Forum for Understanding: Science (Discussion about medicine and culture)

НазваниеForum for Understanding: Science (Discussion about medicine and culture)
Дата конвертации30.10.2012
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<&/>break in recording on ordinary membership where somebody pays two hundred shillings uh per year and becomes a member We have what we call life membership where you pay two thousand Kenya shilling you become a life member We have what we call corporate membership where company and legal organisations pay ten thousand shilling every year and they become corporate member We also have people who are open just to give general donation realising that a charitable organisation and rely on this to carry out uh our activities So in that regard we'll use these people who will have joined us indirectly through this membership to be able to help us create the message

<$B> Is the membership open to anybody

<$D> The membership is open to anybody above the age of 18

<$B> Yes Mrs Nyaga The role of education as it were is important in various aspects and it is probably more crucial to a person who is seen blind and presupposes that is uh some incapacitation of some sort Would you like to tell us how you are trying to solve this through education

<$E> Yes thank you Mister Chairman Uh first of all I'll use the terminology that we use in the area of education When Dr Gakuru was talking she talked of hum those <./>chil people who are blind and others who are partially sighted We like to use the terminology visually impaired This is where uh we include those who are totally blind according to the legal definition uh as was mentioned by Mr Tororei as well as those who have functional uh blindness and those who are partially sighted Now such children have been educated uh in Kenya most of the people in our country know of special schools and these are very few We have about seven special schools uh for the blind and of course they only take a limited number because of the boarding facilities Of late we have started another programme whereby we try to reach more children This is through integration and the integration is done either by putting the blind children together with the other sighted children either in boarding facilities of normal regular schools or even for publicity and for awareness we have what we call <-_intinerant><+_itinerant> education Well

<$B> Which means what

<$E> Now intinerant <-_intinerant><+_itinerant> system means uh one teacher specialist teacher helps or gives services to blind children in more than one school In other words you are not answerable to only one headmaster but you can give services to blind children or visually impaired children who are in neighbouring schools In other words you would take the education to the child instead of bringing the child to the education If a child is in Mombassa you don't have to take that child to Thika but you give the education in that area And this is done by using specialist teachers who are trained at KISE and also giving in-service courses to regular teachers and you give them the know-how to assist that blind child And blind children have been uh integrated or given education successfully from pre-school up to university And here I'm <-/>I'm happy to say that in Kenya I think we have more blind uh people who have gone through education than any other of uh African countries in this region And uh what the Kenya Society for the Blind and the Sight Savers which is a sister organisation does We try to provide materials Now there is specific material that is required for the blind We hear of blind people writing in Braille And Braille is uh a kind of media whereby blind people are able to read with their fingers We have special machines for writing that and these machines have to be imported from overseas because they are not manufactured locally And they cost one Braille machine for example if somebody would like to donate one Braille machine for a needy case costs about three hundred and fifty pounds and it has to be imported either from UK or from USA And a simple a simple equipment like the way you give a pen and a pencil and a <-/>a piece of paper to your sighted child the simplest case kit you can use for a blind child would cost you about forty to sixty pounds and these are also available not locally but they have to be imported and Sight Savers helps the Kenya Society for the Blind as well as the Minister of Education because we work in conjunction in providing such kits to blind children all over Kenya At the moment we have about eleven districts which are involved with that <-_intinerant><+_itinerant> kind of teaching And mostly in remote areas like Wajiri Lodwar Samburu Mandera Narok Bungoma Baringo and in Nairobi alone we have about seventy children who are successfully integrated in fifteen schools spreading from Kilimani up to Kibera up to Eastlands and those children are going to school every day and then coming home with the other brothers and sisters

<$B> You are implying they are following the normal curriculum with other students

<$E> Yes they are following the normal curriculum They carry their books and they move with the others held hand by hand and that way the parents has a position to mould the character of this child see the child in the evening see that he is well-fed and take that responsibility of educating that child and not only that the community are now starting to realise that these children are normal They are now seeing them first as children and then as handicapped next

<$B> Well a normal child I'm not saying blindness is just a condition but somebody with sight has the advantage of uh learning through seeing at very early age and that is reinforced through the society in which is he or she is the parents and the people nearby uh are there certain specific skills which you could say parents are able to start as early before they bring the kids to your specialised teachers

<$E> Thank you very much Yes uh first of all children have to be told to be toilet trained Another thing is we teach them how to feed themselves and you find that we actually we hold some inservice courses whereby we help the parents uh we teach the parents how to handle these children instead of thinking that this is a responsibility of a special school and uh the child becomes a stranger sometimes because you see him when he is already grown and he comes to you once after three months But with this kind of itinerant education you have the child every day And we are not saying that this is the only way

