Trial Certificate Program in Kenya Advances the Quiet Work of Prevention

by Allison Kozicharow


WiRED believes that community health starts with knowledge—and there is no better proof of this than the launch of WiRED's Community Health Information Center (CHIC) Certificate Program in Kisumu, Kenya. The CHIC library offers modules on topics such as disease prevention, nutrition, basic anatomy, maternal and child health and water purification. Although many people are already motivated to visit the centers to learn about prevention or a specific illness, the certificate program provides an extra incentive to educate themselves about a wide variety of health issues.


The Certificate Program encourages community members to study a given module, and, when they're ready, to take a test on the material. To qualify, they must pass with an 85% mark or better. Certificates are not offered as accreditation, their purpose is to confirm successful completion of the training programs; the certificates recognize an accomplishment.


Four certificate levels are provided, and each represents the successful completion of an increasing number of modules:

  • Bronze—5 modules
  • Silver—15 modules
  • Gold—25 modules
  • Platinum—40 modules

WiRED is running the trial Certificate Program at the Faye F. and Sheldon S. Cohen Community Health Information Center and the Obunga Community Health Information Center, both in Kisumu. Since the program began in mid-summer, approximately 17 people have gained certificates and a number of others are working at the basic level. Three people have achieved the highest, platinum, level. This article provides actual testimonials from people working on their certificates; here are some excerpts:

  • "The certificate is an achievement to me and is very important to my life. I got more information on these modules and some of them I have used to help many people during my field work."
    —Lavender Amondi
  • "Getting a certificate will be a key to my life and thanks for the CHIC, and may it continue forever."
    —Juliet Atieno Otieno
  • "I feel very grateful and rich with the knowledge. The certificate has boosted my self esteem, especially in my work in schools and in the community."
    —Gumbe Alaka
  • "The certificate will be a very important part of my life. I do believe that it will open doors to everything."
    —Claret Akinyi

WiRED director Gary Selnow, Ph.D. says, "The Certificate Program further motivates isolated communities to take their health into their own hands. Health education isn't as dramatic as a daring rescue, but it saves countless lives. Prevention is a grand bargain."


Click here to view the list of CHI topics.


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WiRED Certificate Program Testimonials


Gumbe Alaka: I have been a staff at the CHIC since 2002 when it was initiated in KUAP–Pandipieri. I have taken good time with different modules based on the information needed at a particular time.
Read more >

Beatrice A. Omwa: I'm a community nutrition assistant, aged 34 years, and I volunteer at KUAP (Kisumu Urban Apostolate Programme) as a community nutrition assistant at the Nutrition Clinic and in the community. Read more >

Felix Omondi Nyaori: I'm a reformed street youth aged 21 years and have been a social worker and a peer educator by profession since 2006 up to date. Read more >

Rael Anyango Ochieng: I was born 37 years ago and got married in the year 2000. God blessed us with four children (3 boys and 1 girl).
Read more >

Joseph Ochieng Otiende: As a volunteer social worker with KUAP Pandipieri I have immensely benefited from CHIC in forms of access to health information since its inception in Kisumu. Read more >

Lavender Amondi: I'm a student undertaking studies in community health and CHIC has provided me with a lot of information.
Read more >

Geoffrey Odhiambo Adonija: As a former street boy who has successfully gone through non-residential addiction treatment program with Tuungane youth transition centre, I started coming to CHIC in 2009 November. Read more >

Zachary Omondi: I'm a youth aged 23 years. I started accessing health information at CHIC in 2010. I was amazed to find very good information, then they introduced the certificate program.
Read more >

Elijah Owino Odek: Am a Kenyan citizen of 31 years of age residing in Kisumu town. I'm a volunteer community health worker, VCT HIV counsellor, and psychological counsellor. Read more >

Thomas Otieno Odindo: I'm a volunteer community health worker trained in home-based care. I'm currently working with Kisumu Urban Apostolate Programme as a volunteer. Read more >

Juliet Atieno Otieno: I am 30 years old. I come from the community of Nyalenda slums. I left school in form two. I contracted STIs, which I was not aware of. Read more >

Claret Akinyi: Am a form four leaver who is waiting to join college next year, I have been coming to CHIC from last year when I was still in form three. Read more >


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