1.0. ACTIVITY SUMMARY
The ACIP 2022 Initiation Workshop is among the activities that the organisation takes so much pride in. Since its formulation in 2004, the organisation has maintained the provision of service like male circumcision to young adolescent boys, and alternative rites of passage to young adolescent girls as they transition into adulthood. Other than that, the organisation also incorporates the aspect of life skills training and mentorship as it realizes that various skills and knowledge are useful in moulding a responsible adult. This activity takes a human-based approach as it is done in two parts and designed to respond to the needs of its participants. The first part, which is mainly in the first nine days, involves a briefing made to the parents and boys that may be getting prepared for the transition process. After that they go through circumcision and receive medical care as they heal in hospital. The second part is now on the training in which both boys and girls are welcome to freely interact and participate in. More details on this will be explained in the activity description.
For this year’s workshop dubbed “Vukisha Kijana” program, the organisation partnered with various organisations and individuals as shown in the list below:
The Utu-GloGoH Hospital, Eldoret
Potter’s House Academy
2.0 ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION
As explained in the section above, this year’s workshop was done in two bits:
• The circumcision, medical care and healing process
• The life skills training and mentorship program
i. Circumcision, medical care and healing process(12/03/2022-20/03/2022)
This was the first part of the entire exercise. Parents, relatives and young adolescent boys who were to go through the circumcision process met at Utu-GloGoH Hospital where the activity was set to be done on the next day. After consulting with each other, the planning committee members decided to have a briefing and assessment before the D-day. On this Saturday, the attendees were introduced to ACIP, were told of the organisation’s history, objectives, vision and other useful information tied to the organisation. Dr. Chirchir of Utu-Glog0H Hospital then gave a brief summary various rites of passage done around the world, and educated members on the importance of circumcision in prevention of diseases like HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer. He then lay down the requirements for the process to be done medically like the need of HIV tests and patient history as those are critical issues in the process. The parents were then taken on a tour of the facility in which the boys would spend time in after the process was done and they were satisfied with the condition. After that, there was a break our session in which men and boys interacted with each other and the boys were able to ask questions in regards to the process. The doctor ten received ascent from the individual parents involved in the exercise and he carried out the required tests. After that the boys returned home with their parents so that they would report on the next day for the process to begin.
iii. Life skills training and mentorship program(20/03/2022-26/03/2022)
a) Parental skills
The life skills training and mentorship program was done for 7 days. On the Sunday, 20th March 2022, young adolescent boys and girls reported with their parents and guardians for the Parenting skills workshop. It began with an introduction of ACIP, its history, objectives, mandate and the reason for this program among others. This was mainly done for the sake of the parents who had brought their children purposely for the mentorship program. The session was done in two parts; a general discussion on the role of parents in the transition period and one on parental skills and other things that may be leading to a shift in the current era. The sessions allowed both parents and children to freely interact and share their experiences and expectations in the transition period so that they can work on harmonizing their efforts for the holistic development of the family. During the last session, parents and girls were separated. This allowed room for both of them to interact and share with their peers on issues that involve them.
In the afternoon, the girls were paired and given exercises to help them know each other better and complement each other. The letters they used in this exercise were placed in the training venue and used during the entire program so that everyone would go home with a letter full of complements at the end of the exercise. They also had a training on the importance of planning for life events and activities by writing of journals and vision boards. A demonstration on each of these techniques was offered too.
b) Day 1-21/03/2022
Confidence, self-esteem, good values and healthy relationships
The training workshop begun with lessons on confidence where the adolescents were taught on how to build confidence by becoming self-aware of themselves, the changes occurring in their bodies and their environment. This is an important aspect as it helps them improve on their self-esteem and relate well with each other. In the long run, this allows them to develop and maintain healthy relationships with their friends, peers, parents and other people they encounter during and after the transition period. They were also taught on the importance of possessing good values like kindness, honesty and integrity. They were reminded to practice this and more in their relationships with themselves and with others. This sessions also contained activities like everyone talking and writing about people they admire and their reasons for admiration. In the evening, a recap of the day was done and the adolescents were able to interact with young adults and ask questions on their life experiences. There was another session to echo what the girls had learnt on the previous day and an assignment on the habits of influential people that they admire.
c) Day Two-22/03/2022: Physical Health, Sexual Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS Prevention and Love
On this day, the adolescents were taken through the topics mentioned above. They were allowed to share about the physical changes that are expected to occur to them in this period. They were informed on how to adapt to these changes and how to maintain good physical health even in this process. Some of the means to maintain this include taking a balanced diet, exercising, being hydrated among others. In maintaining physical health, the participants were also taught on HIV prevention techniques. They were taken through aspects of sexual reproductive health like the use of contraceptives, given information on the various forms of contraceptives, their advantages and disadvantages. At the end of this session, they were encouraged to abstain and for those who would have difficulty in that, they were encouraged to consult with the doctor at a later time in case they need to use contraceptives as had been discussed. On this day the teens were taught about love. They were invited to share with their peers about their loved ones through an exercise that involved them writing about their loved ones and placing it on a wall in the training facility. They were also taught on romantic and platonic relationships and how to go about them.
