“We all need and deserve some level of guidance in the pursuit of our goals & aspirations. Question is who offers that guidance and whether they have walked the journey.”
Today marked the launch of our YouTH Voices Network program at Ryculture Health and Social Innovation. This was aimed at giving an overview of our offering, expectations on the participants and how the arrangement is bound to span out. It was an eye-opening moment for me realizing that over the past two (2) years this has been a concept which we have tried over and over to bring to life with drawbacks. We came to the realization that these drawbacks will always be there and as much as we have a conviction on why we need to do the work and put the program in place, we have no reason to hold back. And here we are set to nurture a generation.
Making the presentation I had a lightbulb moment when one of my colleagues mentioned the common narrative around connections playing tricks in the job search ecosystem. I’m not in a position to defend or refute but I believe that more than connections, an individuals skillset and work ethic plays a role as well. Reflecting on my journey I am amazed by the very fact that in 2013 August when I first set foot in Nairobi I had no idea how it would all play out. I was a village boy coming to the university and that was my business. As time went by I got to realize that with nobody in Nairobi to hold my hand (what many other people face) I had to figure my way out, fight my battles step by step and if lucky enough leverage this for the benefit of others. This took me into leadership in the professional associations where I got exposed to the workings in the healthcare space which was my interest. Having benefited from good education coupled with the fact that it was my only way out in life, I valued learning & education. This became the basis upon which I tried over and over again to establish forums and networks for continued learning for my colleagues. During campus days it was easy because other than classes, this was my other full time occupation. Having graduated with life’s responsibilities and commitments on me I don’t have all the time to commit this time. On the same note I realize that I was lucky and privileged in a way to have had access to such forums & platforms that molded me to the person I am. With prevailing challenges most young people are at a fix including some of my friends and the right thing to do is to extend a hand and share in line with what I’ve been able to learn in the process. This is the genesis of YouTH Voices Network.
I recently watched an interview with Charles Koch, CEO Koch Industries (which I highly recommend you watch) where he talked about his new book “Believe in People” with Brian Hooke. In this interview he talks about a belief in the fact that everyone has something to offer and if they are not in a position to do so, rather than tell them what to do it’s of more value to empower them to realize what they can contribute so that they make their contribution. This made sense to me in the fact that if we keep telling people what to do it might never be their inherent purpose which means we might lose on the value they would have made otherwise. Empowering them to realize their potential and achieve their goals is one way to go about it. Having pushed myself so hard and having been lucky to learn from so many other people in the space, I often ask myself what it would be like to have all the young people in my state where we can do our best work. I don’t know if that’s a possibility but having walked the journey in part, I don’t intend to hope and wait on a later time to try create it. I am starting here and now with my supportive team.
As a trainer with the IPSF, I remember training in 2019 in Uganda during the regional conference where I trained on mentorship and coaching with specifics on what mentors & coaches do; guiding the protege’ to realize their goals based on their experiences and insights. That’s what I believe the young people need and it should be done with compassion and care to ensure they make the best of it.