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Aug 19, 2016

The Foundation of Communication

Hello there,

Let me tell you about Transformative Citizenship’s young Master Omolo---

But, first, a program update - this week, the Transformative Citizenship Kenyan leadership team begins the second term of teaching the program’s Communication module to our 200 students.

We also welcome Ms. Harriet, a teacher from Joyland School, as a driving addition to our Transformative Citizenship team. Karibu, Harriet.

The Communication module is the foundation for everything else: sustainable project development and relationship-building. This term, the students will be examining themselves as communicators and developing sound communication practices that deal with:

  • How do I come across to others as a communicator?
  • How do I address sensitive issues?
  • How do I negotiate for my best interests and the best interests of others?

Now, about that young Omolo---

On our first day with the new groups of students last term, the teachers were giving an overview of the program and welcoming questions and comments. Omolo cut to the chase immediately, asking demanding and probing questions: “What is REAL security in life? I want to understand it clearly.” “How do we accomplish that...now?”

His demanding curiosity is reflective of his concerns and those of his classmates. Only fourteen years old. Yet no time to have ever lived a carefree, “tender” age. 

For the next class, I had the opportunity to join Omolo’s group again, taught by the very smart and spirited Mr. George.   Questions were again welcomed toward the end of class. Omolo was charged up about starting a project...now.  Although the curriculum had just begun (and he was keenly attentive throughout class), he also wanted to get going on the practical application of skills he’d not yet learned.   And he had ideas, including a project to address a water shortage that Nyang’oma Boys’ School is experiencing.  It doesn’t get much more important than water.

Yet, it’s also important to mention that in that same week, Nyang’oma Boys’ had just survived the tragedy of a dormitory burning down. Forty boys lost everything in that fire. They were now bunking in with schoolmates and making do. If you were watching a day in the life of this school that week, you would never know what life-threatening struggles they were facing. Energetic , disciplined students, focused on their studies and daily responsibilities. A beautifully-kept school environment. And graciousness all around.  

Omolo is an active voice for the concerns and the drive shared by all the young people with whom he lives at school. Genuine security for their families, for their communities.  That is precisely where we are heading with all this work.  With Transformative Citizenship.

If you’re curious, explore our Kenyan students' school regions on Google Earth: Joyland School in the city of Kisumu, Nyang’oma Boys’School and Mbeka School for Girls, both in Nyang’oma, just outside of Bondo.

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In December, we will move into Phase Two of Training Kenyan Educators, focusing on the Character and Critical Thinking modules. In January, they will begin to teach these modules to the students. Via these modules, they will examine their individual strengths and talents. They will learn to capitalize on these strengths and talents. They will then learn to plan projects (social development projects, including small businesses) and how to do so in collaboration with others.

We continue to appreciate your engagement and support.

In your fall giving, we hope you will again consider corners and the expansion of the Transformative Citizenship Program – as your work and school schedules rev up and as we plan our next teacher training phase for December, 2016. 

Asante sana.  Thanks so much,

Q. Hill

Chair, corners.

Links:

May 23, 2016

Phase One - Well Done

Mr. Abayo, Mr. Kevin, Mr. George, Ms. Gift, Mr. George O., Mr. Peter, Ms. Truphenah  -  all revved up now with their first intensive training, their burning natural talents and their many collective teaching years of educational insight.

200 Form One-ers -- students at Joyland, Mbeka and Nyang'oma schools, now also all revved up by the inspiring teachers above; as we have all begun this new term in May and the new run of Transformative Citizenship together. This term, we'll focus on honing communication skills. The foundation for all the rest.

Years of time and investment, and effort and hope, and discussion and decision-making have gone into a vision. 

Then, "suddenly", you sit back, off to the side in rooms full of Kenyan teachers and students, and you listen. You hear a voice. The voice of the vision. A little different - a bit higher, a bit deeper, a different accent, a new perspective than before. Broader. Richer. Several voices. Then, many. What you begin to hear is the vision with lives of its own in all those voices...

And what washes over you first is wonder. Then, relief. Then, gratitude. 

Now, excitement and new energy for this new phase.

We have accomplished the first of several phases. We keep our eyes on the teachers and students here in front of us now, knowing that getting these phases right for this group of teachers and these students is what matters most. And getting these right will allow Transformative Citizenship to make an even broader contribution down the road to youth creating brighter futures for themselves and those around them.

We appreciate your engagement and support. We hope you will again consider corners and this project as you give this spring and as we plan our next needed phase. "Asante sana."

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Additional fun news: KTN, Kenya's national television network, has asked to make a short documentary of Transformative Citizenship. Stay tuned. Photos of the whole new and renewed gang of teachers and students coming on Wednesday, June 1st. Please check back.

Links:

Feb 24, 2016

On the Way to Train Kenyan Educators to Empower Kenyan Youth

Mr. Peter, Joyland School Leader
Mr. Peter, Joyland School Leader

With Ms. Truphenah and Mr. Peter, leaders at Joyland School (see photos) -our hosts for the Transformative Citizenship Program training- we organise, we organise, we organise...

Ms. Truphenah- "Reflecting on my personal experience with Transformative Citizenship Programme, I appreciate the immeasurable impact it had in our form four students who were engaged in the first phase of the programme. I recognize that the skills acquired through the programme will be used by the young people throughout life. Therefore as a teacher I hope to be a role model that cultivate in young people, open minds, the knowledge and ability to look at the would critically, and belief in ones capacity to make positive contributions to the society. With this goal in mind I highly recommend another phase of Transformative Citizenship Programme to our students to enable them develop the sense of approaching societal issues with an open mind and provide solutions to current problems."

Mr. Peter- "In Kenya the general curriculum for students in secondary school is academic oriented with greater emphasis on cognitive ability measured in terms knowledge acquired through reading of books, it has little on student’s mentorship and transitional skills to another educational level. Of late Kenya society has experienced the issue of radicalization of the youth to join acts of terrorism. The Transformative Citizenship Programme will therefore assist to bridge these gap noted in the general education for students in secondary school, as it emphasis on capability building, entrepreneurship, life skills such as critical thinking, character building, communication and civic engagement. In the Kenyan society a number of youths drop out of school due radicalization to join terrorism act as a form of employment and besides there is the issue of negative ethnicity. Thus the programme will assist students to be resilient in relationship with each other hence becoming invulnerable to such challenges.

As an educator who worked in the pilot programme, the programme taught me how to build relationships in a relax setting. As a result of the programme I have managed to identify issues, generate solutions to such issues. It provided students with skills to understand, value and enable them to build reciprocal relationships and be able to co-exist peacefully a cross any diversity."

With Ms. Beatrice, Headmistress at Mbeka School for Girls, and Mr. Richard, Headmaster at Nyang'oma Boys' School -our newest partners (photos coming soon)- we organise, we organise, we organise...

On April 8th, we will gather all together for our first intensive week of training in the delivery of the Transformative Citizenship Program.    On your mark. Get set... 

Ms. Truphenah, Joyland School Leader
Ms. Truphenah, Joyland School Leader

Links:

 
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