it’s a quiet evening here in the rift valley with the exception of a few playing children down the dirt path, the occasional buzzing of a passing motorbike and the fading prophetic screams of a nearby evangelist proclaiming what i do not know as it is in swahili.
this weekend has been a busy one in kenya as we mobilized the community for our ubuntu day which takes place every third saturday of the month. ubuntu is a term originating from the bantu tribe and it essentially means, “i am because we are,” how we are all connected…what one person does affects the whole. ctc started ubuntu days about a year ago in hopes that we could use this term from african philosophy to mobilize the community in action to clean up their town and to take ownership for issues ranging from sanitation to environmental issues such as tree planting to overall healthcare issues affecting the community.
this saturday we had an amazing turn out with approximately 250 locals in attendance as well as our storytellers team from kansas (our storytellers team is a group of young female high school students working alongside young kenyan female high school students to share the power of story and work alongside one another in various ctc projects). the make up of our ubuntu day were students from several local area schools to ctc’s hiv/aids women support group to the disabled support group to the local county council members to….to say the least it was a diverse group which is exactly what ctc is trying to accomplish. to show that no matter our differences or the uniqueness of the burden we carry whether we were born with a disability or have contracted hiv or we just don’t want to do our homework we are all connected, members of the same community and bound together by our shared humanity.
our objective now is that we have located a section of the town just down the road from the ctc office that we will target over the next 6 months cleaning up trash, working with the county council to start a trash clean up system, planting trees and educating one another about the environmental and healthcare issues in our town. what we hope to prove is that if we work together and instill some measure of accountability with the local shop owners sharing the neighborhood we can slowly transform this town one plastic bag and one tree at a time.
here’s to being the change we desire to see in our world!