James Njoroge, Tatua Community Organising Fellow in Madika, updates us on the campaign in Rongai to to get parents to take responsibility for their kids going to school.
Today most 1:1’s I did proved to me that most members in Kware want to point fingers and blame the government for some of the challenges facing them and their children. I took the chance to challenge them during our conversations and ask if there is anything they could do as individuals to change this. When asked that they gave me lots of answers.
I then asked if they would come together to work on this as community organising is about bring the community together, not just individuals. This showed me the common challenge in most of the community to not want to come together and forget their differences to make a difference.
Tony Ngala, an Tatua Organizer working in the Madika neighbourhood of Rongai to get parents to take responsibility for their children’s education, shares about the team’s launch last month and what the outcomes of the event taught him.
Our team held our kick-off event on the 1st of September. The event didn’t go as well as we wanted as only 17 people showed up, this is a representation of the challenge we’re facing in the community to bring people together despite the fact we aren’t going to be giving them funds – a mode typically used to mobilise people in Kware. It was also a reflection on how I as a leader had stopped really being at the centre of the leadership team and was letting them kind of get off track – I need to refocus my energy on bringing them together.
However, despite the loss we were encouraged as the Chief of the area made it a point to support our work. A few leaders in the community didn’t want to open the venue for us unless we paid but Chief Njeri came over and she told the wazee (male leaders) that we are known by the community and we are helping the community so open the venue.
What are other values of being known by the community? How have you built steady relationships with in communities and become known?
Mr. Nicholas Kirvi, the administrator of Dynamic College of Professional Studies in Ongata Rongai, gave us space so that we could meet with the vetting committee and some new leaders.
He is a big support to our work and even tells me, “Tony, anytime you need our help, just let us know.” It is amazing to have people support us in that way.
The meetingwas great and I was able to remember and use the skills such as Public Narrative to get people to understand what I am doing. They jumped on board! As the meeting came to an end they all told me that if you need any resources we will provide them for you.
One gentleman, Raphael Mbulu from Ongata Rongai, always pays for my tea when we meet. It is such a kind gesture and to me a community that cares about each other has a dream and I am sure the community will change.