<$B> Yes

<$E> I have said it is one of the ways In other words it is supplementing the boarding schools which are not enough and also bringing that awareness to the parents and the community at large You want to teach this child the mobility to be able to move from his own home to his own environment instead of learning how to walk in Mombassa when I live in Kisumu and the rest of my life I'll be in Kisumu

<$B> Yes

<$E> That's the way we see it

<$B> Yes Any other point that may relate to uh adding functional aspects of education Judy

<$C> Yes I was going to say uh what Mrs Nyaga has just said about the integrated education is one of the ways of removing the stigma We all know in the past we used to hear of Thika School for the Blind which was just only for the blind and in that way we <./>lea we removed them from the society so it was very difficult for them to integrate or to be understood even by their own sisters If you had a sister who is blind and from the day she's born she's taken to Thika school for the blind you never see her How are you ever going to interact or to understand her So this programme is one of the uh the ways we are going to spread this positive

<$B> Yes Mr Tororei one other programme undertaken by your organisation deals with rehabilitation process Would you like to tell us what this intends

<$A> Yes and uh by the way I have gone through both systems both the integrated and the non-integrated so if <-/>if you want

<$B> As a student

<$A> As a student


<$A> Yes uh so one thing I can tell you is from a blind person's point of view uh the <-/>the integrated system provided it is well planned


<&_><$A> m Mr Nyaga

<$B> Chairman

<$C> f

<$D> Mr Were (executive officer)

<$A> we encourage such people wherever they are to form groups age-care groups self-help groups so that together with the other members of the community they can continue to remain active to do active work and we help them by initiating some age-care projects such as poultry keeping bee keeping bakery pottery work and many others Simple activities that they can do very well with <-/>with little supervision from any expert and these other projects we have initiated and supported in various parts of the country and uh altogether <-/>altogether there are about a hundred projects scattered all over the country and they are being managed by local organisations and churches that have the interest of the elderly people at heart And uh I can say that these projects are doing very well and they are uh meeting the income needs of the elderly people in the whole country

<$B> All this of course requires some kind of financing How do you fund Help Age Kenya

<$C> I think like what the chairman said at the beginning we depend entirely on some funds which we raise through schools through children and their parents through our officers who are employed by Help With Kenya and we also get assistance from the International Help Age which are doing the same work like us But mainly here in Kenya we raise fund by approaching schools and the schools with the children organise walks organise other activities where they're sponsored and the money they raise they give to the Help Age Kenya and Help Age Kenya gives to these projects which you have been told which are spread all over the country

<$B> How much What sort of expenditure would you have a year on average

<$C> I think we <-/>we spend more than

<$A> about nine million shillings

<$C> nine million shillings and it's all scattered all over the country to these needy people

<$B> How many are you affecting directly and indirectly

<$A> Uh as I said uh in a project you will find of uh about fifty uh participants who were elderly average of fifty so if we have supported a hundred projects you can see the number of elderly people

<$B> You are talking about five thousand people You were talking about two million you said roughly Kenya's twenty-four million insured people

<$A> Yes

<$B>: being sixty years and older What's happening to the rest of the sixty million Even if it's not all of them who are not in a position to help themselves

<$C> Like what has been said most of the money we're saving in health or in need of material so we are not helping all those which are elderly people over sixty in our population We are helping those who are found to need help like what I've said earlier I am almost the same age but I don't come to help even other people who are over sixty-eight as they may be able to look after themselves But we select those who are really need needy and there are sometimes sick like a gentleman I treated a few months ago and they need help they need food they need clothes They may need eyeglasses They may need many things which they don't have and that's why we are coming so that they do not look after them all with provision of age of people in Kenya We look after those who need help and who have come perhaps sometime to seek for it They are found and they are brought together in day-care centres uh in homes and then <-/>then we get in touch with them that way

<$A> That is the question you asked is very good It's key to why we have now uh a day which has been designated uh as the day for the elderly for the aged because Help Age uh Help Age International and the <-/>the United Nations know that there is a wild wide problem The people who need help because they've been incapacitated by age are many all over the world you take Kenya you take Tanzania our neighbouring countries you take India there are millions and millions and millions

