Janet a peer buddy at Mother way High school and her buddy, Susan from St.Maurus special school had a fantastic April holiday. Janet and Susan have been buddies for the last 7 months and their friendship has grown tremendously from one level to another level and they have both cherished each other like twin sisters. Their April holiday was long overdue as they had planned for it one month before. It all started on 15th of January and immediately they closed school they decided to go on a series of safaris. They started by going to the zoo, a place they have never been before. After the zoo the following day they decided to go for one day in Maasai Mara animals game reserve.”It was such a fantastic holiday experience I have never had in my life, my buddy Susan is such an incredible friend that has changed my life.”Said Janet. “I have never organized for such a historic moment with any of my friends; Best Buddies is a true movement that creates a change in somebody’s life. My attitude towards people with intellectual disability is quite positive as this is a very mutual friendship and an eye opening experience.”Said Janet. “On behalf of Best Buddies Kenya, I would like to thank all those who support Best Buddies Kenya either by in-kind or financial support. Your support has been truly of great impact and value towards the movement of Best Buddies and its mission. This kind of a revolutional experience is the kind of change we as Best Buddies Kenya would like to see and hear.” Said Mrs Wafula, head teacher of Mother way high school.
On 26th October 2013,a total of 40 peer buddies(students without intellectual developmental disability) from Mother Way high school attended Best Buddies organizational training that was conducted at their school. The aim of the training was to introduce Best Buddies program to the school as well as training the new recruits on the rules, policies and procedures of Best Buddies. All the 40 interested students were matched into one-on-one friendship with buddies (students with intellectual developmental disability) from the neighboring St.Maurus special school. Also in attendance were head teachers from both St.Maurus and Mother Way high school. The elected chapter president, James Musyoki (a student without intellectual developmental disability, who is in charge of the chapter) from Mother Way had this to say “Am proud to be part of the change that I want to bring into our world-by integrating people with intellectual development disability into our society so that they too can be seen as equal and part of us.”
BEST BUDDIES GLOBAL FORUM
As from 12-15th November 2013, Best Buddies International organized a global Best Buddies staff forum in Netherlands that saw a total of 15 country chapters attending. Amongst the invited countries was Best Buddies Kenya, represented by its Director Mr.Enouce Ndeche.The forum’s aim was to create an environment of learning, exchange of knowledge and networking opportunity. Country representatives had opportunities to talk about their respective programs, challenges and the success they have had along as they move on. Best Buddies Kenya presented to the audience about its programs and how effective Best Buddies Kenya programs has been and of course with the support of donors who have been giving through Global Giving,etc and also including the commitment of program participants and other volunteers who have been giving in their time.”Am so excited to join a group of devoted Directors of a global movement that’s making changes in the lives of young people with and without intellectual developmental disability.”Said Best Buddies Kenya,Director Enouce Ndeche.
Best Buddies International has granted Best Buddies Kenya $300 that would go towards funding Best Buddies Kenya Training project. This project is dedicated to establishing a volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Best Buddies Kenya Training recognizes that people with intellectual disabilities lack the opportunity to socialize with their non-disabled peers and believes that friendship was the key to building the self-esteem essential to a happy and productive life.
The Training project will fulfill the mission of Best Buddies Kenya by organizing and rigorously overseeing volunteer-run chapters on high school campuses. These programs will create opportunities for mutually enriching one-to-one friendships between youth with and without intellectual disabilities. BBK staff will recruit, train, and guide faculty and student leaders in running successful Best Buddies chapters on their campuses. Student leaders will recruit student volunteers at partnering schools to be paired in friendships with “buddies,” youth with intellectual disabilities. A total of 30 high school students who are dedicated to helping those with intellectual disabilities throughout their lives will receive the leadership training that is scheduled for September. Each chapter has at least five officers who will assist with overseeing the matches and organizing chapter activities.