CELEBRATING IMPACT; ONE CHILD AT A TIME

In the year 1954, The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day was established. With an annual celebration on November the 20th, the goal is to promote awareness and togetherness towards the plight of children in the world. All over the globe, countries come together to honor children with an aim to protect them from labor abuse and allow them access to quality education.

As, we celebrate this day in Kenya, it is important that we reflect on what we wish to achieve. The date offers each and every one of us an entry point through which we can continue to advocate and promote children’s rights. As an organization that targets the youths between the ages of 15- 25, we particularly celebrate our teens who are still children according to Article 260 of the Kenyan Constitution that provides that a “child” means an individual who has not attained the age of eighteen years.

In marking this day, we engage in the national dialogue on how to implement actions that will build a better society for our children. We actively participate in the conversation that seeks to address the rise in the number of teenage pregnancies as witnessed during the just concluded KCPE examinations. In acknowledgement of the rights of the child especially the right to free and compulsory basic education and protection from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, all forms of violence, inhuman treatment and punishment, we aim to empower the Kenyan child to understand themselves.

In our approach as an organization we seek to encourage agency. Our interaction with the children is defined. With an approach of where there is smoke, a fire will emerge. We aim to scatter the ashes before it is too late. Our interaction seeks to ensure that after the students have gone through our leadership development programme, they are able to be equipped with decision making abilities, communication skills and emotional intelligence. The child, regardless of gender is able to act independently and to make their own free choices regardless of those factors of influence in their environment.

Therefore, even as we celebrate the child today, I welcome all stakeholders from the parents, teachers, churches, government, civil society activists, corporate sector and the youth in our communities, let us continue to consolidate our efforts towards making a better society for our children.

 

 

Books as an investment for the future

Growing up, my lower primary teacher always highlighted how reading at least one-story book per week is important. The books were interesting for sure but the fact that reading was compulsory made it seem more of a duty and less as interesting. Therefore, when my teacher no longer expected the same anymore, I stopped reading. I lost interest in feeding my mind. For a long time, I read only to pass tests, or to get the latest information and updates. I know I am not just speaking for myself. This is a reflection of what happens to most of us whereby we have lost the very necessary personal relationship with books. We fail to nourish our minds. We forget that books are the visas to all kinds of knowledge, intelligence and wisdom. It’s through books that we can travel to any part of the world for free,  live through past times that occurred before our existence, and have a feel of the future while seated on that couch enjoying a warm mug of black coffee.

It is books that empower us with our history, the knowledge to create solutions and how to engage in useful conversations. During my ELF training on Pan-Africanism in October, an intelligent Jackson Bigambo mentioned that he had read 3000 books and still counting. He challenged me to adapt a reading culture. He spoke of the depth derived from the coloured pages and how the words jump into action to empower an individual. The beauty of books is that they exist for all of us- for those who love stories about historical heroes,  the magic of medicine, the art of business or the game of politics. There are books to accommodate all of our interests; found in both hard copy and soft copy.

So today I want to pose to you the Jackson Bigambo challenge; will you pick up that book, read the link to that blog, the constitution or the  newspaper and begin to nourish your mind?

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest ~ Ben Franklin

Submitted by

Faith Wachira

Secretary;ELF Cohort 5

Emerging Leaders

Here is a beautiful poem from one of the leaders we trained from Matungulu Girls, there is no better way to kick-off our weekend.

Emerging Leaders.

Amazing I would say,
What was done in a day,
Light was brought not just a ray,
Allow me to express if I may.

A group,
Not just any troop,
Impacting Change,
Going beyond the range.

Empowering leaders,
Making futures brighter,
Connecting not just inspiring,
Strong leaders emerging.

Training the best,
Who’ll stand out from the rest,
To cause that difference,
Taking advantage of every chance.

 

By Perpetual Wangari.