I had an interesting day today ahead of nasty examinations on Monday but am not in character to say no to a good time. That besides my point, I joined the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology Salsa Group to The Children and Youth Empowerment Center Nyeri. Apart from the unsettling nostalgia formed by the surrounding environment of the center from way back when I was in primary, meeting kids was a real experience and I need not mention how fun the Salsa group is!
So I was lucky to grab an interview with the administrator Mr. Issa Adam (Adam like the first man on earth – his joke not mine). So when the Salsa Group were doing their awesome salsa moves in a talent show with the kids I walked to the administration block. Mr. Adam’s office was not so different from the one our head teacher had in primary school. A large desk, a bunch of books, the smell of authority and photos of the pupils hang on the light-blue walls. The only difference I could pull out was the absence of corporal punishment equipment that used to be there in my primary school. In fact the only reason you would be called to the head teacher’s office back then was to get your ass hit countless times but we survived, didn’t we?
Here is how it went:
Me: We are glad to be here (That’s half true considering the Monday exam paper.The other true half is the fact that if I had not been there I would be at my place overwhelmed with countless matrix equations)
Mr. Adam: You are very much welcome Dennis.
Me: How many pupils do have in a year?
Mr. Adam: (pause) (appears be doing a complex calculation behind the scenes)
Me: Rather how many students do you have currently?
Mr. Adam: One hundred and fifty. The school however has a potential capacity of five hundred pupils only that expansion funds and resources are unavailable. You see Dennis, having more students here and less students there in the Nyeri town streets is our aim. Having fewer kids been tortured at abusive homes is good for not only those young pupil’s lives but also our nation.
Me: (nods in agreement)
Mr. Adam: Funds and Resources are just but one thing, on the other hand however, keeping the pupils here interested in studying of which they just came from the no-rules streets is yet another mountain. We have a problem of getting professional counselors and therapists. An expert that will reach the young pupils’ mind and set them in a constructive road.
Me: (Trying to be as Larry Madowo as hard as I can possibly be) Great times and some of the achievements of this children and youth empowerment center?
Mr. Adam: (Brightens up like the sunrise in the horizon behind Mt. Kenya). We are great in Soccer!
Me: (Soccer must be football in America, right?)
Mr. Adam: The students here adore art too. We also go to drama festivals and you know how young minds can go to heights if it is something they love. Among some of our achievements is good high school graduation grades and entrepreneurship by the students.
Me: Entrepreneurship, you said?
Mr. Adam: Yes Dennis! We have students who put up small enterprises in town and around here from the knowledge they have obtained here and make a living out of it.
Me: A brief history of the school (I think this question should have been first though, good luck me been Larry Madowo)
Mr. Adam: The center started in 2006, I have been running it since 2011. It was started with only 8 children and a few facilitators but as you can see we have grown a lot since then. The Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund founded in 2003 has been the base of this center. Find out about this more at www.cyec.net
Me: You get a lot of visitors like us around here?
Mr. Adam: Yeah. But none has ever asked me for an interview like you did.(If he only knew I was merely an amateur)
Me: (Decides to play along with the flow) Hahaha yeah we have a Bloggers Association in Dedan Kimathi University that just launched yesterday and we are determined to tell stories that need to be told. (Dramatic pause as I try to remember how Larry Madowo ends his interviews)
Me:Well, Mr. Adam am very grateful for your time we hope to visit again soon.
That was the end. Out of ten I think I did an eight if you were to keep an open mind.
Well, of course I cannot understate the group that aided this event which is the Zawadi Society which is a networking and coordination tool for socially engaged persons with a passion for service to their communities and social interest in the wellbeing of children. This community is a platform for community engagement.
Audio and visual equipment by Mr. Sam Kairu, Art and Event Coordinator Zawadi Society. The Dedan Kimathi University Salsa Group and by the way before I forget Salsa ladies are so beautiful and The Kenya Medical Training College salsa group, awesome people. Well lastly there is me for joy riding to procrastinate studying.
Photos by Moses Wabale. Kenya Medical Training College Nyeri
Brian Gachara Dedan Kimathi University of Technology.