When Communities Lead, Change is Lasting
Founded by a group of committed Kenyans, Lwala invests in unleashing the latent capacity within communities. Communities lead in the design, implementation, and evaluation of our work.
Pillars of Our Community-Led Approach
96% of Lwala’s staff is Kenyan and 56% are from our patient population. We have a community-level advisory committee, Kenyan board, and Kenyan representation on our global board.
As part of our 3-year strategic planning process, 10% of our patient population convenes to develop solutions to key challenges. Annually, each program convenes stakeholder committees to review program data, assess gaps, and propose new plans.
Across our programs, we form community committees to lead design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions. These committees represent overlapping groups of community members – men, women, students, religious leaders, youth, people living with HIV, etc. – to ensure wide participation.
The impact of a community-led approach was never more evident than in a nearby village that was suffering from high rates of waterborne illness. Community leaders banded together to transform their water and sanitation system, starting by building latrines for every household within their village. This included those who lacked the resources or strength to construct a latrine themselves, such as Salome, a widow living with her 14-year-old grandchild. Though she could not participate in the physical labor, Salome kept her neighbors strong with fresh water and snacks, providing moral support and taking ownership in the latrine project. Upon the latrine’s completion, Salome told her neighbors, “I have always prayed to have a latrine, but I didn’t know how to get one. Now, my neighbors have answered my prayers.”