South Sudan Team Bios: Daniel Omondi Obiero- Country Director

Meet Daniel Obiero, our Country Director in South Sudan.

daniel obiero

Daniel Omondi Obiero, BS, Country Director

Nationality: Kenyan

Date of Birth: 2/26/1980

Marital Status: Married with 2 children

Languages: English, Swahili

Daniel is an International Health professional with expertise in implementing and managing public health programs. He has held a number of assignments both locally and internationally, including MERCY USA, UNICEF/MOH and International Rescue Committee (IRC). As the Country Director, he plays an instrumental role in providing overall leadership, strategic direction and operational management and coordination of In-country programs. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Maseno University-Kenya. He Joined KHI in November 2012 as an Emergency Nutrition Manager up to December 2013, Promoted to the post of Country Program director in January 2014 a post he held up to July 2014 after which he was named the Country Director in August 2014.

Hobbies and Interests

Sports-  Watches Soccer and Athletics

Music-  Listens to Country & Gospel Music and Watching Movies.

Reading- Mainly on Community Development and Research Analysis on public health based materials.

Catching up- On Local and International Affairs and participating in Debating and Rational Thought Circles.

Social affairs- Enjoys traveling and making new friends.

 

 

South Sudan Team Bios: Joseph Ogolla Ogani- Nutrition Program Manager

Meet Joseph Ogani, our Nutrition Program Manager in South Sudan.

joseph ogani

Joseph Ogolla Ogani, B.Sc. (FOND), MPH

Nutrition Program Manager

Areas of Expertise: Nutrition, Public Health

Joseph, a Kenyan by birth, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Foods, Nutrition and Dietetics (B.Sc. FOND) from Egerton University in 2007. After his first degree, he worked for Nakumatt Holdings Ltd in Nairobi from 2007 to 2009 as a Marketing Representative and later as Internal Auditor. He received his first job in the humanitarian sector with Food for the Hungry International (FHI) Kenya as Nutrition Officer from 2009 to 2010 then moved to work in South Sudan as a Nutrition Coordinator at Medical Emergency Relief International (MERLIN).  He has over 5 years of experience in implementing Emergency Nutrition (EN) programs in challenging resource-stricken environments. Through his outstanding interpersonal skills, he has demonstrated adaptability and expertise in working with people from different cultural backgrounds.

In 2012, Joseph proceeded for post graduate studies in Public Health at the James P Grant School of Public Health of BRAC University in Bangladesh after which he joined Kissito Healthcare International (KHI) South Sudan program as Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer then currently as Nutrition Program Manager.

Joseph is affiliated to the Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute (KNDI) and the Public Health workforce, Worldwide. He speaks English and Swahili and is learning Arabic. During his free time, he enjoys reading motivational books and swimming.

Workers in the Halaba Special Woreda receive training on child feeding practices

The first 1,000 days of life are critical for healthy development. 52 health workers in the Halaba Special Woreda received training on Infant and Young child feeding practices. The workers learned important skills, such as counseling mothers through breastfeeding and best practices for feeding 6-24-month-old children, in order to help improve these first 1,000 days of life. We can’t wait to see improvements!iycfpic

(Participants providing counseling for a mother at Halaba District Hospital)

Kissito International Solar Suitcase Update

It has been a busy, but successful month for us in Ethiopia!

With 75% of deliveries occurring at night, the Solar Suitcase at the Wejego Yato Health Center has provided light for women to give birth safely. It has also significantly increased the number of women coming to the health center for delivery over the past four months. Thanks to the WE CARE Solar Suitcase, the Wejego Yato Health Center has seen many improvements in birth outcomes and safer deliveries!

ethiopia

Another amazing accomplishment in Ethiopia: The KHI-Ethiopia nutrition project in Halaba Special Woreda helped treat and cure 112 children with severe acute malnutrition in the past month! Health education programs, on topics such as complementary feeding and malaria, also provided 8,170 caretakers information in order to prevent health issues. What a busy and life-saving month!

ethiopia

Brian Center Alleghany Named Among Best in Nation

The Brian Center Alleghany has been named among the top skilled nursing facilities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The Brian Center has received five stars, the highest rating given in the 2014 rankings. The Virginian Review newspaper out of Covington featured The Brian Center on the front cover of the paper today to showcase the honor. The ratings are given based on state-conducted health inspections, how much time nurses spend with their residents and the quality of medical care provided in the facility.

Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund CEO Tom Clarke Receives 2014 A. Willis Robertson Conservation Award

The Virginia Chapter of The Wildlife Society, the professional society for wildlife biologists in Virginia, recognizes exceptional contributions to wildlife conservation in the Commonwealth by awarding the A. Willis Robertson Award.  The A. Willis Robertson Award is named after the Congressman and Senator from Virginia that cowrote and sponsored the Pittman–Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act that established the funding source for all fish and wildlife agencies and triggered the wildlife biology profession in the 1930’s.

 

The 2014 A. Willis Robertson Award was presented to Tom Clarke, CEO of VCLF, on February 4, 2014 citing the historic transfer of the Natural Bridge property, donation of a conservation easement to protect the property, and establishing a path to transfer the property to become Natural Bridge State Park.  This notable work will protect 1600 acres of habitat, key cave systems, a large portion of Cedar Creek, and the iconic rock formation for which the property and Rockbridge County are named. 

