Mentorship Born Out of Community Conversations
Some time last year when i together with other like minded individual began the practice of ABCD in our community.Little did we know how far this could take us in terms of finding the real solutions for what we looked on as problems within our community.We began with community conversation which is a component in ABCD. Community conversations really gave us a good entry to the involvement of community members to find what really is affecting us and how we can deal with it.We held quite a number of community conversation with different themes.As the community Conversation Concept kept on taking roots in the community, one sure thing was clear that for quite a long time we kept on focusing on our problems more that what we can do for ourselves. We held our 5th community conversation which had the theme "WORRYING TREND OF-JOB CRISIS VIS-A-VIS SKILL CRISIS AMONGST THE YOUTH IN KENYA.On that day together with the help of Reuben Medina from U.S.A on Skype we conversed over the theme.Young people really showed up for the event.|It become clear how rich we were in terms of asset and that we could look inside ourselves individually in terms of assets that we have,look into the community itself for asset and now look beyond our community for the asset that are outside that could enhance the ones that are within us.This day was the birth of our mentorship program.Some of the insight of what we share on that day we as follows:
Passion: Reuben emphasized that for young people to succeed in life,one must follow his or her passion.Because its only through passion that one can do something and feel the fulfillment of life itself.Doing something through passion gives one a sense of greatness.And this sense of greatness gives one hope even to do more great things.
skills,talents and abilities:Another thing that was quite clear was that young people have to look into themselves and find what is good in them.Everyone is blessed with different abilities and skill and where young people go wrong is trying to emulate other people and forgetting who they really are.What they can really do best.So they were encouraged to focus on what is really good in them and with that they will achieve their purpose in this world.
Connecting the dots:After knowing what is good in you then what next?.Now here comes the connection of dots between what is inside you and what is in the world.This brings the enhancement of what is inside you to the world and that is how success creeps in.
This are just a few things that came up during the community conversations of that day.But much was talked about and much continues to come up positively since that day.
After the community conversations we as young people agreed that the only way we could achieve all this was to come up with a program that would spearhead the idea.This program will be for mentorship purpose,so that we could have people to help us identify what really is good in us,then walk with us and guide us to success in terms academics,careers and even our social life.
After some consultations we structured the program as below:We looked at it and saw that if we follow it and walk this path,we will unearth hidden strengths and unfold greater opportunities in the community than ever before.
ABCD KENYA MENTOR AND PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
SELF: Who Am I?
January – Values & Volunteerism
February – Understanding Your Personality
March – Identifying Your Interests and Skills
April - Appreciating Your Accomplishment & Assessing Your Confidence
WORLD: Where Am I Going?
May - Where Am I?
June – Where Am I Going? What are my Dreams?
July – Potential Careers for me
August – Understanding My Needs, My Wants and Budgets
ACTIONS: How Do I Get There?
September – Choices & the Power of My Decisions
October - Future Planning: Education, Job Readiness and Skills Building
November - Setting Goals & Achieving Them
December – Taking Action & Overcoming Challenges
We have walked the program for only four month and the positiveness that has been seen in this is just encouraging.Young people including me have began to realize their potential and looking at life positively with great hope that we never could have seen before.As of now,we have completed the first four month of mentorship. We have exhausted everything we could about "SELF-WHO AM I?".We have looked into values and volunteerism,understanding your personality,identifying your skills and interests and this last Saturday of 8th April we did our last bit of the first quarter which was appreciating your accomplishments and assessing your confidence.This Saturday proved a great milestone for this program as we shared our accomplishments and even evaluated ourselves on how we did in the first four month and how we are progressing.Thanks to ABCD,now we can realize just how blessed we are in terms of Assets that are withing us as and in the community.
So my Question goes to all ABCD proponents.Does the program enlisted above speak to you, does it echo specific indicators for a transformation to you and community? Let’s engage then do something with common convergence to facilitate opportunities and break down barriers for the young people. You might not know what to do with the young person next to you, but to us he/she remain an asset and a big opportunity.
We are a group of individuals who facilitate the community in realizing its own potential to initiate sustainable change using the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Model in Kenya though this approach,we have engaged the community in community conversation and this has really brought some enlightenment to the community that they can look deep into the strengths and capacities they have to come up with solutions to the issue they are facing.This conversation have really given birth to a number of programs that are driving forces in solving this issues.i.e mentorship program for youth in school and out of school,bead work for women and ABCD training that have really helped us expand the knowledge of ASSET BASED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT and practice it.The number of those who have started believing in this methodology is increasing in Kenya.And we continue getting the community engaged and changing and adopting what works in the community from what doesn't work.