Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Visit to Samburu – Cultural Diversity

From the 2nd to the 4th of August 2013 I had the privilege to travel to Samburu and spend some time at the Umoja camp in Archers post. This is the second trip organized by the Amani Institute where I’m taking a course in Social Innovation Management (SIM).

During the trip we learned the cultures of the Samburu people first hand as opposed to reading about it in books. The days were well balanced between our interaction with the community and workshops at the camp whose key highlights were non-violent communication which is an important life-skill for leaders, citizens, entrepreneurs, managers, artist etc.

Even though we didn’t tour the entire  Samburu region, I tend to believe that the good projects that happen in conflict zones like Samburu always get minimal or no attention from the mainstream media. I would urge all media fraternity to always give both side of the story and shun away from the single negative stories which might hinder local tourism or even create wrong assumptions, like I had of the place before visiting.

It is so unfortunate that I have traveled to other countries more than I have traveled around my home country. This is a common experience that you will find shared by many people especially those coming from humble backgrounds like mine. We always dream of visiting USA, UK and the likes seeing them as the only destinations to learn and seek inspiration from. Even though there are great resources overseas, I still believe there are many great experiences at our door step that we need to tap into. Kenya has vast learning and holiday experiences from food, tradition, sports, fashion, music, mountains, rivers etc.

To experience these great flora and fauna of our country, you don’t need a huge sum of money. For example, you can visit a friend who comes from another county in their village, giving you an experience out of your comfort zone, especially the city life.

All Kenyans should be encouraged to visit other communities and learn their daily routines as this will contribute to peace cohesion of all forty two plus tribes in Kenya. At Wilsen Initiative (Wi), which is community based youth-led organization that I founded, we aim to use football as an agent for change  (Peace building, cohesion and appreciation of diversity.

As soon as we receive the adequate funds and support, we will create opportunities for the youth to travel in their country as they learn, connect, share and play with other youths outside of the cities, which in the long term will build understanding for generations to come.

Second from left is Jabari Smith and me on the far right with the Samburu Worriors.

Me and founder of Umoja Womens group at Achers post.

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