Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Curriculum Books Launched in Hatua's Library

Hatua Likoni, in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Affairs, was pleased to celebrate the Library’s newest collection with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 2:00pm at the Likoni Youth Empowerment Center. 

Thanks to a generous donation of KSH 500,000 from the Safaricom Foundation, Hatua has equipped Likoni’s first community library with over 800 curriculum books for all primary and secondary school classes. The collection also includes two sets of KCPE and KCSE revision books and college text books for secretarial courses, accounting, computer science, entrepreneurship, statistics, management and administration, marketing and economics.

In the past, Likoni students had access to these essential school materials only if their parents could afford to purchase them. Now students can access these books free of charge seven days a week at the Likoni Youth Empowerment Center & Library. In addition to text books, our library also provides a conducive study environment and computer access to Likoni learners, both young and old. Over 40,000 people have visited the Library since we opened one year ago.

The ribbon was cut by Hatua Likoni Director, Gabrielle Fondiller, together with the Library's Development Steering Committee, who were happy to see the library continues to grow. In attendance was Mr. Colin Forbes from Base Titanium, Mr. David Ogal, Likoni's District Youth Officer, Head Teachers from Likoni Primary and Secondary Schools, and Rebecca Okwany from Daily Nation media in Mombasa, were in attendance.

Students in attendance presented poems expressing their appreciation to Safaricom and Hatua Likoni and presented a plaque to the Safaricom Foundation from Likoni Community Library.

Mr. Colin Forbes spoke last. To further encourage Likoni youth to work hard in their studies, he pledged that Base Titanium would donate an additional shelf-full of curriculum books. He ended by saying “if you put effort in, people will notice."                        

Along with all other books in Likoni's Library, our curriculum books are available to users free of charge seven days per week.

Click to view more photos on Facebook.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A wonderful Volunteer experience!

I have thought about becoming a volunteer in Africa for many years.
Unfortunately, all the offers that I was stumbling upon on the web
required registering a few months in advance and a complex application
process. Not to mention that the majority lasted for more than several
months – which I couldn’t do because of my work responsibilities.
Finally I found Hatua Likoni which gave me the opportunity to follow my dream almost straight away. And ever more importantly, they cooperate with Likoni Community Football League (LCFL), the football league for U-12, U-14 and U-16 teams, of which I decided to be a volunteer.

Three weeks that I spent In Likoni were truly magical. In my everyday
life I am a journalist, I studied journalism and all my professional
experience is closely related with it. But I have another passion –
sport – which until very recently has only been my hobby. I spent
entire weekends watching league games and in the week I play with my
friends. Sport has always been a very important part of my life. As a
LCFL guest member I could finally share this passion with others. I
was able to show kids that sport can be a way of life, teach them
about sport rivalry and prove that thanks to systematic and hard work
we can fulfill our biggest dreams and goals.

I’m not a professional coach, I haven’t taught kids before. When I
went for my first training in Likoni, I was a bit confused. Dozens of
barefoot children, two balls and a pitch, which was nothing more than
a square between houses. But my anxiety disappeared immediately
after meeting kids who were training with so much joy and commitment.
After a second, I felt comfortable. It’s a cliché to write that both kids and coaches were incredible. But that’s the truth. They fascinated me from the very beginning. They did all the exercises with amazing curiosity, discipline and diligence.

With no experience whatsoever in running such type of trainings, I was
doing it alone after only one week. 40 kids, three different age
categories. How did I know what to teach them? During my first week I
was closely observing trainings conducted by Ben, who is the founder
of the LCFL and trying to remember the exercises proposed by him and
local coaches. I also watched hours of online content prepared by the
best sport channel in Poland, Canal+ (hello there!). Based on this, I
started to conduct everyday trainings in the team of my choice. I must
agree that I spent quite some time on preparing myself to the
trainings but I didn’t want let anyone down. Effects? On the first day
we started with simple ball passing and on the last one we were doing
Arsenal’s and Barcelona’s advanced tactics.

It might sound like a computer game but that was reality. I felt like
a real coach. And I was a real coach.

But trainings were only a key to learn about other, more important
things. I could observe the life of people living in completely
different conditions; something you won’t experience by going on trips
organised by travel agencies. Thanks to Hatua’s program, which
requires a lot of independence when it comes to arriving at the
trainings or eating out, I was able to come into contact with everyday
life of Kenyans. Was I scared at the very beginning? Sure! But with
time the daily travelling to the trainings, amongst ordinary people
living their regular lives, became my favourite parts of the day. I
can’t think of a better way to really know a foreign country.

If you have dreams, stop talking about them and start following them.
Just like I did thanks to LCFL and Hatua Likoni.

Writen by Kuba Jonczyk,
Hatua Likoni volunteer

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Peaceful Elections in Likoni

“For the most part elections in Mombasa were peaceful, particularly in Likoni, which was the most peaceful part of Mombasa. That matters more than who won. We are grateful to everyone who prioritized Kenya and promoted peace. Kenyans voted for peace and progress. Thanks to peace we are now poised for progress.

Lets now turn our attention towards implementing our new constitution. We pray that those granted the responsibility to govern us act in good faith, follow an honest path and use wise judgement.” said Gabrielle Fondiller, Hatua Likoni's Director.

Leading up to the elections Hatua Likoni and the Likoni Civic Education Network created a DVD called "Know Your Candidates", aimed at addressing voters lack of information about the candidates vying in Likoni. Hatua and the Likoni Civic Education Network interviewed all willing candidates for County Rep and MP and asked the following questions:

County reps were asked:
·         To explain the main issues facing your ward and the solutions you propose.
·         Under the new constitution what are the roles and responsibilities of a County Rep?
·         What makes you different and better than your competitors?

MPs were asked:
  • What are the main issues facing Likoni and how will you address them?
  • What makes you different and better than your competitors?
  • If elected what new law will you propose or existing law will you seek to amend in parliament?
  • The biggest challenge facing Constituency Development Fund across the country is accountability, if elected what will you do to ensure accountability and transparency within CDF? 
The video gave Likoni residents a chance to know their candidates and what these individuals are planning to do for the community. To spread this information Hatua created 2,000 copies of the DVD and distributed it free of charge around Likoni. We also hired 30 video cafes to play the DVD for two nights free of charge to the public and gave the DVD to bars and restaurants throughout Likoni to be played on their TVs. Finally, we hosted eight open air shows all around Likoni.

Before this video, Hatua Likoni had created a series of peace video advert. These videos consist of well known people in the Likoni Community, including religious leaders, our local chief, business people, community organizers, school children, and a popular musician. Each shared their message of peace to the community, messages that were then aired during the month leading up to elections on a jumbo screen at Likoni's busiest transport hub. To further spread the message we included our peace adverts in our "Know Your Candidates" DVD. Click here to view our peace videos on YouTube.