<$B> <-/>mhm How many therefore

<$A> And therefore I <-/>I couldn't tell you the figure in the world uh certainly there are more in the developing countries that uh than there are in the developed countries but the problem is there and therefore the United Nations hopes that on the first of October which is the day that has been designated as the elderly day is really for people to uh stir themselves up both in minds and also economically and say now this is our problem Everybody should feel that way this is our problem and nobody is going to solve this except us We must do the best we can We must do the most we can We have to educate one another we have to educate the children and to educate the teachers or to educate the parents or to educate those who are working and are married or not married and so on It is a national problem We know all that the government is doing what it can We know that the missionary organisations and other organisations are doing what they can but the problem is still big So if we can realise the importance of this day first of October as a day of trying to enter and penetrate the minds and the hearts of as many people as possible we shall have achieved the purpose

<$B> What specifically are you going to do on that day

<$C> Uh on that day uh we have uh alerted all the aged-care projects we have supported to show concrete concern for the elderly people wherever they are by visiting them by talking to them and by finding out from them whether something could be done to make life more uh enjoyable Here in Nairobi we will visit some of the old people's homes and we have organised uh for school children to visit some of these homes and to talk to the old people entertain them if they have a some <-/>some good songs to sing to them and uh the old people will also enjoy being with them and at the same time uh will sing for the young people because it's not just the young people entertaining the elderly people We have seen cases where elderly people also enjoy being with young people and uh they entertain them They tell them what used to happen a long time ago and in this way uh other people will be more aware of the problems of the elderly people

<$C> Mr Chairman It is you were saying this a national problem and we as an organisation voluntary organisation we realise what we are doing with the Ministry of Cultural and Social Services and in the rural areas and all over the country where we are operating we have projects we also involve the administration and the people in charge of the cultural and social services there so that they do see what is happening is right and the funds we send to those projects are used properly so we are connected with the administration and the government and the Minister of Cultural and Social Services to <-/>to work and to carry on and to reach the people the right people and to see that the funds we raise and which are donated are properly used in <-/>in the parts we <./>ha we send

<$B> Does the ministry have uh specialised people involved in all these problems

<$C> I think the Ministry of Social uh cultural and Social Services they have people who are experienced with all the social problems affecting the community and this is one of the few they <-/>they must have people We <-/>we have somebody who comes to represent the ministry in our organisation in <-/>in order to move things on the board and in the district committee

<$B> Uh apart from the Ministry of Culture is there a sort of collective or coherent approach between yourselves the churches other people plus the Ministry of Culture or whichever ministry or department is involved with old age problems

<$A> Well at this stage I would say that there is something that is uh coherent plus co-ordinated and so on because uh people work voluntarily and uh we will uh I think gradually reach that stage but at the moment uh some organisations have gone further than others but we shall have to come to that so that we will not repeat the same projects or do not have the same places visited several times and so on But however we will have to bear in mind that some of these projects are run by local authorities others by missionary organisations and we in ourselves uh by ourselves we depend very much on these volunteers on these people who are uh working and are missionary organisations or in missionary organisations people who are local authorities areas where the Ministry of Culture and Social Services supporting Help Age Kenya main participation at the moment is funding Funding in the sense of building uh providing funds for supply of needed items blankets sheets or uh roofs uh water pumps uh We buy goats we buy chicken for them to bring up to rear and this what we call income-generating uh uh projects We don't have institutions which are clearly run and daily supervised by Help Age Kenya We do have people who go around to have a look at what is happening in those institutions so to bring us report if there is money required for further development diversification new projects somewhere We have to have people who do that but otherwise uh the <-/>the missionary organisations and the local authorities uh they try their best and we welcome applications as much as our funds will allow uh for development or for starting new projects I think one idea uh item that we have not mentioned yet is a question of these day centres and I think at this stage I would like uh the executive officer Mr Were to tell us a little more or to tell the audience a little more about these day centres

<$B> What are these day centres

<$D> Uh first of all we emphasise that Help Age Kenya would like to see the elderly people supported within the extended family system that is within their homes

<$B> That is the ideal situation

<$D>: not by taking them to old people's homes So in order to help them within their community we are encouraging the establishment of uh day centres where the elderly can go during the day and uh uh

<$B> be looked after

<$D> be looked after and they can also be involved in some light activities uh also they can entertain themselves They can tell stories what they used to see long time ago The young people can come to visit them Schoolchildren could even come to learn from them how to look traditional traditions and so forth

<$B>: We are running out of time Just one more question here uh we seemed to be indicating that the problem of the aged particularly affects those whose families have become educated and left gone away to the towns other towns etcetera Is this a problem among say those who have grown old and have been well educated They have been properly educated Their children have their children taken care of them You are quite elderly yourself You have been in public life that many years What is your personal experience of it and also looking at your close friends and colleagues

