Could you be an MPO…?

Ronnie___maggie_3 Posted by Colin Corbridge on Wed, 03 Dec 2008 | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Mission Personnel Opportunities (MPO) are generally available here in Kajiado but are they a blessing or a burden?

Alongside the META concept of sending a team of people out to one of our Global Partners we have developed the MPO concept. This is essentially an individual offering their skills and gifts into a particular part of the work here in Kajiado and helping us to move forward in achieving the priorities set out by the Diocese. Recently we have had visits from three different people and it would be a good idea to set out some of the work they were involved with and how it actually helps us here in the Diocese.

Anne Campbell from Newtownards spent three weeks with us in September/October. With a background in community development she helped us with a number of reports. We are coming to the end of an Irish Aid funded Drought Recovery Programme and the writing of the final report is a very important exercise. Anne worked hard at bringing together all the relevant information required and before she left we had a complete outline of for us now to complete. She also worked on the CMS Ireland Annual Project for 2008 called ‘Footsteps’ and this was focussed around issues of education here in the Diocese. The project was developed around a particular community in Torosei – a 4 hour trip from Isinya on the Tanzanian border. What we wanted to do was to go back to that community and show them the project pack and more importantly the DVD to let them see exactly what we did with the video taken last July by our son Philip. Anne writes:

‘In September Torosei Primary School received a visit from some of the Kajiado Diocesan staff. The purpose of the visit was to show the pupils, teachers, community leaders and parents, the result of their work that they carried out with Philip Briggs and Daniel Taama just over a year ago. A DVD was made to illustrate to children in Northern Ireland a typical day in the life of a Kenyan school pupil. Members of the local Maasai community started to arrive as word of the DVD viewing quickly spread. The children crammed in as they tried to get a better look at the screen. Most of the children had probably never seen a television before, never mind themselves on television. Once the DVD was played and familiar scenes of their school, friends and each other came up on screen there was lots of laughter and pointing. There was also great enthusiasm at seeing their teachers on screen. The teachers too, found the DVD amusing as they were able to see themselves on DVD and were also humoured by the pupils’ reaction.
When the DVD finished Ronnie Briggs presented the DVD and resource pack to Emmanuel Kidali (Deputy School Headmaster) and Rev Moses Ntuyai (Vicar in Charge). It was felt that it was important to show Torosei Primary School and the community the DVD as it was their hard work that made it all possible. The school received it with thanks, and even requested a second viewing!’

Anne later visited another programme of the Diocese in Meto where we had a ‘Field Day’ – inviting the local community to come and see exactly what we do in this development Centre and perhaps try to copy it in their own Villages.
Anne reports on her visit:

‘The Diocese of Kajiado has recently reactivated the Centre in Meto. A variety of cultivation and livestock practices are used at MRTC Meto as a means to demonstrate to the local Maasai community how they can make a livelihood for themselves on semi-arid land.

Almost 300 people from the local community arrived to the field day which consisted of demonstrations of cultivation practices and the services available to them.

Demonstrations of livestock included Doper sheep, which have been bred using South African raised Rams. A cow and it’s calf have been introduced for good quality milk supply and used as a demonstration of how to manage and care for milking breeds.

For cultivation of the land demonstrations, an ox-plough was brought in and staff explained how oxen could be trained to pull a plough. Soil erosion preventative techniques were illustrated and explained, such as fencing off vulnerable land. A drip irrigation system would be a very new concept to many in the Maasai community and it created great interest and the local people used the opportunity to buy some of the crops grown by the irrigation system.

An “agro-vet” store is a shop that sells seeds and other farming equipment plus all requirements for animal medicine that might be needed on the average farm in the Meto area.
A new mobile clinic was recently bought by the Diocese. This was on show at the field day and a nurse, Agnes who is employed to work in it, explained the different programmes and equipment.

There is an Anglican Church within the compound of Meto MRTC. The roof of the church is used as a rainwater catchment area.

The local chief, local businessmen and Bishop Taama all encouraged the community to make use of MRTC Meto so that they will be able to sustain themselves, even during times of drought.’

Then came Clifford McSpaddan in October. Clifford had arranged to come to us in his capacity as a business consultant to help the Diocese to establish a training programme for the staff to improve their capacity for the work they are doing. In between he became the President of CMSI so it was an even greater privilege to receive him wearing both hats. He interviewed all the Diocesan staff and then sat with the Bishop and a few of us to set up the training requirements for all staff members. This is the first time such an effort has been made towards training needs and it will be of great help into the future.

And then came David Spiers in October/November – husband of Mavis who works in the Belfast Office of CMSI. David has spent most of his working life in Human Resources and even worked for a time with CMSI as the Personnel Coordinator. David followed on from Clifford in that he too interviewed all the staff members of the Diocese to begin the process of setting up job descriptions and establishing personnel processes for the Diocese to ensure that all legal requirements are met in terms of looking after staff members. Needless to say, the staff here were delighted to see progress on these levels and made them feel even more secure in their roles within the Diocese.

All these MPO visits were targeted at specific areas of the work here and all of them made a big impact on the people they came across. When organised in this way an MPO visit is a blessing to us as well as the Diocese. All MPOs are taken out to various parts of the Diocese to see for themselves the challenges faced by those who work here and to help put into context the particular work they came to do. This can be a very big learning curve for the MPO and is also a big benefit to the Diocese here in Kajiado.

MPOs are a blessing and not a burden – maybe you too could be an MPO! If interested please contact Niall Manogue through either of the CMSI offices and he will point you in the right direction. God gave us all skills and gifts our response is to use them….