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Sunday, December 23, 2012

YWLI chosen 13!


The bi-annual feminist leadership institute conducted by the Young Women’s Leadership Institute-Kenya  is intended to run from November 2012 to April 2013.The theme of the three phase training is ‘My personal is Political; My power to influence change.’

The first session took place at the Lake Naivasha Country Club from the 28th of November to the 30th of November 2012. The participants are  young women leaders aged between 20-27 years who are already exercising leadership in their own way in their communities, institutions of learning or work place.(find their profiles here shortly)

As one of the lucky participants, I had the unique pleasure of interacting with these remarkable young women and our facilitators during the relatively short stay in Naivasha. The first session covered issues pertaining to Personal Empowerment & Gender and Feminism. I must say those are never the easiest topics to begin such an intense program but we made do and had lots of laughs and tears too while at it!

Every morning at around 6.30; we would ‘all’ meet for morning stretches. I am not really a sporty person especially in the morning and few of us rarely showed up for this activity. Our gym instructor-Jane, who also happened to be one of the 13 participants made me and a few others do our share of morning exercise when she did see us ;alone in the gym for 30 or so minutes!!!Am working on actually making it for the groups stretches next time…definitely beats working out alone!!!

Each day had a different facilitator covering a different topic though centered on the overall topic of discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed group work and group/individual presentations. I am always amazed at how differently individuals view the world, or more so how the same painting may mean very different things to people in the same room! In the evenings we enjoyed the warmth of a borne-fire together while we watched ‘For Coloured Girls’ or ready poems from a collection of poets mostly women who share their daily life experience or just chilled sipping some exotic drinks that the lovely club had to offer us while soaking the beautiful serene environs.

Of all the remarkable things that I learnt, shared or were reaffirmed to me, the most extraordinary thing that I took home with me other than adding a discipleship of new found friends was learning how to eat my frogs! Granted, we all have those things, people, experiences that hinder us from moving forward. We often know them but we are not always honest with ourselves to acknowledge them and deal with them accordingly and effectively. Seating quietly under a tree and accepting to be totally honest with myself I discovered stuff that I may not have taken as seriously as I needed to have, but those things have a way of limiting my potential and I decided there and then that they hurt…and they hurt like hell…but I have the power to accept them and the courage to deal with them effectively to avoid the paralysis they sometime cause me! I hate frogs, I fear frogs, I would scream if I saw one dead or alive but I am learning constantly how to eat  my frogs and refuse to be scared, paralyzed or limited by my life’s frogs!!!

Looking forward to the next session scheduled for the 26th to the 28th of February 2013!!!Till then let’s keep eating those frogs’ ladies!!!


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