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DANSO

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

June 3rd, Nairobi
Pictures for this posting are pictures 5 through 18.

Today we visited DANSO; which stands for Dandora Support Organization.  Truth be told, it wasn’t until I actually re-read the picture of their sign that I realized DANSO doesn’t stand for “Dandora AIDS Network Support Org”; which is totally what I thought it stood for the entire trip.  Oops.

Irregardless, DANSO is an organization run by and for people who are either “infected and affected” by AIDs.  Meaning, members either are infected with AIDs or someone close them (eg. mother or brother) is infected.  DANSO is a wonderful network of people who support each other through difficult times and difficult health conditions as well as keeping each other accountable for the DANSO microfinance fund.  DANSO seems to be completly run by Kenyans, sans the funding, some of which I know has come from Westside Church though I do not know how much came from DANSO itself.

Dandora is one poorest suburbs in Nairobi and borders a huge above ground dump.  There is a section of Dandora with the overly crowded slum-style living conditions, though the slums seemed to be a little better integrated with a business area than Kibera (which is just a huge area of seemingly infinite crowded buildings). 

Above are pictures of the nearby dump.  There were plenty of people scattered on the dump doing what people have done to waste for thousands of years, going through it and scavenging anything worth anything.

We visited a few of the shops of people who are members of DANSO and had received microfinance loans.  One gal who seems to be an excellent tailor took measurements of Heather and Kathy for a few dresses.  You will see Heather model her dress on Kenya night for sure! Below is a picture of the tailor herself and another store owner who sells goods on the roadway.  Our presence gathered a nice crowd.  We also visited a hair salon microfinance recipient.

While visiting the stores, we also made a few house calls.  One to a lady with HIV and Breast cancer.  Both diseases are horrible by themselves, let alone in pairs.  Later, we held a meeting with members of DANSO to give them a few hundred bucks for the microfinance fund (an additional 3 loans were given out) as well as to peruse some of their jewelry wares.  The ladies had a fine time looking though hand made jewelry.  Below is a picture of the DANSO members (not all were at this meeting) and the white (mzungu) gals.

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