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Carine's reflection on the Kenya gathering

The YIA Summit early this year was an experience that is quite unique in my life. Growing up in Kenya we have close to no or little interaction with art as we learn. There’s also little done towards one’s self well-being in relation to their work.  The training was art based – which I loved – and we were continuously encouraged to talk about our feeling and perception of the challenges we face in the communities we work with.

I learned a lot of things about myself as a result. For instance, we did the mask activity and I saw the difference between what people think of me and what I think about myself and more so on my foundations. The facilitators touched a lot on the potential within and how we can utilize this. I felt like the training gave me an opportunity to redefine by purpose and how it relates with me as a person. 

Wow! The impact on my work was immense as well I think am always referring back to the training whenever am in meetings with stakeholders or planning an activity with my colleagues. One significant impact on my work has been our incorporation of art, music, and dance in our mode of delivery in the various training / mentorship sessions that we have with youth. In addition, the YIA Summit greatly influenced our re-conceptualization of a program we call “Elimisha Vizazi” (English translation: Educating Generations). The program seeks to enable Footprints for Change leave a mark in each community it engages in but our ‘How’ was not clear. During the training I got to understand the importance of ‘Ubuntu’ in our daily interactions and I used this to make our program become more centered on building ‘Ubuntu’ communities whereby we work with community stakeholders to live out the principle of Ubuntu in the various activities conducted. 

I now understand how the different powers (The Liar and Commander) work to keep us captives for protracted exploitation and misappropriation of our resources. This understanding has greatly empowered my thinking and actions which are now focused on breaking down the lies we are told that undermine our potential especially as young people. I will continue to find more spaces to apply what I learnt during the training in life and in the various programs I will be engaged in. -Carine Umutoniwase

Read more about Youth in Action's Kenya gathering