<$?> Mr Nyaga perhaps

<$B> Uh is this a problem that's also start could start affecting even those of us who thought Well you know we've taken care of our children we are quite literate and if something happens they're going to take care of us

<$A> Well first if you look at the so-called developed countries That was the beginning of this kind of problem In that through urbanisation industrialisation people moving away from their countryside and into these areas they found that they found it difficult sometimes very expensive timewise or moneywise to be visiting people if you are employed a hundred miles away two hundred miles away sometimes in different countries altogether from Britain you're employed in Australia All that you have to do is to wish that there was a home where you can pack off your father pack off your mother pay a certain fee and forget about them and say well those people do their best there

So as I say if we trust the history from the industrialised developed countries that was the beginning and I feel that that is also the problem more so with the educated people Educated who have to seek employment and uh it is not uh the jua kali <&/>informal sector type of employment which is more recent type of development There was a jua kali type of <-/>of employment you can practically do it in most areas but for the last thirty forty fifty years people have depended on employment in urban areas and city areas and municipal areas and so on

<$B> So in importing the if you like the Western kind of lifestyle we have imported the same problem


<&_><$A> John Musalia

<$B> Ezekiel Espisu

<$C> Sarah Muthoni

<$D> Goro Kamau

<$A> and income, say for example, a person, who has a suffering child, and this person uh needs to take care of this child so the only option and the easy option out to cater for this child and for <-_ourself><+_ourselves> is probably to engage in uh this kind of a behaviour

<$B> I think we what you are basically trying to focus at is that we are narrowing down to the problem of malsocialisation It's as a result of the improper socialisation that the society is imparting to the young generation that is leading to the extreme case of deviance among the youth which ran up to adulthood because this youth actually once they become deviants they <-/>they at one point in time they'll become adults and you know, the circle continues So you are saying that in the traditional African setting the family the whole family was looked upon not just the nuclear family but the extended family was looked upon as a socialisation mechanism through which the <-/>the young children were taught the norms of their society and everything that goes to good behaviour

<$C> Okay I'd like to ask Musalia what he really meant by prostitution being an economic uh an economic kind of way of looking for money because prostitution is not only for women but for men I don't know what he has to say about that when it comes to deviance

<$A> Well you have just added another dimension which maybe we'll come up maybe later in the programme but as you realise that somebody doesn't engage herself or himself for that matter to add in that dimension out of I mean for the pleasure of it I mean that's not something pleasurable so it is definitely the economics the economic gain out of that that leads somebody the economic difficulties that lead somebody into engaging into such kind of a behaviour

<$D> Well I don't know because she is raising an issue of the issue of men in prostitution and we say that for example well people have always said that uh when they look at prostitution most people in fact think of women but she's telling us that men can also be prostitutes

<$A> Maybe she could come up and say how the men come into prostitution

<$D> Because I think it's important so because prostitution if to look at it in a proper perspective it nee needs if <-/>if we are speaking about maybe from the sexual perspective it <-/>it needs two people to make prostitution

<$?> It's two-way

<$A> Exactly

<$D> you can't say that uh there's prostitution if it's only uh men who are involved or women who are involved So I think we should look at this issue more closely

<$C> I think what I would say also is prostitution when it comes to men there are young men who go out with older women and also they are looking for money it's not really the pleasure in it Even if it is they also want money so when it comes to prostitution I think the society should not just look at women they should also think about the men although the women are more into it than the men

<$B> So basically we are all agreeing that that even prostitution is as a result of the financial constraints that the family's facing Just as Mr Musalia's put it it is the economic part of it that mostly is leading to the rise of deviance in the society You know if you looked at it at the family level once a family economically is not viable it results into poverty It's this poverty that propels the youths on the onto the streets or onto doing other sort of crimes or prostitution and such like cases

<$D> Well I don't know wherewith because Musalia you <-/>you are the one who raised the issue of economics in prostitution but uh I would be hesitant to look at it from the purely economic of course I don't underrate the impact of economics but I would be hesitant to look at it from the purely economic point of view in the view in view of the fact that for example you find that there are children people who end up in crime and you look at them you look at their biographies and you find they are people who have come from relatively well-off There are in fact sometimes you find somebody in prostitution they are they are very comfortable so that the <-/>the next question is you <-/>you raise is why <-/>why is this happening

