Fall Impact Report 2023

a note from our executive director

Most foundations have short-term relationships with restricted funding, and they miss the transformative power of long-term partnership. However, at this moment, the Tiba community is reaching a unique milestone in our two-decade partnership with The Matibabu Foundation. In 2024, we celebrate our 20th anniversary, and we can reflect on the incredible impact our partnership has had on the health of rural communities. We can also envision a future where our partners expand and sustain their achievements, creating a model of grassroots community leadership.

I am thrilled to share some exciting updates from this perspective. The long-awaited operating theater is now complete and is in the process of being equipped. Kenyan surgeons will soon begin performing surgeries, and in mid-January, we will celebrate the FIGS Operating Theater Open House with Ram Ramachandra and FIGS volunteer teams, FIGS CEO’s and Tiba board members attending. This theater will not only provide high-quality surgery for a community of 500,000 but also contribute to sustaining the Matibabu Foundation through national health insurance remittances.

We are also proud of the expansion of the Boda Girls program, the success of our cervical cancer awareness initiative, and the launch of the Nursing Promise.

Thank you, Tiba community. The remarkable progress you will read about in the following pages would not be possible without your generous efforts in sharing our story, investing, and volunteering. In light of what we’ve achieved together, I humbly ask you to celebrate by increasing your support for Tiba’s work in this special year. Our goal is to raise $200,000 in the next few months, and with your help, we believe it’s entirely achievable.

With gratitude,

Diane Dodge

Diane Dodge

Aminta planting a tree at Matibabu Hospital

the Power of collaboration to end cervical cancer

Since 2021 we have led a collaborative effort among public and private health professionals in the 14 counties of the Lake Region in Western Kenya to combat cervical cancer, which is prevalent in those counties due to high rates of HIV, and which kills almost as many Kenyan women as does breast cancer. Nearly 50% of all cervical cancer cases in Kenya are discovered too late for intervention. The UN goal that we have adopted calls for 70% of 25-50 year olds to be given a high performance test.

The Cervical Cancer Awareness Campaign has the following components:
  • Advocacy by the First Ladies in the 14 counties and special events
  • Public facilities working to vaccinate, screen, and treat women in their counties
  • Distribution of 25,000 pairs of FIGs scrubs to engage front line health workers in promoting vaccination and screening
  • Regular meetings of health leaders to focus on best practices and solutions to challenges
  • Learning from data–we track services to improve coordination among counties

Our public and private partners, lead by Matibabu foundation and Africa Cancer Foundation, with PINCC and TogetHER for Heath support communications, training, and equipment.

Report of Cancer Awareness Campaign in 2023
Why we do what we do

20 years ago Tiba and Matibabu were founded. Look what we accomplished in 2023:

Matibabu is dedicated to the health of the communities it serves in Ukwala and Ugunja, Kenya. Although Matibabu’s ability to provide services was constrained during the years of the Covid pandemic, 2022 saw a rebound of those services to pre-Covid levels, and 2023 has so far been marked by even more growth.

Impact in 20 years

Matibabu’s New Operating Theater: A Beacon of Health, Dignity, and Community Pride

“A theater like Matibabu’s is only seen in larger cities in Kenya. This theater will save lives because of the proximity of quality services that were never before available in this rural community of subsistence farmers. This theater also says to community members – their life matters.”

The realization of this dream has been made possible through the generous support of Tiba donors and a remarkable gift from FIGS Inc. The project has been led by Engineer Judy Mausa and her team at Construction for Change. Judy and her team have not only overseen the construction but have also made a significant impact on the local economy by hiring and supervising over 100 skilled male and female Kenyan workers. This emphasis on local materials and employment has lifted the community’s spirits and instilled a sense of pride.

Judy Mausa also played a pivotal role in inspiring the next generation of female leaders. She recently shared her career journey at a STEM camp for girls from the Lifunga Girls School, telling the girls, “You see all these buildings going up? Who is building them? ME!”

  • Access to Quality Surgery: The Operating Theater will provide access to quality surgery, often at minimal or no cost, for those in need, ensuring that life-saving procedures are within reach.
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities: With three modern surgery suites, pre/post-operative areas, a small ICU, staffing rooms, and a telehealth center, the facility is well-equipped to offer comprehensive care.
  • Education and Training: The Theater will serve as a valuable training facility for Matibabu’s perioperative nursing students and offer a hub for visiting volunteers to provide training to Kenyan professionals.
  • Sustainability: The Theater will generate revenue through Kenya’s national health insurance program, which will reimburse for surgeries. This will not only benefit the community but also contribute to Matibabu’s sustainability.

