Church of the Nazarene
Kenya Western District
Munango Church of the Nazarene in Busia County
Rev. Julius Omondi, D.S.
How are we partnering with the Church of the Nazarene in Kenya?
We began working with the Kenya Western District of the Church of the Nazarene in November 2023. One of our advisors connected us with Rev. Julius Omondi, the District Superintendent, and we began to discuss how the Upendo Conservation Area is training communities about snakes and snakebite. Rev. Omondi was very interested, and so he invited our Director, Silas Wekesa Muchenje, to a meeting of the pastors on the district to make a presentation about snakebite. It was warmly received, and so we began to plan for trainings at 10 of their churches on the district. We also started a WhatsApp chat that English speaking pastors could take part in and learn more about snakes through our advisor, Emeritus Professor Jonathan Twining from Eastern Nazarene College.
On 13 November 2023, we journeyed to the Mungore Khasoko Church of the Nazarene to meet with their congregation and complete a snake awareness and snakebite prevention training. As of 5 January 2024, we have also completed trainings at the Ndakaru, Namwacha, Kisoko, and Munango (Busia) churches.
It was clear that completing "one off" trainings at these churches was not going to be efficient or cost-effective. So we discussed with Rev. Omondi the idea of training peer trainers at two churches as models and test cases for a peer training program. The idea was to train members of the congregation to teach people in their communities one-on-one or in small groups about how to recognize harmful snakes, recognize symptoms of a venomous snakebite, use proper first aid practices, and take steps around the home and compound to reduce the risk of snakebite.
On Friday and Saturday, 5 January 2024, the first ever peer training was conducted in Kenya on snakebite prevention at the Ndakaru Church of the Nazarene, pastored by Rev. Patrick Walela. Rev. Walela selected 5 women from the church to be trained, and attended the full training himself. The training was successful, and now we are working with this new team to continue learning about snakebite and go out into their community as a ministry of the church. A second peer training is being planned for Kisoko Church of the Nazarene once their District Assembly is finished in February.