Monday, 24 January 2011

Introducing Garima Rathore

There is a new face at our Footsteps shop and cafe in Cheltenham, Garima has just moved to the UK from India and has already got involved as a volunteer with our charity. I caught up with her via Facebook:

Hi Garima, welcome to Global Footsteps!


You have been volunteering in our Footsteps shop in Cheltenham for about 2 weeks now is that right?

Yes, now i am more confident about working there.

How are you enjoying life in Cheltenham so far?

It's goin very fine.. I'm enjoying in volunteer centre

You're originally from India, but which part exactly?

Yes.. Delhi region

Are there any similarities between Gloucestershire and Delhi that you have noticed?

By this time i didn't found yet, but this is very nice place, I love it!

What's your favourite place in Cheltenham? (You don't have to say the Footsteps shop!)

Eating places .. I like most is Gianni's and Nandos and Sudeley castle, but I have visited very few places so far.

I'm sure you will discover more and more as time goes by, where else in the UK or Europe would you like to visit?

all over but, priority is UK

I recommend a visit to Wales, but I am from there, so am biased!

okay accepted.....I would like to go there.... we are planning to Cardiff for a weekend in February.

Tell me a little bit about the things that interest you.... have you been involved in any work to help others or the environment before?
Yes, in India.. I gave tuition to the students... to help them in their studies, it was like evening classes... for 2 hrs

Like a homework club?


What do students in India enjoy studying?

Lots, but the reason for those classes was that they belonged to very poor families.. and we provided them with help
with their problems in studies.
I see, it sounds similar to the work our link project in Bangladesh is doing.
What other activities would you like to get involved in while you are in Cheltenham?
Nothing much yet... I'm searching a part time job too... to make myself busy.

Well I wish you good luck with that search, I hope you find some enjoyable and meaningful work!
Thank-you very much for volunteering with us, I hope you continue to enjoy it.
Yes... I love that place too!

Thanks for chatting, see you in the shop soon!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Twinning Association Open Evening

Cheltenham Twinning Association are having an Open Evening next Tuesday (25th January). The meeting will be held at the Municipal offices on the Promenade in the Montpellier rooms.

Morgan will be giving a talk about Global Footsteps! Twinning Officer Annette Wight sent through the following information. Hope to see you there:

Please come along to the Cheltenham Twinning Association Open Evening next Tuesday 25 January, from 6.45 for 7 pm start, until approx 8.30pm. There will be wine, soft drinks and nibbles and time to chat.

We will be telling you more about this year's big event - the 60th anniversary visit to Göttingen from 29 July to 5 August. Come and hear more about the trip and ask any questions you may have.

Global Footsteps' Director Morgan Phillips, will also be outlining the international development work that this local charity are involved in and some young people will give brief presentations on visits made last summer to Hungary for an international dance and culture festival for young people and to Göttingen for the International Peace camp. So please come along and give them your support and hear about their experiences.

The evening is open to all - not just Association members, so do bring family and friends along.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible next week and if you are able to send a quick email reply to indicate whether you are able to come along, that would help us with the number of glasses we shall need!!!

Best regards

PS : if you can't make the meeting and have registered your interest with me in the visit to Göttingen, information will still be sent to you within the next couple of weeks.

Monday, 17 January 2011

An interview with Steven Otieno - Political tension and HIV/AIDS support work in Kenya

In the second of our interviews this week, here is Steven Otieno from Cadif Kenya. Steven represented Kisumu, Kenya at our latest international conference, Footstep 12, in Slovakia last year. Cadif operate in the slum region of Kisumu, right on the shore of Lake Victoria. Cadif improve the lives of many through their health and education programmes. We talked about the current political situation in Kenya, Cadif's work in 2011 and some potential new volunteering opportunities.

Hi Steven

Hi, how is it going?

Good thanks. I'm doing some interviews for our Global Footsteps blog page, would you mind answering a few questions?

just send me some
Great, so firstly, how is life in Kisumu today?

Kisumu is warm, there was some rain but generaly okay, there is absolute peace but political temperature is raising.

What's happening politically?

Kisumu is ODM zone and there are many ODM politician from Rift Valley that want to ditch the party. This is because they are being left to take personal responsibility for their involvement in the 2007 post election violence. So there are ethnical blames between Rift valley and Nyanza on Raila Odinga's position at the post election violence trial in the Hague.
Raila Odinga is the current Prime Minister correct?
What does ODM stand for?
from ODM
ODM Stand for Orange Democratic Movement
What do you mean by 'ethnical blames'?

Political leaders from Rift valley who are named to have sponsored the 2007 post election violence, most of them are from ODM, so the people of Rift valley (Kalenjin) expected Odinga to defend them, reasoning that all that happened was for benefit of Raila Odinga. Luo's in Nyanza oppose this view point and are very strong on their stance. They believe that the political leaders have to take personal responsibility for their involvement. This would be damaging to the implicated politicians, so they are threatening to leave the ODM if Odinga does not support them. This is a hot debate and accusation ahead of 2012 General election
Kalenjin and Luo are both tribes in the region, is that correct? And Kisumu is home to mostly Luo?

Kalenjin are from Rift valey region in Kenya while Luos are from Nyanza Region
Are you worried that violence could once again erupt in Kisumu?

That is a slight fear but only if the constitution is not fully implemented. If it is not there will be worse violence in 2012 than 2007.

That would be terrible. So are people hopeful about the new constitution?

Yes, its taking root, Kenya anti-corruption is now little bit effective due to new constitutions, but there is still a lot of amendment needed for it to be effective.

Things are moving slowly in the right direction.


What about CADIFKenya, what does the week ahead hold for you all?

At CADIF we have started the year well, we are now starting our school outreaches , this week we will have 3 outreaches every week, we are also having community mobilization and sensitization in 2 locations, 4 moonlight Voluntary counseling and testing at night targeting commercial sex workers and their clients
What exactly is sensitisation?

This is an organized forum for creating awareness on HIV/AIDS within slum areas
I see, thanks, I will do that.
Is the HIV/AIDS situation getting better or worse at the moment?
The prevelance rate is going down among the youth but increasing among the couples and with that, we are lobbying for small grant to target couples for HIV education
To who will you apply for that grant?

Well I'm loking at the government through National Aid control council, and partners like Global Footsteps.

Unfortunately we cannot directly send money to fund projects like this, but we could try and send you a volunteer to help deliver the program and raise some funds for you too.
Thank you

I could also write you a recommendation letter.
would that help?
That will be helpful

I can do that for you no problem.

And the issues of having one of us join some of your volunteers for fundraising in UK later this year or next year, can it be productive?

This may well be feasible and useful yes. We will have to to discuss this further another time.

Its okay, so do you have some volunteer that are showing intrest to come?

We are going to do a big push for volunteers in the next few months, I really hope to get two people to Kisumu to work with Cadif and Kosimbo.
Thanks for the updates Steve, it is really great to hear what you have been up to.
Thank you, Volker was working on some reports, I will send them to you.

I'll look forward to them. Do you have any messages for our Global Footsteps members?

CADIF has been happy for the Global footsteps exposure and we will be sharing our project updates, opening up possibilities to partner. We are working on our new website, we will share with you our progress.