d) Day Three-23/03/2022: Drug Abuse, Social Media and Excursion to Ndalat Hills
The teenagers together with some of their facilitators made their way into the Ndalat Hills for an excursion. This was designed to help them maintain their physical health by exercising, break the monotony of the classroom environment and to enable them to interact with each other at another level. Some of the lessons they picked in this segment were that of believing in oneself to achieve a goal and the importance of teamwork in helping each other to get to their destinations. They were also taught about social media, how to use it for advantageous reasons like learning skills and getting information. When they came back after the excursion, they learnt on drug and substance abuse. Take away information from this session were that negative peer pressure can lead to drug abuse, various drugs have various impacts and that the best solution to avoid being a victim of drug abuse is to never indulge in their use in the first place. In the evening, there was a brief follow up meeting in which teens shared their experiences and had a bonding session.
e) Day Four-24/03/2022: Peer Pressure, Conflict Resolution, Culture, Leisure and Time Management
On the fourth day of this program, the teenagers learnt about peer pressure. They learnt that positive peer pressure can be used to help them grow as individuals and relate with others, to learn and to get a support system. Negative peer pressure, on the other hand, may lead to drug abuse and poor decision making hence may be harmful to the individuals involved. On this day, they explored different ways to say a big “NO” to vices, poor values and negative peer pressure. They were reminded this only begins when one has self-awareness. They were also taught on the importance of a community, working and relating with other as they all belong to such units. They were taught peaceful conflict resolution techniques in case people disagree on issues. They were also guided through good time management and the good use of their leisure time to relax and grow themselves in other dimensions.
f) Day Five: Mental Health, Career Talk, Evaluation and Graduation Preparations
The last day of training entailed only two educative sessions. The first one was on mental health where the facilitator aided the adolescents in defining mental health, the causes of ill mental health, various types of mental illness, treatment for the same and ways to promote good mental health. In this session, the teens also learnt that drug and substance abuse was classified as a mental illness. On the career’s session, the facilitator engaged the children in activities to joggle up their thoughts and another to determine each individual’s dominant side of the brain. She also reminded them that they should not pressurize themselves to have clear-cut career goals at the moment as they may learn more as they grow. She advised on the importance of using one’s talent and abilities in selection of a career and the need for flexibility in the selection of a career. After these sessions, the initiates were asked to prepare presentations for the graduation to be held the following day.
g) Day Six: Graduation Day
Parents, friends and family all convened at the Potter’s House Academy for the graduation of the ACIP 2022 Jewels. This ceremony began with a short welcoming and introductory session by Prof. Emily Choge. The ACIP Jewels then presented a few items in line with what they had learnt over the week and to showcase their talents. Some of these presentations included a skit on avoiding negative peer pressure, saying a big “NO” and a song that encouraged them to keep trying things even if they fail in them at first. Then there was a short sermonette on transition. The preacher cited examples from the Bible including the story of Moses. He explained how God called and groomed Moses to be his servant. In the same way, the ACIP program has trained the initiates to be responsible leaders in their communities. After the sermonette, the ACIP Jewels were each awarded an ACIP Jewels pocket-sized handbook and a certificate. They then made a commitment to God and to themselves as indicated in their certificate and were blessed before they were released to go back home on the same day.
3.0 LESSONS LEARNT
Based on the nature of this activity, these are some of the lessons that were learnt:
i. The importance of teamwork in achieving set goals. ii. Positive peer pressure can help improve an individual while negative peer pressure can harm them.
iii. Positive parent-adolescent relationship is of great impact in the transition period. iv. How to say a big “NO” to negative peer pressure.
v. The establishment of healthy relationships starts with self-awareness. vi. Application of the three Cs (Challenge, Choices and Consequences) of effective decision making.
It was resolved that the Parent’s workshop be held during the recruitment stage so that parents are informed on what is expected of them and their children during the initiation process Since both parents and adolescents noted a transformation after the program, it was resolved that ACIP continues with the program so that they can positively impact on the lives of others.
3.2. RECOMMENDATIONS AND REQUIRED ACTIONS
Some of the recommendations raised in regards to this activity involved the following:
i. Mobilization and recruitment of interested parents and donors to be done from an early stage of planning
ii. To invite other organizations like the churches and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for partnerships and benchmarking during the next program
iii. To bring a psychiatrist on board at the next workshop to help deal with children and parents who may need more help and create an environment in which they can easily open up
iv. To conduct a parent’s workshop earlier in the recruitment period to talk more to parents about the program
v. To include more diverse groups like children living with disability in the next initiation program to be held in December 2022.
vi. To start early planning for the next ACIP Initiation workshop scheduled to be done in December
i. ACIP March 2022 workshop planning committee minutes
ii. Facilitator and partner appreciation letters
iii. Tentative day to day ACIP timetable
Name and Signature of Person compiling the Report & Date
1.0 Perpetua Oogo- 1st April, 2022
Name and Signature of Person approving the Report & Date
2.0Eunice Kamaara-15th April,2022
The Africa Character Initiation Program (ACIP) 2022 initiation workshop,kicked off on Saturday,12th March 2022 at Utu-GlogoH where the ACIP and Utu-GlogoH team met up with the initiates and their parents.
