Father, daughter work to construct well being heart in Kenya

Belinda Jivetti, left, and her dad Billy Jivetti, collectively are engaged on offering well being care in Kenya by way of the Fellbaum Well being Middle. Billy Jivetti based the middle in 2012. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Billy Jivetti is one with serving to his neighborhood.

It’s a ability that he’s passing on to his daughter, Belinda, who’s a freshman at Atrisco Heritage Academy Excessive Faculty.

The daddy-daughter duo proceed to work to place collectively the Fellbaum Group Well being Centre in Kenya.

Belinda is concerned in a world well being challenge – working along with her dad and mom to offer well being care in her neighborhood in Kenya. She traveled to Kenya final summer season, and is about to journey once more this yr.

“We caught up with the family we haven’t seen in a while, and had a classic Kenyan meal of ugali, mboga and cultured milk,” Belinda mentioned. “The taste of being home was definitely in the food.”

The journey was not all enjoyable and video games, as Jivetti was serving to help the locals within the space.

“We also tried to take school supplies to Kenya. So we also did a school supplies distribution where we give pens, pencils, soccer balls, to our local schools around,” he mentioned. “Professionally, I was also on an international fellowship at a nearby university, where I was mentoring graduate students in research.”

Jivetti presently serves as a analysis scientist on the College of New Mexico and the challenge in Kenya is one among his passions.

Whereas on the journey, Belinda accompanied her father to see a few of the issues he was doing.

“I would visit the university he was working with at the time, and also made a few trips to the house center that was being built,” Belinda mentioned.

Again to fundamentals

Whereas in Kenya, Belinda received a chance to get reacquainted along with her roots.

“After about two weeks in Kaimosi we traveled to spend a little over a week in Bungoma and it was there I met my mom’s aunt and my cousin Nelson,” Belinda mentioned. “Sometimes due to the weather, the power would go out and this taught me that even in the literal dark times you still have your family.”

The facility outages had been a shock as she’s not used to them in Albuquerque.

“One thing that was different was just the way things were like the internet,” Belinda mentioned. “I automatically connect to the internet and use my phone without a second thought but over there it takes the time to connect, or having my own hotspot for something like the power go out.”

Web grew to become out there in Kenya in 1993.

Jivetti mentioned experiencing the outage was eye-opening for his daughter as a result of she went with out free web for the primary time in her life.

“So she’s talking about the digital divide and free accessible,” Jivetti mentioned. “… We use cellphones to connect online so you purchase bundles.”

That is the place Jivetti’s life in Kenya present essential classes for Belinda.

“My father grew up watching people struggle to afford or find nearby health care, and thought to help his community,” Belinda mentioned. “His mother came to him and said she saw it in a vision when he went to tell everyone else about the plans he had in store, and that was just the start, as the Fellbaum Health Centre is now a reality and thriving.”

Jivetti began the Fellbaum Group Well being Centre in 2012 and named it after Lloyd Fellbaum, his good friend’s late cousin.

“I am one of the very few from the community to be fortunate to study, work and live in America,” Jivetti mentioned. “So the community expectations are way up here from health, education, water and supporting one or two people with a scholarship, so I try to go as much as I can to see family since my mother is about 85 years old.”

Working for change

Jivetti grew up in Western Kenya in a household of 10 and would stroll three miles to attend college.

“I understand the issues of their needs, be it waking up and there is not internet, or something that we take for granted as a refrigerator,” he mentioned. “As being able to live or study in America is a blessing that a lot of people don’t have access to.”

Rice was thought-about a luxurious so the household may solely afford it throughout main ceremonies or holidays.

When Jivetti left Kenya for the USA in 2002, tons of of locals got here to sing, dance and provides speeches on his behalf.

“We both share the dream for the health center for the community so I’m waiting to catch up with the construction part of it,” Jivetti mentioned. “During the corporate period, there was a lockdown in the country and a lot of people had not visited our health center for a long time and there was a lot of sickness undiagnosed in the community.”

Main well being care is a battle in Kenya as there’s a 33.4% mortality fee from childhood malaria and 10% from toddler mortality, based on Jivetti.

The son of a trainer, Jivetti was the one youngster in his village who owned a pair of sneakers.

“I speak several native languages in Western Kenya and I also speak a national language called Swahili that has also been adapted to several international contexts,” he mentioned. “We use English as our official language of instruction and business and all that.”

Although they’ve been exhausting at work for this important challenge, the job just isn’t performed.

“We are praying for a miracle to complete the ground floor so we can commence service to the people,” Jivetti mentioned.

The well being heart is over midway full however there’s nonetheless work.

“I’m working on shipping containers of medical equipment through an organization in Colorado, that is costing me around $30,000,” Jivetti mentioned.

Fortunately, there’s extra in retailer for Fellbaum.

“And then also we would like to invite medical professionals who can come on short term visits, to treat people with illnesses … when we conduct the medical services,” Jivetti mentioned. “So some specialists around such as graduate students to do research, who have the capacity to come in and just for a week or can make a big difference help bring these issues, to knowledge.”

The daddy and daughter hope to convey consciousness to this challenge.

“We also need help in putting this information on our website we don’t have currently,” he mentioned. “Anybody out there willing to help us come up with our website, so that we can reach out to students and inspire them.”

As soon as accomplished will probably be the closest well being facility for 25,000 individuals within the fast space and as much as 75,000 extra in neighboring communities.

After leaving Kenya for brighter alternatives, Jivetti needs to assist brighten their future.

“It came full circle as when I left, I was single and I was just a graduate student,” he mentioned. “So this time we went on a bus and meeting her grandmother, was such a moment to behold for the three of us.”

For Belinda, the chance to return to Kenya can not come quickly sufficient.

“Just having company is always amazing, even though they teased me because they thought I couldn’t understand Swahili,” Belinda mentioned.

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