Recently, the OAIC’s Just Communities department held a follow up training on Tuesday 5th of February to meet with the trainers for discussion of their successes and challenges since October. From the participants there were many accomplishments and struggles especially during this critical election period. We would like to share with you some of the achievements from our trainees to keep you informed on the efforts we are making in Kenya. Three members of the conference, Bishop Betty, Reverend Elizabeth and Reverend Patrick along with others shared their stories on community empowerment and change for the better. These are just a few of the many inspiring stories we heard during the conference.
Bishop Betty from Kisumu County discussed her accomplishments and challenges she faced coinstar location near me Coinstar Money Transfer, HONG KONG
after returning from the training conference in October with a local women’s group in her area. Bishop Betty and the group prioritized issues that were affecting their community locally, major issues were health, security and poor infrastructure. The group felt that their local government officials were not adequately doing their jobs especially in these areas. The women’s group selected ten members to see their area parliament member to discuss the issues at hand. When the day came, only five members showed up and as they approached the office of the parliament member they were harassed for coming. The women were asked to write down their requests as they were handed a piece of paper by the assistant of the parliament member. The letter they wrote said that they are residents of the area and wanted to discuss the issues their community was facing on a daily basis and seek improvement of these issues. After an hour of waiting and becoming impatient some women were just about to give up in disgust. Finally after Bishop Betty reassured them, they all decided to stay and wait.
Finally the parliament member came out of his house and discussed the women’s reasoning for coming and waiting for so long. Bishop Betty said, ‘We are resident in the area but we have many issues and we are suffering.’ Concluding their discussion, the official said write your issues and give them to my personal assistant, after all their waiting, the ladies were not satisfied with this response. The women decided that this is not the right leader they need, so they went to an aspiring politician and were welcomed there. The aspiring leader listened to their issues and responded saying for your votes I will consider getting your issues solved. Other women leaders have started influencing others, and the consensus was that current leader is not suitable for the change that needs to take place in their community.
Bishop Betty is also working with a boys group in the area called Bagdad Boys who she gathered to discuss peace and the issues they face especially during this election period.
Bishop Betty’s leadership and community empowerment shows that we as Kenyans can and have the right to work toward our basic needs. After the election the Bishop intends to continue to work with the newly elected officials in her area to improve her community to rid the issues they face.
Reverend Elizabeth like Bishop Betty reached out to a boys youth group in her area called Boda Boda. These boys could not be reached easily but through the help of her local chief she was able to reach them. During the first meeting she opened up with a word of prayer and many of the boys said to her, ‘Mom we are very busy, we cannot pray,’ but she insisted that we put God first. Reverend Elizabeth brought the word of God to these young men to preach peace in Kisumu County especially during this election period. She made the point that the community did not want their youth to be used by the rich ones (politicians) and lose their lives for 50 or 100 shillings. Reverend Elizabeth and her community want her youth to be the good generation of tomorrow creating change and a positive future for Kenya. After she preached this message to the boys, she discussed with them major issues in the area so they also could raise them up. Through Reverend Elizabeth’s message of peace she was able to successfully get through to the youth and now has a brighter outlook on the elections.
In Western Province, Reverend Patrick was able to train through four church organizations, five youth groups and five disabled groups. There were two major issues that these groups came up with during their interaction which were poor leadership and poverty. They began by looking at the issue of leadership; people realized we the people are the ones to blame for this. He was able to correct the assumptions that were made by the community regarding who one can vote for. On the side of poverty, they talked about how they can handle the issue by looking at different avenues so the community can better equip itself. The area chief has been very supportive and has recognized these trainees. During one training specifically, Reverend Patrick was able to hold a lecture on how to get better leadership and improve farming in his area.
Through these three examples, there is clear evidence of people working in their communities for the betterment of their lives and future. We would like to continue to pray and support these communities. These are the results that come from trainings that were held last week for Community Mobilizers.