November 30


My first experience with teaching and other things that happened over the last few weeks

Blog - Photo 13
The photo was taken during Beldina’s Community Day.

One of my project objectives here at the OGRA Foundation was to conduct ‘Youth Friendly Services’ training to Health Care Workers. I was a little bit concerned about this objective due to my missing skills in teaching other people and so I was focused on my other objectives for a long time but one of GSK’s expectations is to ‘develop capability and talent by equipping yourself with the skills and knowledge to do great work, now and in the future, and supporting others to do the same‘.
In the meanwhile I think this objective was a great opportunity to improve my further development at GSK.
I designed my teaching session more like an open discussion round and tried to involve the people because Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Don’t get me wrong … I am not a teacher and I have no teaching skills but I think Benjamin Franklin was right. Involvement is highly motivating!
I prepared my teaching material based on some thought-provoking impulses about adolescence I collected from several internet sources and especially from David & Claudia Arp’s book The Art Of Hugging A Cactus and I made hardcopies for each attendant but the most important point was to ensure to involve the people and to start a discussion about their experiences with adolescents and their behaviour and how to overcome barriers and how to build a trustful relationship.
I hold my training session last Thursday in the ‘Youth Room & Training Centre’ at Nyangoma HC because I invested a lot of my time and efforts and the money from my private donators in Germany to create this place and the friendly atmosphere of the room was the right place for our discussion round.
25 attendants were expected for the training and 22 Community Healthcare Workers, nurses and staff members from the site participated at the end. That’s a high number and showed very well that there’s a real interest in Youth Friendly Services.
It needs a little bit time until the attendants started to share their experiences but in the second half of our training session there was a great involvement of more or less all people and we all learned from each other and at the end of the training some women started dancing and that was a good sign because that demonstrate they felt well!

What else happened over the last few weeks?
• We made a one-day hiking tour to the Monkey Rock. It was a challenging 5 hour trek up to the rock in the Nandi Hills near Kisumu and it was worth to do it because we became rewarded with a superb view across Lake Victoria and the Kisumu area. You can find some photos from this trip on my Flickr page.
• We had the opportunity to welcome the bicycle riders from the ‘Making Tracks 2014’ KOP fundraising bicycle tour. The tour started on the 14th of November in Kampala, Uganda, and ended on the 23rd of November in Kisumu, Kenya. 50 riders from UK, rest of Europe and Australia cycled more than 450km to collect a target sum of GBP 100000 for orphan projects in Kenya supported by KOP. It was a big event in Kisumu and a very warm welcome for all the riders.
• I gave my Jack Wolfskin back pack to Daniel, the youth group leader in Muhoroni, because I promised him he will get the back pack before I leave. It was my last visit of the youth group in Muhoroni because the next Youth Day is planned for the 19th of December and that’s the day I will start my return travel to Germany.
• We visited MVP (Millennium Villages Project) in Kisumu. MVP is the NGO Rami our GSK colleague from Egypt (and a good friend of mine) is working for as PULSE volunteer. We had the opportunity to visit together with Rami one of the oldest project villages of MVP in the Sauri area and to learn about their work. MVP’s work is directly related to the UN Millennium Development Goals 2015. You can find further information about the goals here:
• We visited a community day organized by Beldina and we had the opportunity to meet Richard Brodsky. He was a successful New York architect, he is a marathon runner and HIV-positive since 1997. He’s also a brain cancer survivor since 2002. His story and engagement was the reason to implement the yearly World Aids Day Marathon in Kisumu and to fundraise money for the HIV orphans in the Kisumu area. Beldina’s community day was a great event for a few hundred children (a lot of them HIV orphans) and she arranged a lot of activities for the children to entertain them and to have free medical examinations with the support of two doctors from US and Australia. It was a really nice day for the children and at the end of the day we all helped to feed all the children – and to be honest – there was a lot of hungry mouths to feed!

I am a member of a group of 5 people to run tomorrow the World Aids Day half-marathon as a relay team and I am looking forward to the event. I am sure it will be another amazing experience!

On the weekend of the 6th of December we plan to climb Mount Elgon. Mount Elgon is an extinct shield volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya, north of Kisumu and west of Kitale. The mountain’s highest point at 4321m, named ‘Wagagai’, is located entirely within the country of Uganda. I am curious about next weekend because it will be my last big activity here in Kenya and I am sure I will find a lot of opportunities to take photos for my Flickr page.

Please visit my Flickr page if you want to see more photos of Kisumu: