Written by Winnie Mandela, a graduate of Jomo Kenyatta University
My Lapid Leaders Experience has been a journey of a lot of learning and growth. For starters, I finally understood that there is success beyond failure. For a long time, I struggled with dealing with failure, which hindered me from achieving different goals and led to missing out on opportunities. However, through the different mentors and teachings that I got in Lapid, I have been able to take the bold step of trying, failing and trying again because success lies beyond failure.
In addition, through Lapid I have learned to live a life of excellence. I have learned to give my best shot at every task I put myself to do.
I have also embraced the value of investing in self. ‘Read, read, and read’ is a Lapid motto that was sang from day one, “Read the manual for your own benefit”. I appreciate how the mentors pushed us to read books. I have never been a fun of reading but this journey has shaped me to develop the reading culture.
I have developed a habit of researching and listening to audios that lead to my growth. I have purposed to read a book every two weeks. Finally, as I hold the Lapid Leader name, I have made it my goal to be a change agent and an influencer for my community. I have decided that I will solve problems in my community, and this has led to the birth of Tuelimike, an education initiative.
The birth of Tuelimike
My family recently moved to a place called Kananie. Kananie is a Kamba word that means to sooth (kubembeleza). The Kananie region stills lags very behind in development. My interactions with the youth of the areas also indicated that while the youth make up a large proportion of the community in the area, these youth are hardly ably to express themselves. On conducting further research, I found out that over 80% of the students could not write nor speak English.
In addition, the students have a very low self-esteem. Many of them believe that it is not possible for them make significant academic progress. They are in school to pass time as they do not believe that they can achieve academic excellence. This state of affairs saddened my heart.
Education in many parts of our country continue to be a right for the privileged few. Many of our youth do not have access to quality education. This perpetrates the existing inequalities in society because as Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the most powerful tool you can use to change the world’.
With this in mind, I decided to develop an implement a literacy program in the region, called Tuelimike. Tuelimieke seeks to provide education opportunities to the students in the region. This involves establishing libraries in the schools in the region, and eventually starting computer literacy programs that will expose the students to different opportunities.
I am currently looking for second-hand text books, storybooks and any literature that we can give to the students. I am excited to have started the journey towards being a change agent. I love the impact that I am having on these students. I ask for your support, please share with me any books you may have, and together lets change the lives of these students.
My name is Winnie Mandela, I Am A Lapid Leader, and an agent of change. You too can become a change-agent, join the next cohort of Lapid Leaders and begin your journey towards changing your world.