Water, Shikokho Medical Clinic

James’s interest in service and his grasp on its importance as a key component in international development make him a good candidate for an internship at Shikokho Medical Clinic. Among the most rural health facilities in the Kakamega area, the clinic will provide James with an opportunity to work hands-on with some of Kenya’s most pressing issues. James will be able to participate in and help expand this important local service. As clean water is one of this rural area’s most pressing concerns, he will have the opportunity to research and potentially develop a water sanitation project benefiting hundreds in the local community.

-FSD Site Team Comments

Water, stories, the body,

all the things we do, are mediums

that hide and show what’s hidden.

Study them,

and enjoy this being washed

with a secret we sometimes know,

and then not.

-Rumi, thirteenth century

Water is life.  I am newly energized for this trip because of the prospect to enable life.  Clean, healthy water is a right for every human, but unfortunatley millions in this world do not have this right.  My hope is that I can do something simple to enable life, and the right to life.

At some point in this coming week, I will have a 30-45 minute interview with the site team at the Shikokho Medical Clinic.  Despite much paperwork, letters and essays; the site team needs to know more about this ‘James Uhrich’ who has caused so much turmoil with my whirlwind application process.  I am pleased to know that they have a project that I believe I can invest in.  Secretly, I wanted to do something with a water sanitation system for a community in the “bush” when I originally applied to serve.  That is why I was inspired to choose East Africa from the onset; I hope I am not being too romantic or simple-minded.  I simply want to enable life while experiencing life much different from my own.  Just as humans can share water to live, we can share life through giving.  This really is my goal.

Now I need to invest my time in not only travel preparations, but research and understanding of low-impact and sustainable water purification systems.  Thankfully, this technology is not very complex and various simple methods for site-based filtration are common knowledge in the community development arena.  The problem with locations like the Shikokho Medical Clinic is a rate of need and development that outpaces supply and infrastructure.  My hope is that a long-term, sustainable project for the community will be continued on this trip.

A recent water project in the region.

A recent water project in the region.

Here is a little more about the Clinic:

Shikokho Medical Clinic (opened in 1995) [consists of] housing for visiting doctors and full time nursing staff (completed in 1998), and a Maternity Wing (completed in 2003). The Clinic serves the approximately 3,000 residents of the village, along with a population of nearly 30,000 within walking distance of the Clinic.

The Medical Clinic provides care for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Health insurance is unknown and unaffordable, but small payments for medical services are received when a family has the means to do so.

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