In this meeting,they received short talks on the importance of character development in the initiation process.Dr Chirchir even gave them a brief history on the initiation process in other areas around the world.He also educated them on the health benefits of circumcision such as it being a HIV prevention mechanism.
Professor,Kamaara, one of the ACIP co-founders,then led the initiates in the importance of setting goals and reflecting on their daily actions.She guided them through journaling and handed out some journals for them to use.
Here is the schedule for the program:
Sat, Mar 12: Arrival and registration of boys’ participants
Sun, Mar. 13 Doctors perform Circumcision
Mon- Frid., Mar 13- 19th: Boys’ healing process accompanied by role modeling and Doctors’ visits. Entereducation and passive indoor games
20th Mar. 2022: Parents Workshop and Alternative rites for girls
Mar 21-26th 2022: Intensive Workshops
Sun. Mar. 27: Graduation, Highlight of the day: Individual
Graduates promise to parents/guardians
& Communal sharing of a meal
Every graduate takes home an ACIP Jewel, a Promise and a Certificate of Commitment
1.0 ACTIVITY SUMMARY
The 16 days of activism campaign aimed at fighting for equality for women and girls in society. It also aims at creating awareness and putting measures to end Gender-based Violence (GBV) and Violence Against Women and girls (VAW).This year marked 30 years of the campaign globally and 17, for the region. On that note, the region came up with a theme; 16 days of rest: our collective resistance. This ensured that regional activists who have been at the frontline of the campaign throughout the years, get some time to rest and recharge. ACIP was not left behind in this as we took part in the 16 days of rest mindfulness journal among others. We also hoped on the global theme; orange the world now. A theme set on reflections of a bright future free of VAW and GBV.In this, ACIP attended webinars and Twitter Spaces hosted by other organisations like the Get Moving Webinar to prevent Sexual Harassment(SH) and, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse(SEA) in the Humanitarian sector, hosted by Raising Voices. This report provides a summary of activities that ACIP engaged in during the campaign.
2.1 16 days of activism launch article
In the quest to create awareness and bring more people into the campaign, ACIP did a launch article for the same and uploaded it on the organisational website. The article provided more insight on the importance of the global and regional campaigns. It emphasized more on rest as a means for individuals to relax and as recharge.
To check out this article, please visit: http://acipkenya.org/
2.2 Twitter Spaces: Comprehensive Sexuality Education(CSE) and GBV
This engagement took place on 26th November 2021,from 8.00-9.00 p.m, East-african time(EAT).It was organised by Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health(TICAH) in partnership with other organisations such as YEM Kenya. The main aim of this discussion was to create awareness on how CSE can be used to end GBV. This is because it provides an equal platform for boys and girls to learn about their sexuality and know how to cope with the changes and responsibilities that come with that. Other than that, CSE enables both genders to gain knowledge on what happens to the other gender during puberty. It enables them to understand each other more and treat each other with dignity. Other than that, CSE helps reduce chances of teenage pregnancy as it emphasizes on responsible sexual engagements through the use of contraceptives. It also helps end period shame and stigma which may rob women and girls of their dignity, or chances to engage in day to day activities. This engagement provided examples of countries that had applied this approach and it was n=recommended that it should be taught to children as early as five years old. This approach was seen to have the ability to bring desired change at the grass root level, hence an important tool for gender equality.
2.3 The Get Moving Webinar
The Get Moving: To prevent Sexual Harassment(SH) and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse(SEA) in the humanitarian sector webinar was held via Zoom on 2/12/2021 from 2.00 pm-3:45 pm EAT. The webinar gave a short situational analysis on topic emphasising on the need to shift from harm reduction to organisational and sector-wise transformation. Participants were taken though the Get Moving Process, and notified that there was an earlier version for Human Rights Organisations (HRO) doing violence response and prevention. That led to self-reflection and awareness of people and organisations. After that, the approach moved to beyond understanding of issues to lead to transformative change through community involvement at the grass root level. The session dug into some of the topics in this approach such as understanding the process, the relationship between SH,SEA and power and the role of respective allies in the movement just to highlight a few. The session facilitators took members through session structures like creation of awareness and unpacking of concepts and timelines for adult learning and partnerships for the project among others. They also highlighted the importance of the use other evidence-based approaches as indicated through respect in the workplace and male ally ship and accountability. The sessions used tools like in person and online guides for lessons. Some of the indicators of this project include a change in individual knowledge and attitudes and change in staff behaviour and organisational culture. The facilitators noted that this process had taught them the importance of commitment for success and to encourage manager involvement and briefings in future. The webinar ended with the team promising to finalise the second step of training and share the final documents through their resources link that would be shared to the members present.