<$B> Perhaps that could be attributed to ins outside influence you know because basically if you looked at our societies more critically prostitution was not even a thing that was <-/>was in existence nor was crime but it's a as a result of what I would say more western influence Perhaps they derive pleasure in doing what they are doing I <-/>I would take it like that

<$A> Well if you look closely well you see this pleasure it could be a means to an end I mean you <-/>you use it to get something else though I can't rule out the <-/>the fact of uh somebody maybe it could be a hobby I mean <&/>laughter though that's a very crude way of saying it But we can't rule out that particular aspect but I would believe that the overriding factor I mean in the majority of cases the economics uh surpass all the others

<$D> Well I the <-/>the economic part of it not withstanding I think the for example you these uh the question of personal morality for example the kind of because you see that's how I would maybe want to because if we keep on saying that deviance stems from society I think we are for burdening the society I think there is well what I wanted to ask is whether in fact there's an element of individual responsibility in some of the things that we do for example

<$B> Yeah What you are looking at is the moral constraint on the on the individual Basically you know an individual doesn't <-/>doesn't stay in a vacuum sort of what he would like to do is something that he thinks should <-/>should impress others but I don't look I don't see how then prostitution if he does it unless it's part of a group it's <-/>it's an influence he's got from a group so that if he does something the group the group you know looks at it in esteem it's something worth looking up at But for this case I don't know whether actually it's something worth being done

<$C> I think also the individual has <-/>has not so much to be blamed because of deviance because like when you're brought up in a family and you're told these are what you are supposed to be following these are the rules and then you wonder why you are told not to do what you're not supposed to do and then you'd like to find out why you are not being told not to do what you want to do and I think in a way that brings people to deviate from the ways

<$A> Anyway essentially I think what we are talking about is uh the extent to which also uh the moral decadence of the community has decayed Because one thing I'm trying to see is that I'm trying to look to look at is that uh you see there's traditional norms I mean the people who are in uh who are bringing I mean who are the custodians of those particular norms who are mostly the elder and they would always reprimand their children uh not to engage in some such kind of a thing And there was a morally accepted and prescribed ways to deal with deviance So that particular centre that used to hold uh due to the changing uh circumstances in our society uh no longer holds And that is the basis of these particular uh uh problems you are talking about of deviance Because if it was still in place then I would believe that deviance would be at its minimum

<$B> Yah in fact what you are saying actually is very right because we've all known that the agents of imparting socialisation to children are no longer the same as it was the case before So partially now that children are more socialised in schools among their peer group more often than they are socialised by their grandmothers and grandfathers That could be the end result of poor socialisation

<$D> Well I <-/>I think we should now go into the issue you raised the issue of the <-/>the traditional custodians and you are saying that they are not anymore So the something has happened in our society which has made that which has made that now the guardians the <-/>the checks the balances we had in our set-ups are no longer working So we should focus maybe on <-/>on this issue and try to see what has happened Well I think at one point we can say that broadly speaking the issue of westernization and uh the coming in of western culture through various media you find that this has had a very big impact for example when you speak about school School is a positive institution but it can also be

<$?> negative

<$D> a very negative institution

<$?> Yes

<$D> because it depends on the kind of even what is taught even legitimately taught in the in the school can be a source of can lead to defiance deviance because you <-/>you see for example the kind the of education which is drawn from western liberalism and the emphasis on <-/>on the individual which means that it tends to alienate the <-/>the educated individual from the from the collective So that eventually he ends up on his own And I think that kind of education is quite possible one of the reasons that lead to problems like uh drugs for example you <-/>you suddenly find yourself alone well-educated all right and comfortable but with a vacuum which in our in our system would have been filled by maybe relatives in-laws all these extended uh kinship systems But suddenly you find that through your education you have been alienated you have been alienated you can't anymore interact with the with them And you find at this point you have to fill it in some in some way You find a lot of drug abuse and of course drugs we don't we don't necessarily mean that the hard ones like cocaine and things like that Even smoking can become uh is in fact

<$B> Even alcohol

<$D> is in fact a form of drug abuse even alcohol So you find a lot of people going into these <-/>these engagements these preoccupations so that they can fill a void which uh which they may not be able to explain

<$A> Yah You are right Mr Goro In that particular sense of looking at it in terms of education as a <-/contributant> factor as a contributing factor to deviance I would agree with it because one thing education uh as you have said is modelled on some foreigner system I mean the Africans used to have uh their own education system whereby the boys after in uh circumcision they would be uh taken to some seclusion and they'd be taught all about their society Uh The ladies uh the same way when they go sleeping uh at uh in their uh at night they would be with their grandmother
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