Tumaini La Maisha Health Services, also referred to as Tumaini was founded in 2008 as Dala Community Based Organization (CBO) through the efforts of Dan and Emily Okall. It was started with the mission of helping households in a small village in Upper Nyakach region to be stable and self sufficient and in right relationship with one another, the environment and God.
Our strategy was to encourage, organize and mobilize individuals and communities to creatively overcome the challenges they face by utilizing local resources through the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) model.
In 2009 through our community health program or staff discovered Grandma Dorcas was sickly. Initial and basic assessment showed she had breast complications. She was later diagnosed with cancer of the breast. In the process of helping her her access breast cancer treatment, we encountered so many obstacles until she passed away a few months later. Walking through this experience with her opened our eyes to the plight of people with cancer in Kenya.
We found unnecessary stigma, misinformation, misdiagnosis, and extremely limited treatment and care services. The few reports and data we found on cancer in Kenya indicated the situation was desperate. Our hearts were burdened to help other women as well as men to have a better understanding of risks factors, and possibilities for early detection.
And so in 2010, we decided to focus our efforts on health and education programs. For health, we chose to focus on cancer awareness and preventative health, with special attention to breast, cervical, prostrate, and throat cancer management. We begun educating women on self-examination, and options for early detection, facilitating of screening and treatment at major hospitals, and teaching organic gardening. Demand for information increased and our staff of three working in one village in 2009, grew to a staff of nine currently working in three constituencies.
Later on we included the household outreach program to provide emergency food and financial assistance to extremely poor families whom we met during our door to door outreach activities. The goal was to empower them to engage in income generating activities. Presently, we also have staff located at JaramogiOgingaOdinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) in Kisumu City and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Nairobi City where they help our clients to access and navigate treatment and care.
For education what we had started as an Early Childhood Development (ECD) project of the CBO grew on to became a primary school operated in partnership with African Inland Church, Soi Local Church. Demand for its services has seen this service grow to become AIC Soi N’guono (which means grace) School. Currently Soi School offers preK-6th grade education to over 128 children from low or no-income families in Sigoti, Upper Nyakach, Kenya.