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INTERVIEW

Italian NGO in Kenya: coordination and security

Samuele Tini, COIKE chairman speaks

22-05-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo

The world of Italian solidarity and cooperation in Kenya starts again from coordination and security.
The post-Silvia Romano after-Silvia of Onlus and NGOs rooted in every corner of the country, from the slums of Nairobi to the semi-arid areas of Samburu, from the palm forests of the coast to the volcanic lakes of the Rift Valley, is experienced by those who are engaged in social work here as an opportunity to unite and act even better and at the same time to convey a positive image of the many projects that, thanks to our fellow countrymen, help and grow the Kenyan communities and their awareness.
Since two years there is also an umbrella of associations, created by volunteers with the aim of bringing together NGOs and Onlus registered in Italy or acting in the Kenyan territory.
The COIKE (Coordination NGO and Onlus in Kenya) has already gathered together with the Italian Cooperation and the Italian Embassy in Kenya about forty organizations.
Among the initiatives that after the dramatic event of the kidnapping of the Italian girl take on even more value, there is a security protocol that COIKE has drawn up and that has been approved by our Embassy.
Malindikenya.net interviewed the head of COIKE Samuele Tini.
40 years old, from Piedmont, has already 15 years of experience as a collaborator, in various African realities and currently runs the small non-profit organization "Mani Tese" that develops together with local communities projects related to agriculture and biodiversity.
"An isolated episode, a "unicum" in Kenya like the kidnapping of a compatriot who took care of poor people in a remote village, far from the so-called risk areas - explains Tini - can be worrying but it must absolutely not undermine the image of the Italian organizations that deal seriously and continuously with solidarity in this country. What happened to Silvia could have happened to many other volunteers in other areas and situations, but if the Onlus had followed the advice of our Protocol, those who took advantage of its vulnerability would have had a more difficult life".
In this document that we enclose on the portal, for example, it is advisable to register the presence of those who participate in operations of solidarity with our authorities, to designate a person in charge on site to whom the main guidelines are given, to welcome a series of good practices to minimize any risk.
"The history of solidarity in Kenya is 120 years old," says Tini, "and our religious and lay missionaries have also gone through difficult historical periods, civil wars and even more dangerous and heinous banishment than terrorism. A kidnapping, although an alarming episode, cannot change the history of our solidarity presence in the country, but must make those who have always acted with a little superficiality reflect, thinking that the important thing is to help, without too many rules. In doing good there are not only rights, but also duties".
There are two COIKE activities that should be considered essential for any organisation carrying out voluntary work and cooperation on the ground: communication and advice.
"Through our mailing list and social channels - explains the person in charge - we update all the entities on new rules and decrees and give news about solidarity, we also inform the subscribers about the tools to adopt and the outcomes of meetings and gatherings, in this virtual period. Also in case of pandemic emergency, we share news about our meetings with doctors in the field and other information. The other aspect is related to putting our experience and that of the great realities that have been involved in the territory for years, such as Amref, AVSI and Caritas, at the disposal also of the minor Onlus or groups of people who occasionally come to Kenya to help these people. We are always available to give advice and offer, for example, contacts of trusted lawyers and others".
Today more than ever the seriousness of those who have always acted with conscience and know-how on the Kenyan territory must be the driving force to not interrupt the generous path of Italian solidarity and at the same time adapt to the times, to add to the heart, humanity and enthusiasm also an indispensable professionalism and additional attention.
   

TAGS: onlus kenyaong kenyasolidarietà kenyacoike kenya

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