2.4 Social media engagement and World AIDS day Campaign
ACIP took to its various social media platforms such as twitter and Facebook to launch the campaign and invite others to join in the 16 days of rest. We posted curated photos and videos on the same. On 1st December 2021, ACIP created a post on how gender inequality and unequal power relations lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS. The post was also an appeal to the general public and ACIP alumni to join in the campaign to end such issues. Through Perpetua, an ACIP intern, the organisation launched an online campaign to create awareness of HIV/AIDS through individuals filling their HIV Prevention tool kit. This kit contained practices like abstinence, testing, use of protection and use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) or Post exposure prophylaxis (PREP).She went ahead and demonstrated how individuals can take self-testing kits and the importance of support from friends and family during the process.
To view the video on how to do a HIV self-test, click the following link:
2.5 Participation in the 16 Days Activism in the launch of the Science and Religion Club of Kenya
During the launch of the Science and Religion Club of Kenya, Moi University-main campus, Professor Emily Choge began the session by enlightening members on the 16 days of activism campaign. She led the team in understanding various forms of GBV and VAW and the importance of sharing with others in case one needs help. She also reminded the men present to break against the stigma of not reporting incidences of GBV especially if they were victims. Students and other members present gave their experiences on the same. The group then took part in a short breathing exercise, led by Perpetua Oogo, from the African Character Initiation Programme (ACIP) to mark 16 days of rest, in line with the regional theme for 2021. The exercise involves relaxing, closing one’s eyes, breathing in slowly for long for as long as is possible, holding the breath then exhaling slowing. This is repeated 3 or 4 times to make one restful and relaxed. It was agreed that when one is annoyed or anxious, they should take a minute to do the breathing exercise before they talk or act in order to prevent violence and generally improve individual wellbeing.
2. 6 Virtual Rest Retreat
The GBV prevention network ended the 16 days of rest campaign through a virtual day of rest activity done via zoom on 10th December 2021 from 3.00 p.m EAT. Participants shared what rest meant to them as individuals before the facilitators took over and defined rest as a human right, not a reward. They went ahead and spoke go rest in terms of policies for women such as maternity leave and pay during annual leave among others. One of the participants also highlighted on hoe classism, sexism and other isms affected individual and communal perceptions on rest. In this case, women are affected more as they are expected to be in charge of something wherever they go. This may take a toll on them if they fail to get some time for rest. Participants gave their personal experiences with rest. Majority of them admitted that the last time they could hardly recall the last time they had rested properly. Participants were guided through the various types of rest namely; physical, creative, social, emotional and sensory rest. Joyce led the group in exercises for rest such as breathing and relaxation exercises among others. Members like Gloria went ahead and shared their rest practices. Helen shared on her one day social media detox and Gloria agreed with her on the same. The session ended with the host thanking members for their participation in the 16 days and urging them to always make time for rest even in their busy schedules.
3.0 LESSONS LEARNT
Some of the lessons learnt throughout the campaign include:
• CSE can be used an approach to reduce gender inequality by educating both genders on the experiences of their counterparts
• It can also reduce teenage pregnancies that rob girls of a chance at education through the emphasis of responsible sexual encounters and the use of contraceptives
• The Get Moving Process: to prevent SEA and SH in the humanitarian sector uses a multi-sectorial approach to influence individual knowledge and attitude to bring about change in organisational and staff behaviour
• Unequal power relations, poverty and gender equality, lead to high HIV transmission rates
• Rest is a human right, not a reward. This means that everyone deserves to rest from time to time
• Policies such as maternity leave and issuing of paid leave by employers emphasize on the right to rest
It was resolved that participants and the general public continue with the campaign in their daily activities by speaking against GBV and VAW, championing for gender equality, human rights and dignity.
Moreover, they resolved to incorporate rest in their day to day lives.
5.0 RECOMMENDATIONS AND REQUIRED ACTIONS
During the CSE twitter spaces engagement, members were urged to look at the East African Community (EAC) Sexual Reproductive Health (SRHR) bill for more insight.
At the end of the campaign, it was recommended that members incorporate rest in their daily routines. They were also required to compile organisational reports for the campaign and submit them to the GBV prevention network for further publishing.
