Kenyans teach Kenyans – the beauty of working in networks

Developing solutions for own communities

“I am so happy to have this week’s mentorship training with Elizabeth and her team at the MMH center in Eldoret. Today it’s the second day, I am humbled of how deep the training is turning to be…I formed already four groups of six members each here, they’ve identified a problem that they will work and walk to create a solution and present this on Saturday, the graduation day.

Now I am walking with them on the mentorship journey to create a practical solution and they will cook a bite of change,” told me Francis who is running a social enterprise in Nairobi’s Mukuru slum.

Francis and Elizabeth have met during our MMH convention in Nairobi a few weeks back. Elizabeth runs a lot of activities for women and girls. in Langas slums (Eldoret) at the SOLASA NGO. Francis empowers young people kn the slums while teaching about problem solving approaches, filming and empowering the self awareness of young people. Now Francis and Elizabeth have started to co-create. And to learn from each other. This is a huge benefit also for the communities they are working with.

Social entrepreneur Francis Gikufu from Nairobi brings his knowledge to Eldoret

It’s overwhelming and very exiting to see this transformational journey happen.

It is definitely time to connect the acteurs and activities to empower communities – together, in a network approach. Because systemic change should be based on system thinking and acting. On networks of changemakers. On context based approaches. So that the solutions we offer can become really sustainable and cover not just one need, but many at the same time. People can empower themselves only if they can cover all basic needs – day by day. Because the system they live in has many different components. It does not help to help women with income if they don’t have access to (mental) health, education and basic infrastructures. If we don’t care for men at the same time. If we forget about environmental issues and nutrition.

If we all just look at our own initiatives and no one helps to interlink and to become part of the network of changemakers, we will fail. It’s not just about engaging but also contextual understanding and linking to each other.

And: It’s great to see that Kenyan changemakers start to collaborate among themselves, too. Across their own borders.

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