Kaizen, a Japanese word meaning “continuous improvement,” is the guiding principle of Mabati Rolling Mill (MRI), a flagship company of GPF Africa Regional Council chairman and noted philanthropist Dr.Manu Chandaria. Dr. Chandaria invited a team of GPF and Global Peace Youth Corps (GPYC) staff to tour the facility to better understand this core business principle and how it may apply to GPF/GPYC initiatives in Kenya.
GPF Kenya is now focusing on a Community Driven Development approach in Kariobangi, which will be replicated in other parts of the country. GPYC Kenya is hosting Korean students each year for an exchange program called Global Poomashi, a Korean word meaning “togetherness.”
The Korean students were joined by Kenyan university students studying social work from Nairobi University, Egerton University, Kampala International and Moi University.
MRM officials gave an overview of the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility and MRM-supported programs in areas of shelter, health, sports, education, and environment—many in line with GPF’s needs assessment in the Kariobangi Community. MRM also gave a briefing about Mabati Technical Institute in Mombasa as a case study of giving back to the community.
There was also a presentation on the fundamentals of kaizen. As a group both senior and junior employees recite a kaizen rule each morning at 7.40 A.M. Kaizen has five principles—sort, systematic arrangement, shine, standardization, and sustain—which MRM follows carefully.
After a tour of the facility, GPF and GPYC visited Liberty Children’s Home in Mlolongo, accompanied by MRM staff. Mlolongo is a transit stop for many truck drivers, and prostitution in the area has led to many children being born without family support. Home Director Rev. Geoffrey Muhenge originally started the home for these children, but the school now enrolls children from as far as Western Province but mostly from Ukambani and Nairobi area. The school has enrolled 37 children aged 7 – 14 years.
Visiting Korean students had a chance to interact with the children, play various games and mingle with the young ones. There was also a tree planting session during the visit, and a kaizen activity in which children practiced cleanliness by organize their books, clothes and other belongings. Visiting GPYC staff agreed to do a project at Liberty School on the next occasion they have to visit.
The GPF team included GPF Director Strategic Partnership Vincent Rapando and Strategic Partnership Manager Wendy Wakhusama. GPF would like to thank Mr. Mahesh, Mr. Tom. Ogolla, Lois Nduta and Betty Wambugu, Bernard Munene and Peter Kilonzi for their support for the event, and Dr. Manu Chandaria for the opportunity to visit his residence and Mabati Rolling Mills, which inspired youth to give back to the community.