I am Lister Mwamuye a Kesho graduate and currently pursuing a Bachelor of commerce degree at the University of Nairobi; this is my third year.
When I reflect back where I started my academic journey, the name Kesho Organization cannot go unnoticed. I was enrolled as a beneficiary of the secondary sponsorship in my second year at Lenana school- a prestigious school that I was about to miss the chance to enroll. I became self-conscious and my mantra changed to ‘revolutionizing the youth in Kilifi’. Throughout my high school I kept promising myself that once I am done with my KCSE I would devote some ample time to make that dream true. That is how Elites Hope for Change Organization came about. I wanted to influence positively a mass of youth into changing the status quo of the society. I knew that wouldn’t happen if I fought like a lone soldier.
Elites Hope for Change Organization has been a revelation and story of 2014/2015. We successfully held seminars that addressed issues in regards to entrepreneurship. We inspired the youth to take charge of the devolved government and make use of the available opportunities. Moreover, we have linked some of them to institutions where they have pursued professional courses in business. I can confidently attest that in 2015 we made the most impact. We traversed to various places especially the marginalized areas of Ganze, Chonyi and Bamba. Our main objective was to engage the youth such that they could shift from their comfort chambers. They had to see what they could do as individuals at their various capacities. We taught them on some basic wealth creation fundamentals such as; how to save the little money they had. We shared crucial insights on the importance of education. We triggered their desires to start working and stop planning.
Fortunately, we have so far posted positive results in our campaigns and interacted with many youths in Kilifi. Engaging with youths and helping them better their lives and the community has been my major area of interest and focus.
Currently Elites Hope for Change Organization is advocating and drumming up support for cancer survivors. We have mobilized community members who are directly or indirectly affected by cancer. We are tirelessly supporting efforts to reduce victimization and stigmatization while trying to seek for financial support on their behalf. A recent case we handled entailed a form one girl who unfortunately passed on the 19/1/2017. Throughout her struggle the group had been working closely with the family to ensure that she got the best care. At some point we involved the county governor to sort out her bill as we seek other avenues to assist and to ensure that doctors amputated her leg. As we engage different stakeholders and opinion makers in the county, my belief is that Cancer survivors have a platform to share their story and come out strongly to educate the community on early screening and more so engage the county hospital to increase the awareness campaign.
I cannot deny the several challenges I have encountered along the way from various institutions in different fields. The expectation from my peers has not only been encouraging but at the same time overwhelming and as such this has given me the zeal to keep going with the initiatives that I truly hold to heart. As I ponder and envision what the future holds, I cannot resist the thought of various stories I haven’t written about or shared in depth. Someone said there is always a second chance, right? Perhaps I should keep my fingers crossed and wait for that chance to finish this story. I believe this story will help other youths wherever they are to stop procrastinating and live the future today. We all can do it in our own special capacities.
Joseph and James are part of a one-year Government volunteer programme called ‘Greatness United’. They were posted to Petanguo Primary School in Ganze. The Focus of the project is to support children in class 2 and 3 with dire reading difficulties. Though a challenging task, (Ganze is a drought affected area and many of the children come to school hungry) they are passionate about their work.
It is at Petanguo Primary School where they got to know about Kesho Kenya and offered to volunteer during School Holidays to gain more experience. It may be surprising that they chose to volunteer in the Education sector considering that their professional backgrounds are Political Science and Entrepreneurship.
Joseph aspires a career in the Child Protection sector. He sees it as key to understand children, their different backgrounds and other aspects protecting children. “I love working with children; they are a source of joy and fun”, says the father of a three year old girl.
Joseph assisting during crafts day
Part of ‘Greatness United’ is also community work where James gets the chance to mentor parents in small business management. “It is my first interaction with young children; I realized that a child can never disappoint you. You can change the level of a child just by mentoring them.”
James administering reading test
Joseph and James are supporting the Basic Education Programme and have been fitting in very well to the Kesho daily life. They enjoy the work with the children and are very hands on when it comes to executing various tasks.
Kesho Kenya depends a lot on volunteers especially during school holiday.
TIME TO SAY ‘THANK YOU’ TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS SUPPORTING US.
