1.0. ACTIVITY SUMMARY
The ACIP 2022 Initiation Workshop is among the activities that the organization takes so much pride in. Since its formulation in 2004, the organization 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 organization also incorporates the aspect of life skills training and mentorship as it realizes that various skills and knowledge are useful in molding 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