I want to take this opportunity to give thanks to the people who are the force behind the success of my work in Kibera. I have received support from all sorts of people who believe in change through the grass-root level. These are the people who have contributed ideas, financial support and their time to ensure the fire continue to burn. I want to make it clear that am nothing without them.
Everyday, I wake up in the morning and start crying in my room. I cry for happiness, I cry that lives of many women, children and community in general where I do work is changing drastically. The women, who used to be inferior in the community can now talk frely the community meetings. Those were the things we could only see the wife of powerful politicians addressing the crowd, but now am seeing our women in Kibera standing strong and giving out their point and men clapping. This was the world that I wanted to see and I’m touched by the progress. I cry when I see the video of the little girls in Kibera going to school in a neat uniforms and walking proud with the head high on the shoulder. I cry for happiness and the change that we have initiated.
I will never forget in my entire life the people who give their dollars so that the abused girls in Kibera can have a decent education. They give money in trust of my work. They believe that the change will always come through the grass-root level. These are the people who want to empower communities with their own leaders. I’m always strike by these kind of people and I do pray that I wish their were a million of them.
Sometimes, its strange if people cannot help a poor boy like me who is trying to make his community better. Then who else will they support? You hear on television how people spend days without food, they tell you how people die like insects for the lack of heath care. But now, Kennedy a boy who grew-up with all those sorts of problems and challenges is spear heading how to make a better world for his community and yet some people can still give it a dump hear. Then I wonder who they will help? I will not complain because hundred of people give their time and money to see my work being successful. It’s always hard to understand another world if you can have food, shower, big house more than you need and leisure vacations. I will never blame people for that, I too sometimes get stuck into this world of imagination. In this perspective, I wanna echo the heroes and heroines who are able to by pass the imagination world and still connect with the real world by supporting causes that are worth. They are strong because they cannot be manipulated by the system mirror that make us think the world is the same everywhere. In this way, I see them sponsoring needygirls in Kibera School For Girls and they response by writing letters.
I feel lucky and blessed to have access to the best education here in the States. But I still think of the other who could not have the opportunity or denied by the system. I know I don’t deserve all this things that I have here in America. I believe in the philosophy of giving back to the needy. Its not a compulsory but a common sense as I cant live in peace and I know am not doing my best to help the other underprivileged. We are all have a part to play in making our world a better place.
There is a study which proves that, the people who give to causes suffer less stress compared to the mean who don’t want to see even their single cent dropping out of their pocket unless there was a hole in the pocket. They live in horrible, stressful life and they realize that money and wealth they poses could not solve their problems. They try to fool themselves by spending their money on leisure and yet more stress keep haunting them. My dear readers, we cannot run away from the reality, the truth will always follow us. How do you feel when you offer education opportunity to a poor kid? How do you feel when you offer a health care for a needy kid some where in the world? To be honest there is power of good feeling that strikes you like a thunder and brings joy and peace in your heart. Any time you are down and hopeless think of the good you are doing to the world and why the world needs you.
Here at Wesleyan , I don’t force students to join Shining Hope For Communities or SHOFCO Wesleyan. I don’t force them because I feel am giving them part of my life so that they can share with me and be part of change. I have a good number of students who are giving their time working for our movement to ensure its survive after we are all gone. They don’t need stories about suffering because I’m their living story and I am with them in the same school. This remind me when I was starting SHOFCO in 2004 while I was still having hard life in Kibera slums. We invited different people, and my friend the late Kibe used to say, ” Join the train before its starts moving because it wouldn’t wait for you, and you are privileged to be invited.”
Kibe words were the ” writings on the wall, ” as some people by that time thought we were poor kids and we have no skills to run a community organization. Those who joined their names are written in the SHOFCO Office in Kibera as the founders of SHOFCO and the year they joined. Now SHOFCO is rocking in the community and almost everyone want to be the part of the movement. The founders of SHOFCO in Kibera are now married and they have kids which they always bring to the office to see the names of their parents. The Shining Hope For communities is the organization which is big in the eyes of the people and yet very small in the eyes of the community. I mean very small because we interact with many people in the slum and that create a feeling of ownership of the organization to the community. In terms of sports, SHOFCO has a soccer wing for boys and girls. My reader something interesting is that most of the players under 10 years old are the children of members of SHOFCO Founders. The organization has its root in Kibera, this is the main reason we have much connection with the community. I will be like Kibe, to predict that whoever working with us now, will be so proud in the near future when the organization rocks the entire Africa. We are setting and establishing our base in Kibera. Kibera will be the headquarter as we are thinking of spreading. I don’t believe much in scalability as much as I believe in the impact.
I give thanks to everyone who gives us an helping hand. The special thanks to Echoing Green, Newman Own Foundation, Wesleyan University, Mapendo International, AFK, and other organization that has been so useful to us. I will not exclude the individuals who give and some who have been even there for me when I need a piece of advice.
Thank you so much, your names are written in my heart. I pray for your long life so that the you can have more impact in the world.