An MBE for Kamili
Updated: Sep 10, 2019
Melanie Blake is deeply proud to have accepted the honour of an MBE from her Majesty the Queen, on behalf of Kamili Organisation and everyone who has supported the organisation in any way over the course of the last few years. They have come a long way and they could not have done this without the support, encouragement and generosity of a large number of people both here in Kenya and across the world.
Kamili was set up in 2009 by Melanie Blake to take over two mental health clinics running in low income areas of Nairobi. Since then, Kamili has grown and become one of the main providers of mental health care in Kenya. An increasing number of nurses has been trained each year and they are integrating mental health care provision into existing health clinics throughout the country.
Kamili’s mission is to provide those suffering from mental health illnesses in Kenya equal access to services and to affordable care in order to improve their quality of life by: · Providing affordable and accessible mental health services to those in need · Increasing community awareness of mental health issues, symptoms and treatment · Providing community support networks for sufferers and their families · Providing and Maintaining micro-finance income-generating loan schemes and savings schemes for individuals and families · Working closely with the Ministry of Health to help improve mental health services in Kenya · Improving the psychiatric nursing provision and build capacity for mental health service provision across the country
In May 2016, the Kenyan Minister for Health unveiled Kenya’s first Mental Health Policy and singled out 5 organisations to be given a special edition in recognition of their contribution to Mental Health in Kenya. The World Health Organisation received a copy, and Melanie Blake was proud to collect one on behalf of Kamili.
Melanie’s lifelong passion for, and understanding of, Kenya and her commitment to improving mental health wherever she lives, have combined to become a force for extraordinary good in Kenya. Her tenacity has created an organisation that has the structure and momentum to be self-sustaining. Her patience when dealing with authorities who have had different priorities has enabled her to build a service that is integrated into Kenya’s Health delivery model, and is welcomed by those same authorities as a partnership. Her creative problem solving is a masterclass in getting things done, and in providing holistic solutions to immense and intractable problems. These things have never been achieved before and, as a result, 5,000 (and growing) patients and their extended families are getting the support and therapies they need to manage their mental health issues.
Melanie and the Kamili team would like to thank all their supporters so much for everything that they have done and will, no doubt, continue to do.