The Kenyan Commitment – Episode 2, January 2012

A return trip was taken by the Hartmann DaDa’s, CGV and friends in January 2012, with one purpose being the re-establishment of the Hartmann DaDa’s and CGV’s commitment to bringing coaching and coach training to Kenya. During the 7 day trip Karen and Mary Hartmann, 2 friends and Susie Strauss, CGV board member , met with community leaders, visited schools and community programs and took the initial steps to create coach training opportunities in Kenya.

Schools and Programs visited:

The Umoja Uaso Women’s Group in the Samburu District was the first community program visited . This women’s cooperative formed by Rebecca Lolosoli in 1990 for women who had been physically and sexually abused by husbands, fathers, and other men. Land was purchased near Archer Post and a village was created to provide a safe haven for these abused and threatened women and their children. The women sell beadwork to provide funds for the community and the educational and health programs. The community sponsors a pre-kindergarten school where the children from Umoja and the neighboring community come. The women greet their visitors with songs at the gate and then welcome them in to join in dancing and viewing the community buildings. The visit ends with the group of women singing to the visitors in their vehicle. Rebecca Lolosoli met with Karen and Susie in Nairobi prior to their departure. For more information – http://umojauasowomensfund.org/.

Girgir Primary School is one of the largest day and boarding schools in Archer’s Post Samburu. There are over 800 students, with 90+ of the boys and 40+ of the girls boarding. Many of the boarding students are orphans with no place to go when the school is not in session. And thus they return to the streets for food and shelter. While originally equipped with a boys’ dorm the girls’ dorm was built with support from St. Louis, MO organizations in the mid-1990’s. Some of the school’s needs were talked about during the tour of the facilities. Needs such as mosquito netting to prevent malaria, bedding for the dorms, library books , and an adequate supply of clean water. At one point, softball equipment and some jump ropes were taken out of the vehicle and given to the students, who were shown how to play softball and use the jump ropes – the boys and girls with huge smiles on their faces.

A return visit was made to the Gilesther Preparatory Primary School in Laikipia County (in the Great Rift Valley). This school was the recipient of the container that the Hartmann Dada’s sent over in 2011 and the visit in the same year by Karen, Mary and Rachel Lane. The purpose of this visit was to see how the sent items were being used by the school and staff and to assess what their present needs were. In depth conversations were held with administrators, teachers and staff . The facilities, including the newly stocked library (from the container contents) , were toured. An assembly was held where each grade performed songs in Swahili and English for the younger grades and Swahili with dancing for the older grades. The headmaster proudly shared that their county’s number one student last year was a Gilesther student and that even more achievements were expected from the school’s students with the gifts of their new books and supplies. He also shared that their present challenges include: adequate clean water, food during the famines, money for scholarships and additional resources. It was felt that the school’s staff and administration might benefit from training in coaching conversations and possibilities thinking and one of the teachers/staff and daughter of the school’s founders was invited to participate in future CGV workshops.The parting view from the van was a group of boys playing with their new softball bats and balls!

Future Coaching Connections

Contacts were made with several community leaders in and outside Nairobi to determine the potential of bringing CVG coach training to Kenya. After several conversations with these women and men, it was very apparent that there is great interest in learning more about coaching conversations so that they can enhance their present jobs, families and communities.

Some of the individuals met with on this trip included:

  • Mercy Muburu and her husband, Rowland. Mercy is the Maywood Rotary Club representative in Masai Mara. She works with them in creating new schools and support programs , and assists the parents in creating beadwork to provide additional financial resources for their families .
  • Herine Otieno is the Program Director and co-founder of AMSTREF ( Africa Math Science Technology Research and Education Foundation). She works with primary, secondary and college students in enhancing their understanding and education of math and science subjects. She is also involved in leadership training and strategic planning to elevate the math and science curriculum and teaching skills in Kenya. She was very excited to see the CGV materials and the presence of the Life Balance Wheel, which she had already used in a teen leadership training workshop. As a result of this trip, Herine was introduced to educational leadership coach in Michigan to possibly begin a collaborate relationship.
  • The very last meeting in Nairobi was held with Jaki Wasike-Sihanya, an ILCT trained coach. Jaki welcomed the possibility of using the CGV materials and bringing together those people met during this trip who expressed interest in coaching training, along with others recruited by her. . She expressed a desire to have her initial training this spring, with an August follow-up . CGV would provide support to Jaki as she constructs the appropriate training for her participants.

Where to go from here:

Financial and technical support is necessary for there to be CGV coaching training opportunities in Kenya. The understanding of and interest in coaching is definitely present in Kenya and CGV is very fortunate to have an ILCT trained coach in Nairobi who wants to be involved and facilitate the training. One benefit to Jaki’s involvement is her understanding of the cultural issues and needs of the Kenyan community leaders. It was very apparent that there is a generation in Kenya who is strongly committed to , and is working on , improving the social, educational, and leadership opportunities of the Kenyan people. This generation is the generation that will help mold the future of Kenya and wouldn’t it be amazing if coaching conversations could be an integral part of that change!