On Monday the 14th we had our first group meeting in which we agreed that we should have a meeting on every Monday morning. In this meeting we discuss a short overview of the project, a look back at the last week, an approach coming week, approach long term, share the to do’s, look at what the secretary of the week has been written and other topics we come op with. Besides this weekly meeting we agreed that each week one of us would document every meeting/discussion/idea. We also agreed on searching for an extra work space with internet and power to work, at least until we have power in our own house and to search for a mountain bike to transport ourselves trough the area of Molo instead of using the (dangerous) motorbikes and Matatu’s. After the meeting we contacted some interesting companies in Nakuru which could possibly contribute to our project.
Location: Our house in Molo
Attendance: Sister Lucy, Brother Peter, Steven and Agnes, Ivo, Chris and Jochem
Date: Tuesday the 15th
Subject: Our presence in the area
This morning we met with Steven, representative and chairman of the 10 houses, and Agnes, the administrator, of the village. They are the connection with the government for the village and thus for our project. In 2014 a new constitution became effective which divided Kenya in 47 counties in stead of 8 provinces. The area we are working in is build up as follows:
- District: Nakuru County
- Division: Kamara
- District: Molo (Location)
- Sub-district: Mansameth (sub-location)
- Village: Baraka
Since 2014 every house in Kenya is part of a ‘ten houses’. These ten houses have one chairman who responsibility is to share possible problems that occur with the government. This new system was introduced so that problems are picked up fast by the government. Lucy, Peter, Steven and Agnes told us that we are going to work with the youth in the villages: Barakka, Bahati and Kabtebwa. Eventually, if we want to do that, we could expand to other neighbouring villages under the District Molo.
Hereafter we talked about the group we are going to aim on. We found out the aim we focused on in the Netherlands, youth between 18 and 25, was not workable in this area. Mostly because the youth, younger than 25 mostly focusses on quick money and they are not as grown up as the youth we are used to in the Netherlands. We agreed that we should focus on a group of people from 18 to 35 years’ old, who would stay in this area and are not going to study next year, of the entire community no matter their religion and tribe. To each group we would link a patron to continue the process after we leave. They pointed out that it is of great importance to begin with the unification and assembly of the youth with a fun activity, for example using sports or arts.
Lucy, Peter, Steven and Agnes expressed that we could not walk around in this area freely until we are introduced to the village and the village elders. Next Friday at 3 pm was chosen to introduce us to them. We made the design of the posters which Steven would spread trough the area. After this meeting, next Friday, we are free to walk and talk.
At the end we talked about the sensitivity in this area and the influences of the post election violence. In this area the Kalenjin is the biggest tribes which caused the violence in 2007 because their president candidate was not elected. They started to fight the tribe of the elected president, the Kikuyu. It is a tradition between the Kalenjin to have at least 150 arrows as a man and to become a real man they are trained to fight at night with their bow and arrow at a young age which makes them undefeatable. Each Kalenjin men still have 150 arrows but because the other tribes stroke back and burned all the crops after the post election violence a lot of Kalenjin died because of famine. For the next election they are not expecting violence because they have learned that they really depend on each other, the Kikuyu and the Luia are the better famers. The Kisii and the Luo are a minority in this area.
Note: we are not sure if the ‘youth’ between 18 and 25 years have the same needs as the ‘youth’ between 25 and 35 years. We have to find out if we can work with a mixed group aged between 18 and 35.
On Wednesday the 16th we updated Otto Kroesen about the progress we made so far and discussed with him the possibilities of a needs assessment. He told us that we should make clear that we don’t bring money and what we can and what we can not do. For example, by showing them some business opportunities we have sawn so far. He will send us some documents or examples about/of previous done needs assessments.
In the afternoon we went to Barakka Agricultural College near our place which is set up by the Franciscan brothers related to the Incarnate Word Sisters. The compound is divided in two parts, the Franciscan brothers part and the agricultural college part. We met with the principal Cecelia and brother Fidelius who already works with a group of youth but just in another part of Molo. From the 12th until the 17th of December he organises a youth seminar with different courses and we can organize one of these courses together with him. Fidelius is willing to help and support us with our project.