6.1 The Get Moving activity report
6.2 The Launch of SRCK report
Report compiled by:
Perpetua Oogo. 17/12/2021
Eunice Kamaara. 17/12/201
1.0 ACTIVITY SUMMARY
The Science and Religion Club of Kenya (RSCK) is an initiative of the Christian and Scientific Association (CSAK), a project led by Prof. Francis Muregi of Kenya by the Mount Kenya University funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation Inc. (TWCF). The Club is designed to create spaces for young people to interact and debate on questions about the relationship between religion and science, whether the two intersect and how they do if they intersect among others. It also aims at character moulding of students through giving them a sense of belonging and mentoring them in life. The main objectives of the club include to promote mutual understanding of science and religion and to champion constructive interaction of science and religion. Other objectives are to provide a platform for narrowing the gap in knowledge and attitude between science and religion and to promote synergetic interaction among science, religion and culture. The launch is part of a series of others launches in tertiary and higher education institutions across Kenya.
ACIP actively participated in this launch because it is important to ACIP for two reasons:
i) Some members of ACIP are members of CSAK and Eunice Kamaara is the Chair of
CSAK- Eldoret Chapter and deputy Chair of the Board of Management of CSAK ii) ACIP partners with RSCK because they have a common mission of promoting character values among young people. While ACIP deals with early adolescents in lower levels of education system in Kenya, the RSC of Kenya operates in tertiary and Higher Education levels. ACIP would refer their alumni joining tertiary and HE institutions to join RSCK and would have RSCK members mentor the ACIP Alumni
It is for these reasons that ACIP embraced this as one of its activities.
2.0 ACTIVITY PROCEEDINGS
The session began with tree planting to commemorate the day. After that, attendees convened in the School of Information Sciences for an interactive session marked by presentations from different speakers.
2.1 Participation in the 16 Days Activism
This is a global campaign between the 26th November and 10th December 2021 to prevent Violence Against Women and Gender Based Violence in general. To sensitize young people on current global activities and to motivate them to endeavour to always be part of the global community, Professor Emily Choge began the session by enlightening members on the 16 days of activism, a campaign on prevention of Violence Against Women (VAW) and Gender-based Violence (GBV). She led the team in understanding various forms of GBV and VAW and the importance of sharing with others in case one needs help. She also reminded the men present to break against the stigma of not reporting incidences of GBV especially if they were victims. Students and other members present gave their experiences on the same. The group then took part in a short breathing exercise, led by Perpetua Oogo, from the African Character Initiation
Programme (ACIP) to mark 16 days of rest, in line with the regional theme for 2021. The exercise involves relaxing, closing one’s eyes, breathing in slowly for long for as long as is possible, holding the breath then exhaling slowing. This is repeated 3 or 4 times to make one restful and relaxed. It was agreed that when one is annoyed or anxious, they should take a minute to do the breathing exercise before they talk or act in order to prevent violence and generally improve individual wellbeing.
2.2 Religion and Mental Health
Prof. Eunice Kamaara began by reminding members that the RSCK are part of the activities of the CSAK whose mission is to promote synergetic interaction between Religion and Science. She noted that there was need to guide youngsters in answering questions on science and religion as they grow so that they may know how to balance the two, one of the aims of the RSCK. On this day of the launch of the SRCK at Moi University, focus would be on the theme of mental health. It would therefore be important to understand the relationship between Mental Health and Religion before we hear more on Mental health. Prof. Kamaara made a short presentation on the relationship between religion and mental health terming them as ‘jealous spouses’: they heavily rely and borrow from each other although, both, if their relationship is not effectively managed, they may threaten the other. She noted that modern psychiatrists never want to publicly discuss the subject of religion and religious leaders never want to publicly mention the subject of mental health. Yet, the jealous relationship between the subjects of religion and mental health is very new – dating only the age of Enlightenment in the 1600s and much more in the 1900s. Otherwise in indigenous societies for example in Africa, religious leaders would be mental health experts; the first mental health institutions were monasteries; and religious ideas influenced the development and adoption of the Hippocratic Oath which guides healthcare providers. The real situation is that religion and mental health are closely related and will interact negatively or positively depending on what we promote. We have an obligation to moderate this relationship for synergy and consequently promote human wellbeing.
2.3 Mental Health – Key Note Speech
The highlight of the day was a keynote speech by, Dr. Saina, a consultant psychiatrist at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret. She highlighted various mental health illnesses, their causes and treatment options. She also spoke on how stigma against mental ill health escalates the problem and may lead to suicide. She also recognized that cultures and environment also lead to mental ill health and cause people to fail to address the issues. She gave an example of how men, according to the African culture, are hardened and grow up masking emotions and experiences which is detrimental to their mental health. Dr. Saina also noted that extreme anger is a sign of poor mental health and Gender Based Violence is a manifestation of a person’s inability to control their emotions, first and foremost, for their own wellbeing, and secondly, for the wellbeing of others. She encouraged the young persons present to be self-aware in order to understand when they have negative emotions and control them with simple exercises like the one of breathing given earlier.
Dr. Araka, also a consultant psychiatrist at the MTRH, picked up from where Dr. Saina left and discussed drug and substance abuse as a mental health issue. He explained that since they are chemical substances, drugs interfere with human mood and emotions leading to ill mental health. He dwelt on why young people engage in drug and substance abuse (especially peer pressure); what to do to avoid drug and substance abuse, and encouraged them to seek help to get support to stop drug abuse.
