“My goal is to build lasting relationships with community leaders” – A Spotlight on Government Relations Teammate Rose Kavuli
A meeting with Rose Kavuli is often the first impression government officials have of Fresh Life. This is a responsibility Rose welcomes with a smile. Rose is an Assistant Government Relations Officer, in charge of the Mathare informal settlement. Sanergy’s Government Relations team has been instrumental in the recent expansion into other informal settlements: Mathare, Tassia, and Kiambiu. When asked about the nature of her work, Rose elaborates, “I spend most of my days meeting with government officials and interest groups working in hygiene and sanitation in Mathare, in order to build solid and productive working relationships with a variety of partners to help our operations run smoothly.”
When she is not meeting with officials and group leaders, she assists potential Fresh Life Operators in their paperwork: land and business approvals that ensure they have proper documentation to run their toilets. “We also keep track of updates from local administrators. This gives us better clarity on how to align our work within government regulations,” says Rose.
Rose joined Sanergy because she wanted to change people’s attitudes and perceptions within her community: “I love working with communities through teaching and sharing helpful information for their lives and their environment.” Having grown up in the Kosovo area of Mathare, Rose believes that communities have the solutions to the challenges they face, but a lack of resources makes it difficult for them to solve the issues themselves.
“Sharing information about the Fresh Life Toilet with the residents has been a good opportunity for them to take charge of sanitation in Mathare,” Rose says, adding that community members and the area chiefs — who are often strong opinion leaders — are enthusiastic about the Sanergy model. To this end, “we have built a strong relationship with County Ward Administrators, who have been key in advancing our work,” Rose says. “Jeremiah Mauti, the Ward Administrator in the Mabatini of Mathare, has been instrumental in linking the Fresh Life team with the community and particularly youth groups.”
Sanergy has now successfully installed eight Fresh Life Toilets in Mathare, most of which are located at Mathare’s Daima and Mabawa schools. Rose is optimistic that this new relationship between Sanergy, the residents, and the local authorities of Mathare will go a long way toward creating a healthy, prosperous community.