Nov 17, 2016

Phase Two - As Partners with Ministry of Education

Transformative Citizenship Leaders at Work
Transformative Citizenship Leaders at Work

On arrival back in Nairobi in late December, our first responsibility will be to meet with our Kenyan education partners, the leaders of Kenya's Ministry of Education.

They will be planting Transformative Citizenship in a ministry directorate so that Kenya's leaders can begin to formally monitor the program and our progress in training their teachers.  This step is essential for the program sustainability and local ownership to which corners is dedicated. We are grateful to have arrived at this point with Transformative Citizenship and with all those we serve - educators and students - in Kenya.

The teachers are currently wrapping up delivery of the Communication module – providing the strong foundation required for the other modules. Next, we will move into Phase Two of Training Kenyan Educators, focusing on the Character and Critical Thinking modules. In January, the teachers will begin to deliver 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 in a rigourous and hands-on manner to plan projects (social development projects, including small businesses) and how to do so in collaboration with others.

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In Tribute~

Boris Woloschuk, one of corners’ strongest and biggest supporters, and the much beloved father of corners’ Chair, Quentin Hill, passed away on November 3rd, following a two-year struggle with cancer and a weakened heart. Though physically weakened, his heart remained expansive, open and kind.

corners and Transformative Citizenship would not exist without him and we are blessed to have his request that donations in tribute to him be made to this work.

Transformative Citizenship costs a minimum of $15,000 per phase. Each dollar donated means a great deal. This next phase is planned for late December through February and, given the circumstances, we cannot accomplish this without your support once again.

  • If you would like to donate in Boris’ name and you are one of our American Supporters, please donate here on GlobalGiving.
  • If you are one of our Canadian Supporters, please send a cheque payable to corners.Inc. c/o 3550 Concession 14, Riceville ON  CANADA  K0B 1G0                                                                                       or send an email to qkwhill@gmail.com  for information on  1) e-transfer donations or  2) large donations for which tax exempt receipts are essential.  As a not-for-profit, corners gives only general receipts, but can process donations through our foundation, if necessary. It is a costly but straightforward process which we would gratefully facilitate for you.

We will update each of you on the proceeds from this memorial campaign on December 1st. Thank you all so much again for your financial gifts, but also for your countless gestures of kindness and encouragement.  

Peaceful, joyful holidays to all of you and your families.

With immense appreciation... 

Lala salama, Dad.  Sleep well. I thank you for this bittersweet surprise with my whole heart. xxo, Q

In Tribute~ Boris Woloschuk
In Tribute~ Boris Woloschuk

Links:

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:

 
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