Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pushing the Possibilities


We have been visited by our project partner from the US who has been our main contact for SUMAWA. She has come to make sure that the transition from the research project into an enterprise goes smoothly. We have been learning in real life how development funding must be spent and how to allocate funds and assets when a USAID funded project is ending. We are nearing June 30th the date in which the SUMAWA project’s funding will end as well as the work established from many years of research in the region will be handed over. Handed over to whom you may ask? Well these are the same questions we are asking ourselves. We are working on acquiring some of the assets.

Another project in Eldoret (in western Kenya) conducting research on nutrition and its impact on the health of individuals infected with HIV has put in an order for 200 filters, and will need an invoice from RWI or the entity that we establish by June 30th. They need to have evidence that they have allocated and “used” the funds by June 30th -- because they are funded by the same source as the SUMAWA project (which is ending). This is part of the learnings mentioned above, and has put a fire under our butts!

This situation has pushed our team to evaluate the viability of this enterprise and measure our commitment to this project. This has also pushed us to look into the registration process in order to establish legal entity. Additionally we are working hard to identify local private partners who can help us build manufacturing capacity for such a big order. We have visited two potential partners today and will continue to look for more as we progress.

The picture posted is from the day we visited the Teret Secondary School to install 3 filters. The students treated us like celebrities and we now know what it feels like to be chased by a mob of excited teenagers. Its hard to believe that was just last week so much has happened!

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