Kenya’s Kericho Cluster held a small gathering for network members from Zambia and the UK last month. Stories and updates were shared, training and tools were delivered, and activities and partnerships were planned. In attendance were CHRISTINE LEMISO and HORMISDAS NDAGIJIMANA. They had heard about our network, and travelled to Kericho to learn more. Here’s why. Jake: Tell us where you’ve come from? Hormisdas: I’ve travelled from Rwanda, where I help run an organisation called One Light Rwanda. We work with communities around the country: training health workers, providing vocational training, funding school fees and building homes. Christine: I’ve come from Kilgoris – a town about 100km from Kericho. I got up at 4am to be here! I work with a small organisation called Flourish Kenya. We work to prevent and support unplanned adolescent pregnancy in rural Kenya. J: Why did you choose to be here with us? C: I was curious when I saw an advert about this gathering on Whatsapp. I checked out your site, and that was enough to convince me I wanted to be a part of this gathering. I like to learn, and I wanted to know more in order to be able to share useful learning and ideas with others. H: We used to have a partnership with a UK organisation called Thare Machi Education. They were the first to tell me about Arukah Network. I read through your website and followed you on Facebook and Twitter, and learned the way in which you work with communities in Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and elsewhere. My team and I wanted to know more, so I’ve flown over from Rwanda to spend a few days with Kericho Cluster and others. J: What have you learned from your few days in Kericho? C: I learned about SALT. This has been totally new to me: it’s helped me see why it’s important not to point out problems in a community, but rather to see their strengths. H: I’ve been impressed by what other Clusters are doing in Kenya and Zambia – it’s made me a bit envious! I’ve also learned about the SALT approach, and the importance of the way we speak with those we work with. J: What plans do you have since the meeting? C: In my daily work I meet with both teens and parents, and spend time talking with them. I think SALT will give me patience, and a willingness to build a relationship and rapport with people over time. It will make communication smoother, and help build trust. H: We will start a Cluster in Rwanda. We’re a small but beautiful country. We’ve faced challenges in the past, but with the connections and networking I’m gaining through Arukah Network I am sure Rwanda will benefit. I’m going to go home and share the Cluster process with people there.
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