suffering. Over 90% of the people we encountered were subjected to unhygienic and inhuman living conditions, neglect and degrading treatment practices at home and in the community. This article is by no means a response to mental illness but presents some perspectives from the field on mental health. I hope it will trigger a more sincere and frank dialogue on the different voices in the field of mental illness. 

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COVID 19 has impacted on our capacity to deliver services in many ways. We partner with communities through volunteers to reach out to vulnerable people. Communities come together to raise funds for supporting a person with mental illness to get quality health care or a needy child to access quality education, for putting up a house for a homeless person, or for organizing thanksgiving services to celebrate the community’s solidarity. Under COVID 19 these gatherings are not possible anymore which has put our abilities to effectively engage our communities at risk.