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.
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,