#hugSitawa Update 3; what I have been up to during my hiatus.

12:30:00 PM

Speaking at the Open Show Nairobi last night where they screened and discussed my
 poetry video and the work MMMF is doing in terms of information and support
If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed I am not updating as much and my only posts are links from my blog, well I took a three week hiatus which ends on Monday to do my usual mental cleanse and center things. Now that I am about to get back to that world, I would like to bring you up to date with what I have been up to. I hope you have read the previous #hugsitawa update, this is the third update and since you all took part in the crowdfunding, I think it is only fair if you knew how your contributions are being used. (PS: It is a lot of reading on your end)

1. I have been concentrating on branding
 - I got a logo, website and general brand work done through Spark International's amazing assistance and very patient designer...if you have worked with me you know how indecisive and stubborn I can get.
- I did a video for my poem, a little more, with the amazing assistance from Pawa254's Empawaing Grant. I will use the video for the project's publicity and marketing, got amazing feedback at Open Show Nairobi last night during the screening.
- I did a launch event for the video which also doubled up as a pre-marketing event for MMMF and the event was supported by the 1% funds on what I had budgeted for marketing and organization recognition.
- I did the office (take the tour round our offices) and got a few office basics also supported by the 1% funds.

2. The support and information service has grown from the four at the beginning of the year to ten and I believe the numbers will keep growing as the days go by and as my awareness efforts grow offline as much as they are online. (PS; By support, it means we follow up on the case and treatment plan this is different from those do one off inquiries)

3. Speaking of offline awareness efforts, I have been running a weekly mental health and digital storytelling program in Kibera through the support of Pollination Project (#seedthechange) and Cisco Systems.Here are links to the sessions;
- Session 1 - General Introduction 

4. In line with helping others create their own narrative, I have been able to help set up six blogs; two from the Kibera group and four from the girls I mentor under the BasicNeeds Fellowship program. The blogs are on my blogroll so read, comment and follow them.

5. Still on awareness creation, I have my first MMMF out of town event in Kisumu on Friday 25th April where we will have a half day engagement forming the basis of a bi weekly mental health and digital story telling training and support group. I chose Kisumu because of a post I did last year titled 5 things we can all do for Luanda market. I am in talks with NACADA Western region rep to have a rep at the engagement.

6. The legal aid partnership didn't work out as planned, not to fret, I have another lead still on the same. Will update y'all.

7. My initial plan for the help line was really basic but I met the lady, yes lady, who did the KAWE *215# epilepsy SMS line and she is willing to do one for me (at a cost of course) which will not just be calls (giving support and information just when we get calls) but also send out regular info texts like what I do with my #mhke tweet chat, so that those who are not on twitter can still benefit via text. The service will also have a proper database and follow up mechanism which I think will be amazing. I am super excited about that.

I have spent the first quarter of 2014 doing loads of setting up and I thank God for the success and amazing partners He has brought my way. My focus for this quarter is to create as much awareness as possible about mental health and the work MMMF is doing using both offline and online platforms. This awareness will in turn create the clientelle for the hotline (it will be free for the first three months then we will review after that as we seek partners and sponsors). As always my dream is to set up a resource centre that I will eventually establish through the Google Africa Connected Award money which is slowly shifting my thinking from a Kenyan project to a continental one but thats at the back of my mind as I work on awareness drives. I would also like to tap into schools and form clubs, holla if this is your niche area.

Last but not least,  I would like to thank everyone for being part of my journey and supporting me through the hugs, the voting, the sharing of my tweets and mostly through resource mobilization. Most of all I thank God for planting this ministry in me and guiding me since I have no background in the work I am doing save for my personal experience with rape and living with a dual diagnosis yet I am moving from glory to glory in it.

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  1. Very interesting to read. Power to you mtoto wa Kenya

  2. Only the sky is the limit.Trust God for more partners and our prayer is for you to go world wide and reach the unreached nations.May God grant you his favours

    1. Amen, thank you for the lovely wishes Geofrey.