Completion of Matibabu’s new Operating Theater marks a turning point in the community’s access to quality healthcare. It stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, dedication, and the belief in human dignity.

Report of Cancer Awareness Campaign in 2023
Why we do what we do
Why we do what we do

Transportation is a Social Determinant of Health

The Boda Girls program is now in its second year. This program trains local women to become women’s health advocates and boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) drivers – a job traditionally held only by men. A community health survey conducted by Matibabu revealed that a lack of access to transportation – especially in rural areas – kept women from accessing preventive care. The Boda Girls program has shown the difference a free ride and an informed, caring advocate can make to women’s health. In the first year of the program, Matibabu provided free rides to the hospital for more than 5,000 women. As a result, Matibabu more than doubled:

  • Attendance at prenatal clinics & the number of births in the hospital
  • Family planning sessions
  • Cervical cancer screenings

In addition, through the Boda Girls program Matibabu was able to educate over 2,000 adolescent girls about menstruation and to distribute free sustainable menstrual kits.

Key outcomes in year 2 of Boda Girls:
  • Matibabu received a two-year USAID grant for Menstrual Health.
  • Boda Girls grew from 10 to 40 women and established programs in two additional sub-counties.
  • The first Boda Girls cohort has mentored the new cohorts, accelerating learning and instilling pride.
  • We certified 16 male leaders of taxi stands as Boda Girls Allies and first responders for roadside emergencies.
  • In addition to educating young women about menstruation, Boda Girls provide training in self-defense and awareness of gender-based violence.
  • The initial Boda Girls cohort trained 48 women in entrepreneurial skills and hosted a “Women’s Pitch Competition,” awarding funding to 4 groups for their proposed projects.
  • We launched a new app that supports village girls with education and access to menstrual supplies.
Report of Cancer Awareness Campaign in 2023
Why we do what we do
Why we do what we do

the nursing promise

The Nursing Promise gives village girls the opportunity to pursue a nursing career, which improves not only their own lives, but the lives of their rural communities. The program started as a scholarship program and has since expanded to create a viable pathway for girls from under-resoucred public schools to become nurses. Key partners in the Nursing Promise include:

  • Lifunga Secondary School for Girls, which provides a high school education for 200+ vulnerable girls (typically women in the area have only an 8th grade education).
  • The Mary Ann van Dam School of Nursing, one of the top 5 nursing colleges in rural Kenya.
  • Matibabu Hospital, a level-4 community hospital, which provides mentoring and internships for Lifunga graduates.
  • Notre Dame High School Belmont – a girl’s high school in California – which sends volunteers and supplies, and whose students have become penpals with Lifunga students..
  • Tiba Foundation donors – individuals or groups – who donate $1,000 annually for 2 or 3 years (depending on academic program) to cover costs of tuition, fees, books, uniforms, and lodging for the nursing students.
These new pathway components were launched in 2023:
  • The first science lab was constructed at the Lifunga Girls High School.
  • STEM Camp – Volunteer educators Rebecca Girard and Abiya Quai from Notre Dame High School Belmont helped foster curiosity about STEM topics in 120 budding scientists in the 11th and 12th grades.
  • Self-Defense Course – Aminta Steinbach from Hand to Hand Kajukenbo (a martial arts studio based in Oakland) taught an in-person self-defense class to 40 Boda Girls. Those Boda Girls are now teaching hundreds of girls, with the goal of reducing the level of the gender-based-violence that is often detrimental to health and to education performance.
  • Lifunga teachers have begun a two-year program in instructional practices with a Ugandan partner, Teach United, that trains teachers in critical thinking and hands-on education, and has improved rural school performance.
  • On September 8th, we celebrated an important milestone at the Matibabu College of Health Sciences as we witnessed the graduation of 40 bright individuals – 18 nurses and 22 perioperative theater technicians, all equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a meaningful difference in healthcare.
Report of Cancer Awareness Campaign in 2023
Why we do what we do

Volunteers build allyship and capacity

Tiba volunteers regularly visit Kenya at the request of the team at Matibabu Foundation. In addition to providing allyship and sharing Matibabu’s mission and success with a broad audience, volunteers engage in capacity building projects that help sustain Matibabu Hospital and the Matibabu staff of about 100 professionals. Some of these projects include CME training, lectures at the Nursing School, support for communications and business development, and partnership development with educational institutions and potential partners and donors. Thank you to all who served in Kenya this year!

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