DOT Kenya intern Felix Mweu shares his experiences and success while delivering ReachUp! Program at Wema Centre, Coast Region. Felix has managed to train more than 75 community participants who have now join hands to form a youth group in Utage village near Bamburi, Mombasa.
Tell us briefly about yourself
I am a simple 24 year old Kenyan, living in Utange, a remote village in Bamburi, Mombasa. I have a Diploma in Community Health and HIV management from The Mombasa Polytechnic University College. My hobbies include internet surfing, playing football, voluntary work and swimming.
How has been your experience in the field?
While facilitating, I got to interact with people of varied backgrounds, religions, age groups, and levels of education. This has enabled me to stretch my knowledge of my community, and discover some of its latent opportunities.
What has been the greatest achievement so far that you pride yourself with?
I have formed a 30 member youth group whose members have been my ReachUp! participants. The activities of the group include: Garbage Collection, Manufacture of bar soaps and Drama amongst others. My greatest joy however will be when I see the newly formed group sustain the economic needs of its members.
Any challenges you faced while in the field? How did you handle them?
My greatest recordable challenge (during the first week of facilitation) was language barrier. Participants from my 1st class had only attained up to at most primary level of education, and could thus not comprehensively communicate using the English language. They also had zero knowledge about computers and computer applications. To combat this I started facilitating in Swahili and where possible, the Giriama language. Considering their literacy level and their newness to computer applications, I started taking longer time to facilitate ICT Modules (up to 6 hours per module). I also encouraged the participants to individually call me during their free time (including weekends) to assist in exploring the ICT applications.
Most memorable moment as an Intern?
When I received an email message confirming that I had been selected as a DOT Intern. One of my dreams has always been to change my community and I will never forget the day that DOT gave me an avenue to do so.
What advice can you give to the new interns deployed recently in the field?
You don't score until you score. DOT has given you a chance to change and impact the lives of fellow youth and the economically disadvantaged. Don't settle for anything less than that!
The important thing is to take that first step. Bravely overcoming one small fear gives you the courage to take on the next.
What are your plans for the future?
My idea of starting a handcart firm is already underway. Other plans include furthering my studies.