IMPRESSED BY THE LEVEL OF REFLECTION AND KNOWLEDGE - AIDUCATOR REBEKKA THOMMEN REPORTS FROM OUR 3RD MENTORSHIP ACADEMY

Nov 01, 2011

students at the Mentorship Academy

From December 13 to 17, the Kenyan Chapter of Aiducation International organised the 3rd Mentorship Academy with over 60 of our highly talented scholars participating. These week-long seminars form the non-monetary support we give our AiduFellows with the goal to aid their personal development towards becoming proactive and empowered citizens who challenge the status quo and take over responsibility to make a better Kenya.

Fortunately I had the opportunity to travel to Kenya this December and get a first hand experience on this Mentorship Academy. The lectures and sessions held were very inspirational, practical and covered many topics. On the first day, Owen Baya, Senior Deputy Registrar of the Pwani University, and Dan Mugera, Director of the School Of Public Speaking Training in Mombasa, taught the AiduFellows about important personal assets to develop like work and personal ethics, purposefulness, integrity, responsibility and motivation. Thereafter, two whole days dealt with entrepreneurship. Mr. Sirillo Muriungi, Director of the Hi-Tech Institute of Professional Studies, and Mr. Charles Muriungi, Director of CM Steel Construction Ltd., shared their experiences on topics like how to successfully manage a business empire, how to become a responsible entrepreneur and how to form a successful team. I also had the chance to hold a speech about how to write a business plan and about communication/ advertising. The fourth day was dedicated to environmental issues where Edward Mwamuye, director of COBEC (Community Based Environmental Conservation) raised awareness on the conservation of the marine environment and the management of natural resources. Through these varied sessions students gained insights on all three relevant dimensions of sustainable development: social, economic and ecological change.

during a lecture

On the last day, AiduFellows got the chance to really show their potential by presenting the output of two group works they had been tasked with during the week. One was about identifying Kenyas main problems and coming up with feasible solutions to them. I was quite impressed by the level of reflection and knowledge the students showed on topics like HIV, corruption, poverty, drug abuse and climate change, but also how critically they challenged each other on their opinions. For the other group work I had given them a structure according to which to write their own business plan. Again, I was very positively surprised by the outcome. Most ideas showed that the students had clearly grasped the notion of responsible entrepreneurship by presenting innovative solutions tackling social or ecological problems, centering around topics like solar energy, plastic and glas recycling, biodegradable plastic, and water reuse.

The last day ended with a beach cleaning activity, where all students and the Aiducation International team collected garbage on the beach. The AiduFellows had learned one day earlier that plastic trash on beaches represents a critical environmental issue because turtles mistake it for jellyfish, eat it and die from it. To put this learning into practice we collected over 50 bags full with plastic and trash within only one hour ! Because, as Aidufellow James Runda summarized his main learning of the week, „Desire to change the world without action is nothing“.

Rebekka is an active member of the Swiss chapter of Aiducation International. She is in involved in various fields like public relations and scholarship-raising activities


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