A Partnership Worth Watering

Fred and Milton Ochieng were born and raised in Lwala. Their parents, who have now both passed away from HIV, supported the two brothers to study medicine in the United States. Now the two medical students formed the Lwala Community Alliance (LCA) to give back to their community.

In the US, the average life span 
is 80 years old. 
In Kenya, the average life span 
is 58 years old. 
In Migori, where Lwala Hospital is located, 
the average life span 
is 40 years old. 

In the US, the HIV prevalence is < 1%
In Kenya it is 7%
In Nyanza province it is 15%
In Migori District, Nyanza 
1 out of 4 people are HIV positive. 

DIG and LCA share a common ethos about community development.  Together, we are working on improving the nutrition and health of the whole Lwala community.  To DIG, this is what makes a true partnership.

DIG is implementing a program that brings improved farming practices to the Lwala community.  Through this program, community members have helped develop a vegetable garden on the hospital property to act as a demonstration plot for learning new farming practices.  This garden also supplies vegetables to the hospital and its members.

We are expanding our work to the Kuna and Kameji Primary Schools where demonstration gardens are currently underway. The demonstration garden at Lwala Community Hospital provides training in organic agriculture techniques that ensure that water sources, soils, and produce stay free of chemicals.  

Three groups participate in the training: the Umama Salama group (community health workers to encourage safe motherhood and birthing practices)the hospital’s HIV support group; and a youth group made up of young men and women, many of whom do not have enough money to stay in school and are using the skills gained through this program to earn their way back to school. LCA partners with founders Fred and Milton Ochieng It is critical to have a coordinated approach when addressing the needs of a community.

This is why multidimensional partnerships are so important.  Partnering with LCA has allowed DIG to increase our impact on the community through our work at the hospital. For LCA, DIG has been able to help provide food security, and nutritional and economic well-being. 

One community at a time, LCA and DIG are working towards our shared vision; it does not matter where you are born, you will still be able to live a long and healthy life.