Bits and Pieces of Young Person living in the slums
Youth from disadvantaged backgrounds like informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya experience a lot of challenges such as peer pressure, drug abuse, lack of capital, early pregnancy, school dropouts, lack of recreational facilities, idleness, jobless – just to mention a few. There is are lot of youth related organizations in Nairobi, Kenya that are geared towards sports, community services, health, career guidance etc.;
I applaud these organizations for the great programs they have in place that seek to empower the young people in shaping their lives to be either self employed or employed in the different pillars of the society.
I believe there is still much that needs to be done to connect the youth with ‘themselves’, challenging them to be critical thinkers and positive change makers in their communities, despite all the challenges that surround them. Youth need to be challenged more, empowered and urged to be proactive in determining their future and that is one of my dream goals that features in the Wilsen Initiative that I have founded.
The Bits and Pieces story is a journey of a young person living in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. I have lived in the Mathare slums in Kenya for many years and despite the challenges that surrounded me, I have been able to determine my destination (career paths), I am a positive role model to many youth through my work in ICT, family life and sports which is evident through many interventions at the community level and abroad. I have achieved a lot of awards through sports and co-founded two community football clubs i.e. Mathare North Rangers Football Club of which I’m the current coach and Metro Sports Football Club.
I have had many opportunities to tour some countries in Africa, Europe and Asia which has equipped me with me diverse thinking (Think Global and Act Local).
I hold no university degree which would have been great to have, but this has not hindered me to be what I want to be in future. My degree has been acquired through tough thick and thin life experiences and other forms of learning and that is why I created the slogan “the champion in you…” under the Wilsen Initiative banner. Currently I am a fellow of the D&F Academy in Germany receiving training that will add to my life experiences by empowering me with skills to realize my dream project Wilsen Initiative (www.wilsenx.com).
Were it not for the well wishers and organizations like the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA), D&F Academy and Nairobits Trust for developing youthful empowerment programs for underprivileged youth from the slum like me, I wouldn’t be where I am; working and supporting my family and initiating programs that would empower others in return.
I thank Nairobits Trust for empowering me with ICT skills, MYSA with leadership skills and Dekeyser Foundation in Germany for believing in me and empowering me with the vital skills to unlock my potential.
I believe in a society where people share skills, resources and co-create programs to address the needs in our society.
My story is unique and my passion for empowering the young people through helping others succeed by empowering them with skills or knowledge in my field of practice which are community development, leadership, sports for development and ICT is immeasurable.
In 2001 I was featured in the BBC documentary, ‘Well Connected’, about the work of Nairobits and the global impact of the internet. I was interviewed for the program by the presenter, Mariella Frostrup, and assisted the production crew with their filming objectives during their stay in Nairobi. Something special about me is the support and encouragement I receive from my family which has a set up of very humble and determined family unit with a sole bread winner (my father) for many years before I got empowered to the extent I could help the family meeting its financial needs. Using my example I have been able to pay my school fees through either playing for a community club and volunteering at www.mysakenya.org and of late I’m supporting my siblings education. I’m a strong campaigner for youth for positive change by advocating for the youth to use their talents and skills to acquire opportunities around and beyond.
Currently I’m working on a concept that shall give the youth an opportunity to connect with other youth through sports and education among other youth related areas. The concept is in the pilot stage but with lots of activities in sports (Mathare North Rangers F.c) especially football, and motivational sessions at different forums where I share my success stories, and my journey towards inspiring others never to give up because there is a place for everyone to succeed in life. I usually refer to my quote; “The bus to success land is never full! Book your ticket now while you are still young” Wilsen Initiative Founder ~ Youth potential. Citing one example, I’m very pleased to have been invited to the first youth camp organized by Chrisc Kenya (www.chrisckenya.org). I was privileged to share my journey towards success as a young person with the main objective of encouraging others not to despair. I would love to refer you to a link that I posted after the event http://wilsenx.blogspot.com/2011/09/chrisc-kenya-leaders-camp.html
The idea of Wilsen Initiative is to spot talent and nurture it to the right direction by providing the much needed platforms for a young person to grow and express themselves. My starting point is Mathare slums in Nairobi and then reaching all over Kenya by connecting with the realities and possibilities in life. Some of the important life-skills worth learning for a young person to take the lead in their life and become a responsible citizen are for example; developing a positive attitude, self discipline, patience, hard-work, tolerance, goal setting abilities, personal branding and being a positive change maker (positive role model). All this is what is under my personal brand and I am encouraged to empower others work on the same, this is my story and for further reference kindly visit www.wilsenx.com and www.wilsenx.blogspot.com