Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Unrecognized Power within Our Families

Families living in informal settlements are faced with many challenges ranging from earning one’s daily bread within a high level of exposure to drugs, uncertainty and crime. Living in these areas known as ghettos, ‘mtaa’, or slums, exposes a young person to a high level of vulnerability from peer pressure that consumes one to a point of not knowing what one wants to be, let alone stay focused in building on their skills while utilizing their talent for prosperity.

One thing I have personally identified in our communities is that most parents from neighborhoods like Korogocho, Huruma, Kibera, Mathare, are too busy  meeting the daily needs for their humble families to the extent during the dinner time, they only time when they get time to meet, they  do not even talk about the family issues but only to focus attention on television and prepare for the next day; and the cycle continues.
What many families don’t know is that they have great potential that can be used to solve their family issues. Each family has unrecognized and untapped power within it which when tapped into can reach greatness.
We need to interconnect and ask this question; what do our families define as power. When you marry or get married to the ‘right’ family this power might double up, and here it’s not about money and wealth.

Power is defined or understood in many ways, one of them being an ability to do something or availability to access something, and many others.
In the context of the unrecognized and untapped power within our families lies the question, what is our family POWER?

Front row the two kids, on the left is me, My brotherLawrence Jato and my dad holding the ball on the right. This was Red Berets F.C some years back

My brother fifth from left representing Kenya in South Africa during the annual youth tournament.

My sister Kate Syprine playing for Mathare United Women's Team during the Sakata Ball tournament where they were crowned champions.
1998, 1999 I was the team captain in the under 16 team that represented Kenya and MYSA in Norway and Netherlands.

What does your family consider as power?

a) Influence (Political, Business etc), Position
b) Money & Wealth, Prestige
c) Talents and Skills ( Music, football, arts etc)
d) Value system (discipline, hard work, hospitality etc.)
e) High and Mighty (Name).
f) Networks (social Capital).
g) Family lineage (History,  Heritage
h) Religion (Faith, Prayers, conviction, belief etc.)
i) Business Acumen

And many more…
The question is, what is it that matters to your family, and that is at your disposal, that when used effectively will bring everlasting happiness and prosperity. Some families have hope and team work; others have money but lack the coordination.

As testimony, I was brought up in a humble family of great footballers and despite all the challenges that surrounded us, we have been able to shape our family’s economic status while we build our careers through volunteer ship, football scholarship and being actively involved in  community work; and that’s our power.

We are a pro-sport family. My grandfather used to play football, my dad and currently four of my siblings play active football. I used to play active football but currently I’m a part time football coach at Mathare North Rangers F.C. This is a team I founded with my friends under the Wilsen Initiative model (WI) banner.
Access to adequate amounts of money is not possible at the moment, but through using our well defined family powers, we can tackle poverty and other societal issues head-on. There is power in unity and poverty is a state of the mind.

Each family is unique. Our  families are like institutions and we are the team behind the vision and mission and any other operations. There is need to do a family SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Treats) analysis and it doesn’t matter who’s going to be in the driver’s seat of the family.  Let us not only wait for our parents to make change but also help in the process of redefining the great future that we want for our families. That is exactly what I did and I’m still doing.  A great paradigm shift is required in all the young people to secure our Nation's future starting with our families.

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