3.0 OFFICIAL LAUNCH
On behalf of the Project Leader of CSAK, Prof. Francis Muregi, the coordinators of CSAK from Mount Kenya University, Dan Gatungu and Joel Malala, made an impressive recap of the presentations and officially launched the Science and Religion Club of Kenya at Moi University (SRCK- Moi). They then closed the session by advising the students on life guarding principles and to request them to take charge of their Club. They ended with three commandments borrowed from the last lessons of the Holocaust:
1. Though shall not be a perpetrator of GBV and of Drug Abuse
2. Though shall not be a victim of GBV and of Drug Abuse
3. Though shall not be a bystander who takes no action against GBV and of Drug Abuse
3.0 LESSONS LEARNT
Key lessons learnt:
1. Religion and Science should work closely to create synergy for good mental health
2. Stigma associated with GBV and mental health causes a reluctance or failure of victims to seek help
3. Mental illness is an illness like any other. While many mental health conditions are chronic and may not be cured, they are effectively managed.
4. A person of good character does not perpetrate ill mental health and/or GBV; does everything possible to avoid being a victim of these; and is not an indifferent observer of these ills.
It was resolved that all participants present would strive not to perpetrate ill mental health and/or GBV; do everything possible to avoid being a victim of any of these; and will not be indifferent to these negative practices.
5.0 RECOMMENDATIONS AND REQUIRED ACTIONS
Rev. Tanui, the University Chaplain who was representing the Dean of Students explained that the Dean very much wanted to be at the meeting but she was held up by other University assignments. Rev. Tanui expressed the support of the office of the Dean of Students for the SRCK indicating that this was one of the most important clubs to be started in the University. He urged the members of the club to take charge of the club, and to be mindful of leadership transition so that the club can keep running smoothly even when other individuals leave. He also promised to work closely with the patron for the smooth running of the club and that the Office of the Dean of Students would support them with every resources within the means of the Office.
6.1 Launch Program
6.2 List of Participants
6.3 Launch Budget
Report written by:
Perpetua Oogo. 14/12/2021
Eunice Kamaara. 14/12/2021
Did you know that September is World Suicide Prevention Month? Well, come nikupeleke na mutara Hi (flow).I bet by now we all know a thing or two about suicide. Whether you have once contemplated it, known someone who has or heard of someone who succeeded in it.
It is easy for society to sit around and judge those who attempt suicide for their actions or lack thereof. Hell, some African communities even cane the mwenda zake (the deceased) for taking their lives. Many a times, those who have had suicide attempts are asked why they want to hurt their families, why they feel like a cloud of sadness is hovering above their heads, what are they going through that has happened to noone else yet? Why can’t they hold on a little longer? Or why can’t they pray or just shun the feelings? This is just a tip of the iceberg.
You may be reading this article thinking I have the answers but I don’t. I am just trying to navigate through life as it comes as we all are. But don’t you worry. Through this article and more in this series, we’ll tackle some of these questions.
In this modern era, people face pressures from all the ends of the earth. COVID pandemic has worsened the situation. People have lost incomes, their families, their loved ones while facing an unknown future. That’s why we keep seeing the, “Be kind, you don’t know what someone is going through” quotes. I agree with them. Totally. In a world where someone is trying to balance work, children, family, economic hurdles and an unknown future, the last thing they need is to be around heartless people. That may just be the last nail on their coffin. Fellow humans, kindness doesn’t cost you a dime. Care for others does not put a literal crown on your head, but it may melt someone’s heart. It may give someone a purpose, a will to carry on. Empathy; is about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes even when they may be suicidal and facing unknown battles. Be the hand that says, “Here brother, here sister, let me lift you up.” Let’s cease pointing fingers and yelling, Let us ask each other: “How do I make it better for you? How do I help?”
I understand that someone may read this and assume I am designating the Messiah role to my readers. I am not. I am just here to remind all of us that suicide prevention goes beyond pushing flowery hashtags on social media. It goes beyond attending vigils for the ones we’ve lost to this monster. Suicide prevention begins with ME and YOU.
In solidarity with this year’s theme: Creating Hope Through Action, the African Character Initiative Program (ACIP), will be doing more articles of this nature. We will also have a program containing daily challenges to help us create hope for our alumni and like-minded individuals. We will also be offering probono counselling services at the comfort of your home, through our able counsellors .I would suggest you hop into our bandwagon and CREATE HOPE THROUGH ACTION.
More details to be communicated soon. For more info email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Invitation to become an ACIP Champion in the land of Champions!
In March 2020, the Kenya Government woke up to the reality of COVID-19 and it was declared a national pandemic. The Government undertook a raft of measures to contain it including, restriction of local and international travel, stay-at-home orders; quarantine; partial lockdowns and cessation of movement into and out of Mombasa and Nairobi; countrywide dusk to dawn curfews; stoppage of public assembly including religious gatherings in churches and mosques; closure of all learning institutions, calls for all to sanitize, wear masks, observe social distancing and wash hands as frequently as possible.
