Kenyan in Winninden Sets Up an Organisation to Help Rediscover Kenya’s Wealth

Keith Lindsey, Caroline Kawira Njeru Siebenwirth

Keith and Kawira met in 2004, while Kawira was in search of some activities to keep her busy. She discovered that Kieth was involved in natural medicine. He has a Doctorate in Chemical studies and this enables him to apply both ways to improve health in a Scientific way.

The project “Discover e.V.” was birthed, based in Winnenden, Germany, it aims to help families and communities discover, or rediscover, the wealth of resources in their environment and their traditions.

In the rush to modernity, standards of nutrition are declining, and many people are suffering health complaints that were almost unknown in the past.

Kawira Njeru who now lives in Winnenden but comes from Ruguta village on the slopes of Mount Kenya. Together with a primary school teacher in Ruguta, Florida Nyaga, established the group Ruguta Mazingira Self-Help Group. In June this year, Keith Lindsey, Chairman of Discover, visited Ruguta. He was impressed by the commitment of people there, and how many are already enjoying better health. Later this month the group will run a week-long training programme to convince others in the locality on the importance of their fruits, traditional vegetables, traditional skills and environmental care.

Besides the direct benefits of natural medicine, the people enjoy the positive awareness of what they feed on and have the possibility to benefit financially from their surplus. For example, Moringa is a plant that readily grows in the region. The leaves contain large amounts of proteins, vitamins and minerals and are consumed by their livestock as well.

“There is a special beauty in memories deeply rooted in one’s life. For me, that beauty goes back to my childhood days growing up in an African village in Kenya. My home was set on the foothills of Ngai’s home- the holy mountain of Mwene Nyaga.” Kawira added.

“The view is breathtaking and the climate and vegetation are beautiful beyond words. But this is not the only beauty sitting in my soul, it is the beauty of the knowledge of my forefathers in respect to life; their sense of responsibility, their dedication and their careful protection of their homes and their surroundings. Their respect for Ngai and his privacy. All they had was the wisdom deeply engraved on the backbone of a culture and tradition that preserved and conserved all forms of life, and they handed this down from one generation to another through a special ART.

I am often asked why I sweat in summer and it’s “ African Weather”, and that I should be used to it. At first this statement irritated me but after sometime I realised that I should tell my story to expose the truth that is not known about Africa. Jaws drop when I mention that my village lies in a region that is about 2000 metres. School children are impressed when I show them pictures of my home area with green rolling hills filled with all manner of plants.

These differences in times and countries, have greatly motivated me to write about my childhood experiences; the stories that were told to me and the changes that have now come. I hope we are able to find favourable solutions by using the wisdom from past and the knowledge from the present.“

In addition to her activities in the verein, Kawira has also written a book of poems on conserving the environment especially around the Mount Kenya region. You can read an excerpt of her book Coming Home and more about her here or buy her book on Amazon and enjoy the poems and short stories here 

More info on the Discover website.

 

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