Monday, May 4, 2009

Getting near the end!

We ended up taking a nice break Saturday afternoon to go to the beach. Really nice. Took tons of photos. Ended up trading acrobatic tricks with the guys so that was fun – everyone showing different moves and people trying it out. I only had like 2 things I could do – this one capoeira move – queda de rins and a headstand where you push up into a handstand -- but it was fun showing them how to do it. I think we all needed a break.

Anthony and some of the guys stayed up till like 4 a.m. getting rough cuts of 12 videos done since that was the goal for the week. I stayed up sorting photos, but not till 4!

Sunday we had a light morning. We did the evaluation by asking what was the most significant change they had experienced at the personal level during the workshop, and what change did they want to see in the community. This led into a selection of the issues that the kids want to address in the community going forward. What really came out was poor performance in school – especially for girls, early marriages/early pregnancies, disabilities/the community attitude towards those people with special needs (the community still practices exposure and infanticide if children are born with any type of disability), and youth participation/youth action to make these changes in the community. They will work on their action plan this coming week including how they will use these and other videos they will make, along with any skills they’ve learned this week to bring about some changes in the community in those areas.

Summary of some expressions during the evaluation:

“I’ve learned that change comes from within and not from outside.” Community Chairman

“I would like to work on the issue of disability because the community needs to know that every child has a right to life and disability is not inability.” Ali

“Now I’m viewing arts and media in a very different perspective – as a vital tool in sharing and disseminating ideas/issues thereby transforming the lives of people around the world” Ali K

“The workshop has changed my attitude so I feel that I can do something better for my community.” Vincent

“I’ll make a change of early pregnancy in the community and I will stay with all girls and discuss the way girls get pregnant when they are at school and how they get it easily.” Violet

“Before I joined the workshop I didn’t have an ambition, but after I joined I was taught how to use camera, to edit, to interview people and now my ambition is to become a journalist.” Samira
“I discovered my responsibilities as a youth and a technique that I can use to convince people in the community towards positive attitudes. As a youthI will make sure that the young generation is given a chance to participate in the community.” Dickson

“I would like to work on the issue of early pregnancies. It really touches my heart as it makes most of the girls in my community not fully acquire the right to education.” Chimoche

“I have come to know how to sort out problems from the community through friendly negotiation and I have developed empathy to some things.” Bomaz

“It has helped me to look at things from a broader perspective and I am in a better position to reflect on the different situations that I come across and make necessary adjustments… I would like to use of the skills I have acquired to help the community reflect on their situation so that it changes for the better.” Rama

“I’ve been introduced to the method of looking at things/issues at different levels hence identifying the consequences and impact they may have in the community.” Zainab (teacher)

We all got on the bus around 2.30 to drive everyone back to their communities, including the 2-3 kids who lived in other communities. The door fell off the bus last night as we were coming back from the beach, so the bus was really breezy. We drove around through really lush green areas where the national park and elephant sanctuary is first (and saw a herd of 4 elephants!) and then through a very arid place, and then back to a different hotel right on the beach where Wajuhi, Ali K and Ali M, and Rama and I will put the finishing touches on the videos, do the transcriptions and translations, and wrap it all up before we go home on Wednesday. There was Arabic music playing in the bus and the guys got going singing all these songs in Swahili on top of it. Maybe some of it will be nice for background music on the videos?

We got to our hotel around 6.30. It’s really nice – gorgeous floors and wood staircases, white washed, beautiful gardens, right on the beach. Since it’s low season Plan Kenya gets a good discount price. But I guess it’s geared to the older tourist. They were having bingo at 9.15 last night! I checked out the beach this morning and it’s not that great of a beach because it’s not flat and there is a lot of seaweed washing up, but nice for a solitary walk in the early morning.

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