I've just returned from the FSD retreat in which I and the other interns had an opportunity to rest and reflect on the first month of our work in Mombasa.
My assessment of the situation is very positive. I'm working in different capacities within the range of experience with youth theatre groups. With the House of Courage Initiative, I have a group of older experienced artists who are sound on their theatre work. They are professionals in the areas of performance and public relations. The challenge remains preparing them for becoming a more well rounded organization and getting them on track for reaching their goal of becoming an NGO. This is the expectation the reality of being a Non Governmental Organization is something that takes a different form of discipline that members of the group have yet to develop. My role with the organization is to create an environment that will not just help them learn this discipline but force them to. With the recent completion of the FSD Competition Grant, it is my hope the group will soon get funds for installation of a new power connection and be able to open the youth centre they own and operate to its fullest capacity. In the long term, we hope to finalize a sustainable business plan for an internet cafe, that can help generate income for the members of HOCI and the organization as a whole as well as give members of the community of Kisauni, who have no immediate public access to the internet for 4 miles, new opportunities for business, education, and communication throught the world wide web.
The other group I work with in my free time is called Dream Achiever which is a relatively new youth group in my village. They started up just over a year ago and are learning the pieces of how to be an effective low range group. This includes dealing with the basics group politics among the executive board, realizing how to do effective outreaches, and understanding the basics of stage performance. In a sense I'm acting as a medium between this group and HOCI, which does more monitoring of younger youth groups to make sure they are doing their work effectively.
This work keeps me busy for almost 8-9hrs a day and is quite a shift going between the two. Still it is what has kept me focussed and not doubtful like some of my other colleagues. I am very fortunate.