21st Century Skills Training Seminar for Youth empowerment in Kisumu

Following the visit to Kenyatta University in Nairobi, WE AfriHug team moved to Kisumu, the third largest Kenyan city.

In partnership with the local NGO Resource Hub for Development – RHD, the team had the chance to interact with the students of Nyamasaria Secondary School, in order to implement the 21st Century Skills Training Seminar to empower local youth.

On the 18th of January 2018, WE AfriHug team together the Ambassador of the project in Kenya, Lina Mkoji took the bus from Nairobi to Kisumu to implement the activities planned. Benjamin Onyango, member of the NGO, warmly welcomed the team and led them to the R.H.D. premises. There, Peter Kosgey Okeyo, Director of R.H.D. and Amos Oketch Odera, member of the NGO, discussed with the team in details about the ongoing projects and their future goals. The meeting was held in a multicultural and friendly environment and they had the chance to know each other better and confront different experiences and opinions about education.

Ruth Kasina Otwaroh, the contact person of the team in Kisumu, is a teacher in Nyamasaria Secondary School and a volunteer of R.H.D. She joined the meeting and offered to host the whole team at her place. A great sense of hospitality and sharing defined the relationship between the partners who are now ready to implement in action the first 3-day training seminar about the 21st Century Skills. Through a non-formal approach to education, our team met High-school students in order to raise the awareness and empower them with soft skills for the 21st century, such as Communication & Collaboration, Creativity, Critical thinking, Problem Solving, Social and Cross-Cultural skills.

On 19th of January the students gathered in the classroom to meet WE AfriHug team and RHD, and to start to explore together what they would experience in those three days. Soon the activities planned started: 50 students were divided in two groups to start working together.

Each of the team tried hard to know “where is their power”: each of us has some abilities but sometimes it is hard to recognize them, even if it is extremely important, in order to develop self-confidence. This was actually the aim of this activity, learn how to appreciate our power and see how this can be useful for the whole group, so as to define an identity in the group itself. Then they experienced how to cross an “Acid River” just with few pieces of wood, the aim of this activity was for the students to learn how to collaborate and increase their team spirit in order to achieve the goal set in the activity.

In the end of the day, not only the students but also the trainers were satisfied with the implemented activities. Students enjoyed their time together because this experience gave them the chance to know better themselves but also their schoolmates, they had the chance to express themselves, think critically, solve problems and collaborate with each other.

Looking forward to meet again the day after, the WE AfriHug team and the students said goodbye, with the certainty that a new great day was about to come. The day after started early in the morning at 8.30am. They welcomed everybody with some energizer games so as to wake everybody up and create a positive mood before to start with the activities planned.  

In less than one hour everybody was already at work. The previous day was just the beginning and new challenges had to be faced. They challenged themselves into unusual activities, such as, passing through a “Spider-Web” without touching the ropes or overcome an “Electric Fence” avoiding to be electrified. The groups had to elaborate strategies in order to achieve the challenging goals, and after multiple trials and failures they did it.

One more day was gone and WE AfriHug mission in Nyamasaria Secondary School had just one day left.

On the 21st of January, students gathered again all together with the trainers in the premises of the school so as to start the activities planned. On the last day they were asked to take part to a role-playing game. They were journalists and, divided in groups of 4 or 5 people, they were asked to create the front page of their newspaper and then present it to the others in order to convince them to buy it, so it had to be attractive and teasing and as much realistic as possible. Fake news were inserted to make things a bit more interesting. This activity aimed once more to develop Communication, Collaboration, Public Speaking skills, since the group itself had to choose the topic and decide how to proceed the elaboration, but also Critical Thinking. It aimed to explain them that not everything should be given for granted and to learn to wonder. “Ask yourself Why and mature your own opinion” was the hidden message and they perfectly caught it.

The morning together passed fast and it was the time for these students to receive their certificates: Interacting in a multicultural environment, they had the chance to acquire new knowledge and skills, and putting themselves in first line they brilliantly achieved it.

WE AfriHug mission was finally over. The team is extremely satisfied and grateful for having the possibility to co-work with the people from R.H.D.