Thoughts From Rose and Jacob

Rose leading the discussion at their forum.
Rose leading the discussion at their forum.

After their forum Jacob and Rose shared some thoughts.

The community is beginning to own up the campaign. James Muosi, a member of the bulbul community in Ngong constantly called me this week to seek direction on the next step after our info session. Eunice the director of style up driving school had pledged to donate refreshments for the info session. Now she wants to know how else she can be involved/donate to the Ngong campaign.

-Jacob Okumu

When I first started this work, I am not going to lie, I would alight in Ngong and just think, “What am I doing? I just want to go home.” Now I feel like a part of the community there and when I alight I am excited and I know people.

-Rose Chege

Both Rose and Jacob are excited about their next forum in which they will start the collective decision making process. Click here to see photos from this first forum and like our page of Facebook to keep up with their work!

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A Community Comes Together To Discuss Issues That Matter to Them

“Nkoroi is a community that is really excited about the work we are doing!” Ken Chomba held s second forum there the other day.

Yet another gathering for the community of Nkoroi to start the decision making process leading to an initiative that they would take in addressing education challenges in the area. The area chief and all the four sub chiefs were at the meeting, which gave us a lot of confidence in the discussions with the community.

Elizabeth Wanjiru, a member of the community, mentioned in one of her conversations that she felt like there was a new dawn and this was an opportunity for them to start engaging with the county government in finding solutions for community challenges. The community voted largely on education matters, initiatives that will work to keep/get more kids to school and transition more children from primary to secondary level.

The forum also provided an opportunity for the 9 women groups from the location represented to share ideas on how they would have a common training ground on financial literacy by Equity group foundation.

It was another show of success. The discussions once again encouraged me in my work and showed me that people are excited about what we are doing. It is time for the community to own their initiatives and decide how to work together.

-Ken Chomba, Co-Founder of Tatua Kenya

Community Forum in Ngong

On April 16th 34 people gathered together from Matasia, Ngong and Bulbul to discuss the issue of child poverty. Jacob and Rose have a great team of volunteers that showed up to clean and prepare the room. They also worked the registration table.

The discussion was vibrant with two government officials in attendance. Lucas, on of the aforementioned government officials, described the event as eye-opening. Florence, a church leader, talked about the failure to tackle poverty as an issue of the mind.

The event was a success for the community. The plan is to hold another discussion in a week on May 2, 2013 in Ngong. James Muosi, community leader in Bulbul, is calling the community to join their hands together in tackling child poverty because he believes it is the only way a sustainable solution can be achieved. Rose and Jacob agree.

Click here to see pictures from the forum!

A New Model Brings New Challenges

This years community organizing model is different from what Be The Change did last year in the sense that we as community organizers have to secure the resources we need from the community other than pay for them.

It’s one of the biggest challenges this year. Some people will ask why you ask for these resources, yet you came to help, only thing on my mind is…’’I want you to be invested in the initiatives, it is for the community and by the community and I’m showing you one of the ways you can help.”

This model comes with its challenges. I secured space for my introductory community forum in Ng’ando and they bailed just days before the event. This drove me to change my strategy as well as date of the forum. Luckily, in normal circumstances there is always another probable place that could offer the same resource. This time I  secured space elsewhere via Shalom House at the Diakonia Institute hall where I had the first community introductory forum.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”    -Paulo coehlo.

What challenges have you faced when organizing? How have you overcome them?

-Liz Njeri, Community Organizer