Giving Back Project
Under the higher education support program, Be Kids has developed a strategy whereby those who wish to qualify for a scholarship must develop a “giving back” project. Young adults are encouraged to develop positive outlooks, increase their self-esteem, and become responsible role models in their communities. The projects range from simple interventions such as helping kids with their homework at the study centres, mentoring young ones, and visiting and caring for the aged. As part of this initiative, Be Kids has started sponsoring Nahashon Mutahi who joined the University of Nairobi to study commerce.
The following report contains the giving back project carried out by Nahashon Mutahi who is the founder and the coordinator of this project.
The project is situated in the Korogocho slum in the Nairobi area. It has been prepared for Be Kids Australia Inc.
Korogocho slum is situated in the Eastern side of Nairobi. Like many other slums Korogocho faces a number of challenges such as crime, drug abuse and other social evils. This is due to the high rate of poverty. As a result many children have been affected in one way or another and they end up not performing well in school. Some children end up either engaging in crime or drugs and some young girls end up getting pregnant at an early age. As a result these children end up not being socially responsible citizens and their future is ruined. The reasons why children find themselves in this situations is due to lack of proper role models in the society. These children therefore need someone who can mentor them to enable them perform well in school, become better people in future and change the community.
After having been a part of the Kengele Project and a member of Child Peace in Kenya since it began in 2007 and having successfully gone through all the mentorship and leadership training through all phases, I had developed a sense of responsibility and passion towards changing the lives of people in Korogocho. I gathered enough experience and skills to enable me successfully carry out this project. The project began on 16th February 2013 and has been successfully carried out until 28th April 2013. This project was also aimed at enabling be kids to offer me a scholarship for which I am now in the University of Nairobi studying a Bachelor of Commerce degree through the help of Be Kids.
This project was carried out at the Kisumu Ndogo Study Centrer and we met every Sunday from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. The activities included:
- Focused group discussions
- Revision and Studying
My Giving Back Project started on 16th February with four children – two from a local primary school and two from my community Korogocho. This was done through meeting at a local primary school. The teachers advised me to pick two students – one from class eight and another one from class seven though I wanted strictly class seven and six. I had to pick these students as they were the ones recommended by the head teacher together with the other teachers.
AchievementsDuring the almost eight weeks of activities with these children there has been a major success and improvement both on the side of the children and also myself as the facilitator.
The children have been able to identify key issues which make them fail during examinations.
Such issues involved:
- Lack of interest in particular subjects at school
- Time wastage during class time
- Negative attitude towards particular subjects
- Negative attitude towards teachers
- Lack of a good studying environment at home
- Not setting goals
The children have been able to identify the main subjects which according to them are hard and need to be emphasised.
These topics included:
- English and Kiswahili
The children also identified means to solve the issues which made them perform poorly in school.
- Avoiding peer pressure and having positive friends who can help each other in education
- Making use of the study centre Forming group discussions at school
- Developing a positive attitude towards teachers and subjects at school Setting proper goals for the term (I have shown them how to set goals and write them in a table)
- Put more effort in subjects where they are weak.
The children also learned some life skills such as temperaments, and how to handle peer pressure.
The children were also able to identify that they too can be of help and importance to the society.
Although the project has had a lot of success there have however been some challenges we have faced.
1. Communication Challenges
This so far has been the main challenge and it included factors such as:
- Late handing in of the report: During the whole project I admit that I have been delaying in sending reports on their progress. This has been one of the main failures on my side and I acknowledge it. This is because I did not have specific time given for me to hand in the report. This was only informed to me recently and by the time I had known it was too late.
- Lack of Camera: During this project I lacked a camera to take photos not only my project but also the arts project. Most times I had to do without a camera as accessing one every Sunday from the media centre proved a major challenge as sometimes they were either busy or there was no one to issue them on Sunday since most times K-Youth Media is usually closed on Sunday.
2. Lack of Materials
The whole project operated on a zero budget basis. However small stationery such as writing pads, pens and text books were a challenge and to some extent I had to provide these materials personally.
I recommend that we should have a camera for the purpose of documenting these activities without necessarily having to interfere with K-Youth Media activity.
Since the second phase will involve other activities such as academic trips I will send you a budget of these activities. I shall be handing in a report every end of the month with details pertaining to that month’s activities.
This project has been of great benefit to the children and also I as an individual as it has opened up chances for me to share and give back the skills I acquired through the Kengele Project to these children. Together with the children we are looking forward to the next phases activities. It is my hope that out of this project I will have impacted a change on the life of a child in my community. It is also the hope of these children that they will gain something out of this and together they will achieve their goals and also in turn impact on the community.
Though we may sometimes face misunderstandings our goals and ambitions still remain the same throughout this process.