In some places, the securitization of a public health issue meant that these measures were instituted violently, leading to the loss of human life. From towns to rural enclaves, anxiety has grown, and life has changed – dramatically for most – even after the government eased some of the social restrictions in July 2020. While businesses, government offices and service institutions such as courts, hospitals and some schools have adjusted to new ways of working in order to survive, the fact remains that children and adolescents are at home and many of them, especially girls, are not safe in these homes.
Beyond the tally of the sick and dying from COVID, the tally of those whose livelihoods have been severely impacted – and how they have been impacted – has hardly been made. Our concern is not with a tally of those children and adolescents whose lives are being destroyed in their homes by violence of various kinds, our concern is with finding measures to contribute to solutions for even one child or adolescent in danger.
How do we do this? How do we intervene in a space filled with secrecy and deceit?
How do we send a signal, a helping hand to rescue, reassure and/or reinstitute safety?
ACIP has identified Kijiji informal settlement in Hill School area of Eldoret as an area for possible intervention and has come up with a proposal for Participatory Action Research in Kijiji (The PARK project). ACIP is hereby making a call to its alumni to help us think through how we can be useful in Kijiji. What would be an effective, quick, accessible to all, and yet sustainable community action to support children and adolescents through COVID-19 and beyond?
We welcome you, dear ACIP alumnus, to become an ACIP Champion in the land of Champions by:
1. Volunteer your time, expertise and skills in a project that we have identified to facilitate our entry into the Kijiji community. The project involves distribution of reusable sanitary towels to all adolescent girls in Kijiji, and footballs to adolescent boys in Kijiji. We should make these sustainable into the future by recruiting alumni to keep it running and hand it over from one generation to another. Toward community building, we wish that both boys and girls are provided with basic hygiene, as well as confidence and self-esteem training together as one group. Once you volunteer, ACIP shall crown you ACIP Champion in the land of champions and meet (F2F or virtually) with you to agree on how each of you may be involved for those able and willing to work in that space.
2. Share ideas on what other community actions ACIP could engage in within Kijiji. We do not have any idea what kind of project this would be, but we would want it to be geared towards community building and it should be sustainable. If you are interested in this, please submit a two-page document indicating:
<> Target age group:
<> Need(s) to be addressed:
<> Time period:
<> Required human and other resources:
<> How to keep these activities going on for long:
<> Release date of Invitation: 1st October 2020
<> Submission Deadline: 10th October 2020
All submissions to email@example.com
All submissions that ACIP will adopt will be crowned ‘ACIP Champion in the land of champions’ at an event to be announced soon. The top four submissions will be awarded cash prizes of between twenty thousand (20k) and five thousand Kenya Shillings at an event to be announced soon.
Together we can be ACIP Champions in the land of Champions!
Do you want your child to become a responsible and successful adult? The future of your child is in your capable hands NOW “
The African character Initiation Program (ACIP) in Partnership with Global Group of Hospitals (GloGoh) invites you to the 2019 ACIP Initiation Workshop
Who? 11-15 years boys and girls
Where: Kipkeino Primary School. Eldoret.
When: 11-23 November 2019 (Boys) (Reporting by 4pm on 10th Nov for boys who need circumcision)
17th – 23rd November 2019 (Reporting at 2pm on 16th Nov 2019 for girls and boys who don’t need
17th November 2019 at 2-5pm (All Parents workshops (two parents/guardians per child)
What Core values:
- Love – for self, for other human persons and for all creation
- Respect – Respect for creation which translates into care and compassion for self, for
- Honesty – Integrity seeking to think, say and do the right thing at all times
- Hard work –positive attitudes and practices to the human call to co-create
- Self- Discipline – is about creating and sustaining health attitudes and practices that
move individuals to achieve their dreams
- Responsibility– appreciating that for every right there is a corresponding duty and making
all efforts to fulfil one’s duties at all times
- Spirituality – appreciating the interconnectedness of all creation and seeking healthy
relationships with all – with the self, with other humans and with all creation
(regardless of age, colour, tribe, language, sex, religion), and for all environment in spite of differences
The Aim of the Workshop is to facilitate adolescents transition from childhood to adulthood; from boys to men and from girls to women by:
- Offering medical circumcision for boys
- Facilitating learning of attitudes, knowledge and life skills and character values for holistic
- Conducting a parents’ workshop on positive parenting
- Form a strong mentorship network for continued support of alumni
Program of Activities for November 2019
Every year, we bring together boys and girls for an initiation process involving the following activities over a period of 7 days (for girls) and 14 days (for initiate boys).
