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Reaching a Hard to Reach Community

Most Muslims all over the world live a life of their own and as dictated by the Islamic Religion, more so the Kenyan Muslims estimated at forming about 10% of the country’s 40,000,000 people. Modern medicine, technology and information as regards health and or general lifestyle are mostly viewed as Western influence meant to erode the good teachings of Islam and therefore not easily embraced.

When therefore KCIU collaborated with Family Health International (FHI) to create HIV awareness amongst the Imams and Maalimats in 2005, you can imagine the type of opposition and skepticism there was. First, HIV was considered a disease not for upright Muslims; those suspected to have contracted the disease were condemned to a life of isolation, neglected, discriminated, abandoned and even excommunicated, not to mention the woes their widows and orphans underwent and were occasioned to.

Despite all these challenges, there was slowly some acceptance and acknowledgement of the seriousness of the epidemic within the Community and therefore a concerted effort by all, including the Imams to fight the epidemic was initiated.

The collaboration with FHI grew resulting into KCIU being awarded a contract in 2007 to implement a project titled “HIV/AIDS, RH/FP, MCH, TB and Malaria Prevention, treatment, care and support among the Muslims in Rift Valley” in the USAID’s APHIA-II Project.

The partnership has been maintained, building the capacity of KCIU in the areas of Project management, Governance, Financial Management, Human Resource Management among others while expanding the scope and area of operation to cover other six counties in the Rift Valley with a high population of Muslims.

It was due to this that KCIU, in 2010, became the first organization from the Muslim community in Kenya to be awarded a contract in the TOWA project, National Level, to implement a project titled “Targeted advocacy and communication interventions”. The project has long being successfully implemented.

KCIU has since won several other projects of various magnitude targeting both Muslims and non- Muslims in its areas of operation, including the APHIA Plus Project.

We owe much of our success to the support extended to us by USAID through FHI360, Kenya.




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