ELF-Africa Helped to Rewrite My Story, Now It’s My Turn To Rewrite My Community’s

By Job Mungania

It was through newspapers and social media that I got to know about ELF-Africa. Soon as an opportunity arose, I signed up for the African Biblical Leadership Initiative and join this great organization in 2018. Being part of the program greatly contributed to my personal growth, self-branding, and storytelling. My self-confidence grew and I got more friends through the program.

After the program, I successfully applied for the YALI RLCE after three previous unsuccessful applications. It was also around the same time that we started our organization called the Master Empowerment Center to offer psychosocial support to parents of children with special needs, youths, and public. We later realized there is more need in community, and we did food package distribution through which we got donations and were also able to distribute some wheelchairs courtesy of the support we received. Soon after, I applied for the Ndoto Zetu programme of the Safaricom Foundation which enabled our organization to get a carwash machine and a tank.

Through this process we have distributed at least 96 wheelchairs and another 367 tricycles to persons living with disability, to aide their mobility. One of the areas of emphasis during our training time at ELF-Africa was sustainability. We learnt that it was not enough to launch anything if we cannot stay on course for the long haul. To this end, the Master Empowerment Centre is offering some of the caregivers with technical skills at our center, and linking them to markets, all at no cost.

I have grown from blogger to change maker and I believe I have a role to play to make this country better, for example before ELF I could participate in strikes, boycott in town about issues around climate action. Today, I approach these issues differently by engaging relevant stakeholders with well thought ideas and proposals. The skills ELF-Africa imparted in me have enabled my friends and I to transform our community-Githurai.  We organize events and community activities, a result of which we have planted thousands of trees, besides training the local community on environmental conservation especially in schools and other public spaces.

Our work is fueled by the joy that fills our hearts every time we see someone who has been looking for wheelchair sometimes for as long as 13 years, finally getting one. The many caregivers we have seen gradually develop and improve their skills fashion, design, ICT, and beauty studies is always a reason to do more.

Currently I am working on two million tree projects by end of 2023, with the plan being to grow trees in all learning institutions and promote agroforestry. In 2021, in partnership with Dedan Kimathi University we planted 700,430 trees. Through strategic partners, I also hope to make Master Empowerment Centre more sustainable and self-reliant by starting a cloth line.

As I have observed, many young people have limited access to information on youth engagement, leadership, and participation in national and county level activities. It is for this reason that I am very grateful that I have the rare opportunity to be part of the over ten thousand young Kenyans equipped and empowered by ELF-Africa. As a result, my commitment, resources permitting is to promote mentorship governance and leadership in learning institutions as a means of empowering the youth to embrace their constitutional role and make this country better.

As ELF-Africa celebrates this 10th Anniversary, I could not be any more proud of them. This celebration is itself a huge milestone, and there are countless stories to tell why this celebration is deserved. Those of us who have passed through the hands of ELF-Africa, take this celebration very personally. I would like to congratulate ELF-Africa in advance, and wish you more growth, more reach, and greater impact.

ELF-Africa opened my eyes, they took me as one of their children and showed me the way. I joined when I was second year, and I didn’t know the direction of my life, but they guided me to be a solutions creator. I have embraced my story and use it as a launchpad to help many write better stories of themselves. I am proud of where I have come from, but even most proud of where I am heading. Thank you, ELF-Africa, for believing in and nurturing nascent visions.

Job Mungania is an ELF-Africa Fellow; he is a passionate community mobiliser and developer; and has a bachelor’s degree in Community Resource Management from Kenyatta University.

Job can be reach via; jobmwendam@gmail.com or on Facebook Job Mungania

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