- Sun, Nov 10: Arrival and registration of boys’ participants by 5.00pm. Evening: Worship, Commitment to
God and pre-circumcision counselling
- Mon, Nov. 11: Morning: Doctors perform operation Afternoon: Monitoring and Assessment
- Mon- Frid., Nov.11- 16th: Boys’ healing process accompanied by role modelling and Doctors’ visits. Enter-
education and passive indoor games go on throughout the period. Other activities include:
- 17th Nov. 2019: Parents Workshop and arrival of other boys and girls
- Nov.18-22nd 2019: Intensive Workshops
- Testimonies from different youths e.g. one recovering from alcohol abuse, one who has gone through ACIP
- Sat. Nov. 23: Graduation,
- 10.00am: All guests and graduands seated
- 10-11pm: Entertainments
- 11-12pm: Interdenominational Service
- 12-1pm: Address by Guest of Honour and other Speakers
- 1-2pm: Commissioning and Blessing of Graduates.
- Highlight of the day: Individual Graduates promise to parents/guardians
- 2pm: Communal sharing of a meal
- 4pm: Honourable Guests, parents, and graduates leave at their own leisure.
Every ACIP Jewel gets an ACIP Jewel, a Promise and a Certificate of Commitment
Cost: Shs.12,000.00 for girls and Shs. 28,000.00 for boys
Parent’s workshop: Shs. 500 per parent for tea & stationery
African Character Initiation Program ELDORET
For faster communication call any of the following:
Emily: 0733-991 621 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pam: 0722-234 064 E-mail: email@example.com
GloGoh contact(s) here
Theme: The Making of a Kenyan: Towards National Identity and Character Values
24 – 25 July 2017
The inaugural National Initiation Rites Workshop, convened by the African Character Initiation Programme (ACIP), was held between 23 and 25 July 2017 at Maanzoni Lodge in Nairobi. The Workshop, whose theme was “The Making of a Kenyan: Towards National Identity and Character Virtues”, was characterized by robust engagements. Adopting the workshop model ensured participation of all in attendance. Indeed, it was a great gathering of people whose experiences are key in setting agenda for the current and next generation. The participants included local and international academics, government officials, members of the clergy from different denominations, youth, parents, teachers, leaders of various initiation rites programmes, donors, ACIP alumni and mentors.
During the three-day conference, participants reflected on how the various rites of passage, currently practiced in Kenya, could help forge a national identify based on character virtues. The conference participants shared best practices from people and organisations mentoring youth with the aim of imparting positive character values. Majority of the groups and individuals were faith-based.
The participants also discussed the impact of harmful cultural practices that are part of initiation rites in different communities, for example, female genital mutilation. Participants also heard from ACIP alumni and parents who reflected on their experiences. They also reflected on emerging gaps in modern rites of passage and the genesis of these practices, particularly in multicultural urban settings. The conference provided a networking opportunity that underlined the importance of merging theory with practice through linkage between the academia and community.
The ACIP founders also shared research findings from a study they conducted to help them look back at the work they have done since inception. The tracer study, which combined quantitative and qualitative components, indicated the need for a longitudinal study. It was noted that the ACIP alumni, who were some of the respondents and research assistants, graduated from the ACIP at different times thus their experiences are somewhat varied. The study provided ACIP with valuable feedback on its impact, highlighting what was working well. It also enabled the founder members identify existing gaps.
Participants worked in groups to identify the character values that are key in forging a Kenyan identity. They identified the following: Integrity, equity, social responsibility, justice, good governance, cohesion, love for one another, patriotism, recognition of cultural diversity and a God-fearing nation. The conversation was hinged on Vision 2030, Kenya’s development blueprint, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Workshop was part of the activities of a research project titled, Assessment of ACIP: A Character Virtues Program, that was generously funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation Inc.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS (CFP)
The African Character Initiation Program (ACIP) of the Eldoret Based Gender and Development Network (ELDOGADNet) announces a call for proposals for 2 Master or 2 Doctoral research projects in areas of interest to ACIP from any of the disciplines in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Moi University. Grants range between US$1,000 and 3.000.
The following topics are suggested for consideration by applicants, but the list is not exhaustive:
Religion and Traditional Initiation Rites in Kenya
Modern Initiation Rites in Kenya
Eradicating Female Mutilation
Adolescence and Values
Development culture and Youth Enterprise Funds
Submit a full proposal not exceeding 20 typed double spaced pages, font 12 Times New Roman, including bibliography and annexure, and an abstract not exceeding 300 words.
Include full contact details: full name, institution, cell phone number, email and one colored passport size photo.
Proposals submitted should have been considered and approved at departmental level and duly endorsed by supervisors or the Head of Department.
Must be submitted to the Coordinator, ACIP by 15th August 2016 via email.
Short listed applicants will be invited to present their proposals in the 2nd week of September 2016.
Awards will be made at the end of September 2016.
This research fund is supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation Inc.
P.O. Box 7766-30100,
How To Apply: Inquiries and application documents should be sent to the Coordinator of ACIP at: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org