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?
Ken Chomba, community organizer in Nkoroi, hosted his first community forum last week and this is what he had to say about it.
For the first time in my life i felt so over privileged when people said all the good things at me. The chief insisted that we do a vote of thanks and they all just praised me. However, that was just a moment of feeling like a king, it got me back quickly to the quote Natalie read to us on the Easter weekend on servant leadership. I remembered to praise everyone back because honestly, it was about them. They showed up so this meeting would be a success. This community here is just the bomb. They have just increased my passion for doing this work.
I met a group of 8 young mothers that have been saving 50shs every week, but they didn’t know what to do with it. We agreed that they choose 2 among them to be their leaders and from there start to recruit some sort of support. They now have Risper Wanjiku as their liason with me and I will get them a lady from Equity foundation and a contact from Jamii Bora to help them build their personal capacities to manage the money they have saved.
I will still be happy to say that 58 people attended the forum. So humbling folks. I am reminded that this work is definitely happening. Challenging people to their power. These ladies are a perfect example of community starting to awaken.
Have you ever felt like you were alone trying to do something that is way bigger than you are? Rose Wambui felt that way at one point. She joined Be The Change in February of 2012 as a volunteer and has since served as a team coordinator and lead organizer.
Rose comes from a humble background in a slum area called Kware. Her background is what pushes her to try and touch a life and her love for children is her dirving force. Tatua Kenya provides the perfect platform for her to serve the people she is passionate about.
Now she works with Jacob Okumo as a community organizer in the Ngong community. Jacob and Rose are planning an info session for April 13th in which they will share Tatua’s ideas of community development with attendees and invite them to join us in creating community lead initiatives for children living in poverty. Their goal is to get 50 people to attend event!
She has experienced a shift in the way she thinks because as she meets with the people in Ngong she says they are, “bringing me to a point of realizing that I am not alone in the journey, people are willing to walk with us and offer whatever resources they have.”
James Njoroge works alongside Tony in Rongai. He is 21 years old and was born and raised in Rongai so he knows the community well. He aspires to be a good role model to future generations and instill the desire to help in others.
His goal is to create a united country that tackles their own problems. Recently James led his first training out in the community. He taught about 1:1’s and relationship building. He says “I was very happy about the training. At first I was not very sure how it would be, but the moment I started teaching and seeing my students smile and start putting notes down on paper I was very happy and that made me feel like I want to do more.”