On 25th September 2012, members of Best Buddies Ngei High school chapter hosted a Best Buddies Kenya friendship forum at their school. 40 buddy pairs from all the chapters gathered together to experience, share and network with their colleagues from other schools about their mutual friendship. “This is the day that I have been looking forward to, just to know and learn the friendship relations from other chapter members means a lot to me.” Said Fridah a buddy from Mathare special school.
It was a jovial moment of experience and learning as buddy pairs came to mingle together enjoy and share ideas about their respective Best Buddies chapters. Also in attendance were 4 teachers from each chapter and Best Buddies Kenya, Executive Director, Mr.Enouce Ndeche.
The opening ceremony of the forum was conducted by Mr.Joshua Angote, the principal of Ngei High school who started by thanking all the participants for accepting the invitation. He also thanked the organizers and the donors for making it a success. “The inception of Best Buddies program in my school has been of great importance and revolution not only to the student participants but to ALL the entire teachers, staff, parents and the community surrounding. Gone are those times and days that people with intellectual disabilities were perceived as a curse in the society. We need to embrace them, socialize and integrate them into our schools, society and working places, and am super excited by Best Buddies Kenya for taking up this mantle to champion these values. I therefore wish you a wonderful moment of friendship interaction and all the BEST in your Best Buddies friendship endeavours. “Said Mr.Angote.He also welcomed other teachers from other schools who also praised the Best Buddies movement and thanked students from Ngei High school for organizing the forum.
That awaited time of experiencing friendships, networking and getting to know each other came on board. Buddy pairs from every chapter mingled freely, talking to each other about their mutual friendships and the impact that Best Buddies movement has brought to their school and the entire community. “Joining Best Buddies has brought a lot of changes in my personal life and the lives of my family. Having that experience of having John, as my buddy is a significant revolution of my lifestyle. “Said 16 years old Charles Mwanga, peer buddy from St.Genesis chapter. The forum was brought into conclusion with remarks from Best Buddies Kenya, Executive Director who praised all the teachers and the buddy pairs and Best Buddies Kenya volunteer staff for making the event a great success.He also thanked all the Global Giving donors and safaricom foundation for their generous financial contribution towards Best Buddies Kenya movement and welcome them to visit the new website, www.bestbuddieskenya.org. He appealed for more financial support that would enable Best Buddies Kenya to organize this kind of events and deliver its activities effectively.
Best Buddies Kenya happily invites feedback requests from the donors as this would strengthen and direct us towards achieving our goals.
After experiencing a life changing experience and a mutual friendship that Best Buddies provides to both students with and without intellectual disability, 10 students from St Genesis high school were recruited into Best Buddies movement. Each new recruit “peer buddy” (a student without intellectual disability) was matched into a one-to-one friendship with a “buddy” (a student with intellectual disability) from St. Maurus special school bringing to a total of 20 matches at St.Genesis High school chapter. At first I was kind of afraid to have a friend with intellectual disability because I thought I would also be affected, that’s why I couldn’t join Best Buddies, but after watching the development of my classmate’s friendship with his buddy, I came to realize that it is just a normal friendship that comes with lots of joy and experience in someone’s life. On the other hand the way peer buddies have been having their chapter activities and meetings, it clearly shows how Best Buddies also builds leadership skills amongst students without intellectual disability who have been matched into a one-to-one friendship with buddies. “Said 16 year old Samuel Mwangi, a newly recruited peer buddy from St.Genesis High school who is in form two
Best Buddies Kenya would like to express its utmost THANKS to all the donors who have been donating through Global Giving.Additionally,we would like to thank teachers of St.Genesis high school and St.Maurus special school for their continuous programmatic support and the entire Best Buddies Student volunteers for making it happen.
On 15th March 2012 just 2 months after school vacation, members of Ngei High School Chapter of Best Buddies gathered for their organization meeting. The meeting took place in one of the Ngei High School’s classrooms. It was a successful meeting with a lively interchange between the 30 peer buddies from Ngei High School and the 30 buddies from Mathare special School. Four associate buddies were also present at the meeting
Every chapter of Best Buddies Kenya is required to have an organizational meeting once a year. Organization meetings serve many purposes, including:
Socializing and Sharing Personal Storing and Mutual Experiences
Reflecting On the Personal Impact of the Best Buddies Program
During the Ngei meeting, the chapter president introduced peer buddy, Samwel Juma and his buddy, John Onyango.. The buddy pairs expressed how meaningful their mutual friendship has become and how much enjoyment and fun their friendship has generated for themselves, their immediate families and their local community. Both expressed confidence that the chapter would be a beacon of friendship and integration for people with and without intellectual disabilities.
Emphasizing the Commitment Needed When Joining a Chapter
During the meeting, the Ngei High School chapter president reminded his fellow peer buddies about the policies and procedures of Best Buddies and that: (1)pear Buddy agrees to be paired for one academic year, (2) make contact once a week either in person, by email, phone or mail; (3) have two one-to-one activities per month ;(4) attend all chapter meetings and group activities throughout the school year; (5) student can join as peer buddies or associate members agree to attend chapter meetings and group activities, but are not matched in a one-to one friendship. Associate members can also join committees to help plan activities or fundraisers.
Explaining the importance of the Best Buddies High School Chapters
The Ngei meeting was attended by the executive Director of Best Buddies Kenya. In his address to the peer buddies and buddies, he explained that Best Buddies fulfill its mission in High Schools by facilitating mutually enriching one-to –one friendship between high school students and their peer in special schools. The Director expressed many thanks to all the donors who have contributed through globalgiving for making everything for BBK a great success