In the evening Ivo en Jochem came up with an idea to create two different tracks after the needs assessment took place. One track with two small groups (10 – 20 people) for whom we are going to organize workshops/cases/discussions. You only learn about being proactive and assertive by doing and training yourself in it, not through a book or a lecture. Creating smaller groups and let them do a case/assignment for a couple hours (including a evaluation session at the end). Another track would be to get together with as much youth as possible with whom we are going to organize sport activities for the purpose of unification.
Location: TEARS Group, Business Resource Centre, Nakuru
Attendance: Rafael, Toni, Isaac, Samson, Caroline, Ivo, Chris, Jochem, Faustus jr. and Israel
Date: Thursday the 17th
Subject: Collaboration with our Project
This afternoon we drove together with Faustus and his friend Israel to Nakuru to meet with the TEARS Group. Tears group is an organization who works together with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and Micro-Enterprise Acceleration Institute. There goal is to stimulate awareness and involvement of all key stakeholders in creating sustainable solutions for youths’ challenges at both the individual and at the institutional level. Their background is in the performing and conventional arts. Trough arts they try to pull the youth out of their comfort zone. Their work deals with community outreach, art and peace empowerment and social enterprises. From the people Rafael (the overall CEO who already works at TEARS for the last 14 years) Isaac (born in Molo but fled after the post election violence to Nakuru and has set-up the Running Water International) and Toni (who deals with the needs assessments matrix they developed 1 years ago). After the introduction from both sides they gave the three of us new Swahili names: Ivo’s name was changed to Ndjoroge, Chris’ new name is Momanji and Jochem’s new name is Kimtai.
After the introduction we spoke with each other about our project. They said that TEARS group originally was set-up because many youths fled out of Molo to the streets of Nakuru after the post election violence. They said that the basis of a project like ours begins with a safe environment, art and social activities which are related to each other. Different kind of arts can be found in sports and technology and trough art a basis for discussion can be laid. Besides this most of the people of Molo have lost their ideas and hope, no day after tomorrow. By showing them examples of what can be done, for instance showing them a computer, we can show them the opportunities and can let them dream again but we have to accept that not everybody we are going to work with is an entrepreneur. By letting the young people make their own decisions the eventually become the owner of the ideas and get to know the value of their business. At the end the kind of people who are involved in the project are of more importance than for example the building or room you can create for the project. But at the end it is important that you create a room of building for the group of people as a safe space where everybody can gather and that we keep sharing our ideas when we are gone.
Besides the planning of the project we have to keep in mind that we should not import people with ideas from Nakuru of Nairobi without serving a clear need from the youth in Molo. As an example they gave the flopped Blaze from Safaricom which was designed in Nairobi but turned out not to be working for the rest of Kenia. “Nairobi arouses but does not fill the gaps”. Instead of importing people and ideas they strongly advised to use people from this area or to bring the interested youth to their companies.
Together with these advises they offered us to look at the results of the needs assessment and to apply their needs assessment matrix on the results. With these results they can look after what they can contribute to the needs and maybe connect us with other people from Nakuru or even Molo. They designed the needs assessment matrix because it is not only important to solve the most importance need but to take a look at the total needs so you don’t force things to work because that was the most importance outcome and we can discover the obstacles in which we can facilitate.
At the end of the discussion we talked with Isaac, who worked and lived in Molo. He said that Molo is a large agricultural area and that there are a lot of examples which can work: Value addition to the vegetables, hybrid seeds, co-operative society and preserving foods. The crucial thing to Isaac was that the group has to end up as a co-operative and that he is willing to help and support us with our project as well.
On Friday the 18th we finally had the village meeting to introduce ourselves to the village. At the end of the meeting there where approximately 40 people gathered to hear our story. People that showed up late came even 105 minutes after we started and could unfortunately only join the discussion. After we did our story there was a possibility to ask questions. After we answered their questions some of the elder men spoke to the attended youth that they had to take this opportunity seriously because they were the once who could benefit from it. At the end some of the young people came up with the ideas to organize sports events like soccer and volleyball. We agreed to see each other next Friday at 3 pm again to keep the fire alive and that they should spread the word to all their friends who are interested. After the meeting we spoke with two older men, David and Daniel, who said they just started a similar project three months ago. We agreed on meeting each other next week.