Kissito’s Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund Purchases Virginia’s Natural Bridge

Natural BridgeNatural Bridge, VA- A newly formed conservation nonprofit called the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund, Inc. has purchased the Natural Bridge of Virginia with the intent of improving the property and establishing it as a Virginia State Park.

Thanks to a major donation by the owner, Mr. Angelo Puglisi, and a significant loan from the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund Land Conservation Loan Program, the Natural Bridge will for the first time in its history be transferred into public ownership.  The transaction could not have taken place without the hard work, cooperation, and commitment of the state and county government, local nonprofits, and individuals who all played a role in pulling together this unusually complex and important project to benefit the citizens of Virginia now and in the future.

“This is truly an historic day for an extraordinarily special place.  Thanks to the efforts of many individuals and organizations, this priceless natural and historic wonder will be available for the enjoyment of generations to come,” stated Faye Cooper, Executive Director of the Valley Conservation Council, a regional private land trust that has provided technical support for the project since its inception.

“Our vision for Natural Bridge is to be the center piece of the state park system. We want Natural Bridge to become a family destination resort that represents the essence of outdoor recreation, historic preservation, and environmental conservation in Virginia.”, Tom Clarke CEO, VCLF.

Natural Bridge will undergo a transformation of the buildings, grounds, and land to emphasize the history and ecology of the site plus develop the outdoor recreation potential of the property.  The mission of Natural Bridge is the conservation of geological and biological attributes of the property; education of the  public regarding history, geology, ecology, and biodiversity; and to provide outdoor recreation opportunities for the public to become more active and engaged with the outdoors to improve health and connect with the outstanding natural beauty of western Virginia.

The Natural Bridge, Hotel, Caverns, and Gift Shop will reopen in mid to late March 2014. Reservations can be placed by calling the hotel at 1(800) 533-1410

About the owner:

Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund, Inc. (“VCLF”) is a nonprofit organization which seeks to conserve Virginia’s natural resources for public access and enjoyment. Our work in preserving and restoring wildlife habitat is also designed to create economic activity through the recreational and mixed use of Virginia’s forests and open spaces. VCLF is a member of the Kissito, Inc. portfolio of companies. Kissito is a 25-year old Roanoke, Virginia-based, nonprofit charity working both domestically and internationally in Health, Aging, Nutrition, Natural Resources, and Human Development. The relationship between health, nutrition, and our natural environment is well documented. VCLF and Kissito seek to blend these three disciplines to improve the quality of life for the people of Virginia while sustaining our natural resources.

 

Kissito Helps the Environment in Africa, the U.S., and the World

COVER

Kissito exists for the care and betterment of human life. In Africa, natural resources are so intertwined with health, livelihoods, nutrition and poverty that it became obvious that caring for the health of villagers without addressing the root cause of the problems they face is unsustainable. At the same time, there are environmental challenges and opportunities faced by communities in the United States as well. In 2013, the Kissito leadership endeavored to add a new strategy to meet the mission, by engaging in natural resource projects in the United States that could generate resources to apply to our philanthropic work in Africa and elsewhere.

This past summer Kissito began pilot natural resource projects in Africa focused on the common use of crude “three-stone” stoves that are still used for most cooking. These stoves are commonly used indoors where indoor air quality problems result in respiratory and eye infections. Kissito began a pilot project to place higher efficiency improved cookstoves in households in Uganda to reduce the incidence of stove-caused diseases, and since improved cookstoves use half the fuel of a traditional stove, the households that use the improved stoves save considerable expense. Reduced use of fuel also reduces the pressure on surrounding forests to provide wood or charcoal. To further extend the benefits, Kissito also began four small pilot tree planting efforts in Uganda to learn more about the logistical process of acquiring, managing, and conducting tree planting efforts with private landowners. The combination of increasing tree planting and reducing fuel use can drastically increase the amount of time available to households for food production and preparation.

One of the most vexing problems of rural Africa is a lack of clean drinking water. In the summer of 2013, Kissito partnered with faculty and students from the Virginia Military Institute to test the installation of household-scale sand filters designed for that purpose using locally available PVC and water containers. Several systems were installed with local labor in Bushyii village in Uganda, and the team will return in the spring of 2014 to evaluate the installations, make necessary modifications, and add several dozen new units. Training of the villagers will be conducted for both construction and maintenance of the units.

The largest long-term challenge for rural villagers in Africa is the current and expected change in rainfall patterns resulting from climate change. These changes in planting dates and rainfall amounts are already resulting in widespread famine. Improved cookstoves and tree planting mitigate climate change by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases that lead to climate change. In the United States, Kissito has spun off a new nonprofit unit called the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund that will pursue projects that meet the Kissito mission while generating resources for our international work. Projects to date have focused on utilizing land for carbon sequestration by creating a new wildlife management area in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Virginia. Future projects will include converting facilities to renewable biomass heating to cut energy costs in half and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. By documenting and registering these benefits with the California Air Resources Board, a source of revenue can be tapped that pays for the projects and generates excess revenue for other projects.

-Jeff Waldon, Chief Environmental Programs Officer