Kesho Edutainment started in April this year. Though the group is still very young they can already look back to an amazing journey: Performances at various events, successful attendance of Extravaganza in Malindi ( Ordering Valium) and kicking off a sensitization & mentorship Programme in two schools (Sunbeam & Sunrise High School) in Kilifi.
Yvonne and Samuel are very active members since inception of Kesho Edutainment Group. Both have discovered their talents very early and have a great passion for acting.
Vyonne,”i feel so good when i act, its just in me”
When I perform I feel very proud because I enjoy showing my talents.
They feel supported by their families for being part of Kesho Edutainment group. However there are also critical voices; questioning why to invest time and energy when you don’t get something out of it.
The group is ambitious and in the process of registering the group. ‘We want to grow and be known in Kilifi.’ ‘It needs a lot of commitment but we see the potential that we can become sustainable at some point.’
The performance itself seems to be the main activity but there is a lot of work before the actual performance happens. The plays are written by the group members. ‘I and another member composed the play that we presented at Extravaganza in Malindi where we got awards in different categories.’ That is amazing and obviously the members have not only acting talents. However the group wishes to get support from a director to improve on their performance and to be become competitive.
Samwel writing a script on Edutainment
‘Last year I volunteered at Kesho and that is how I got to know about the Edutainment group.’ Yvonne currently pursues a diploma in ECD. Samuel is an active Red Cross volunteer and got to know about Kesho Edutainment through a friend.
Kesho supports Edutainment group in various aspects. ‘Through Kesho we got the chance to attend a TOT training on Sexual Reproductive Health and we facilitated leadership training for Kesho primary school pupils. Kesho’s support is not only ‘practical’ but they also encourage us to have a vision for our group.
It is encouraging and rewarding to walk with Kesho Edutainment group and to listen how passionate the members are about what they do.
Get in touch with us (0728 413 227 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in Kesho Edutainment Group – “Unleashing and nurturing Youth talents.”
DID YOU KNOW…… that reading aloud 15 minutes every day enhances a child’s reading confidence and fluency?
For 4 years now Kesho has been running a reading programme in 4 public schools in Kilifi. We encourage children to read for meaning and we walk the journey with them right from pre-reading stage to transitioning to competent readers. To increase our contact time with children we decided to open our Resource Center on Saturdays. This is not only for our sponsored children but also for their peers and other children who can easily access our Resource Center.
We have been able to host 150 children so far. These children get a chance to read their favorite stories, hold group discussions on various topics, write essays, socialize and play with peers from different schools. We also hold a closing assemblies were all the children get a chance to introduce themselves and give us feedback on the activities of the day. Discussions on life skills take place and children engage in talent exploration activities too.
If interested in volunteering your time on Saturdays to come help us in monitoring children, or contributing towards purchasing of snacks or donating of educational materials, toys, games or even clothing you are highly welcome.
For more details contact us on: 0728 413 227 or email@example.com
“I would like to study medicine, I dream about it every day; I have a great passion for that.” It is Fatuma’s biggest dream to become a doctor and she is confident, that she can achieve the required marks. “Also my teacher says I can make it.” Attending a Provincial School brings a lot of challenges. “We have a lot of infrastructural challenges; the school is under-equipped with learning materials and we lack water most of the times. But that does not affect me, I stay focused on my target: finishing school successfully.” By finishing Secondary School Fatuma will be the first one in the family who has achieved that.
Fatuma is a young lady who likes making friends like many other girls at her age. However she has come a long way to get where she is now. At first Fatuma was not supported by her family to join school, being a girl she was meant to marry early. Today she says: “My family supports me on my way.” It takes a lot of strength to go that way and Fatuma made it.
She also likes reading novels and motivational books. “These motivational books motivate me a lot. And as a peer counselor I can inspire others with those messages.”
“Education is important because it is the only way out of illiteracy and therefore the way out of poverty.” When asking Fatuma why she thinks that some students do not proceed to Secondary school she says: “Some may have different priorities or are under peer pressure. Others may feel that they can’t manage it because they know people who failed.”
Fatuma is an inspiring young woman who advocates for girl child education and who is a role model herself. We wish her all the best for in the exams.