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RC in Kenya

The following is a report by Janet Wambui Kabue, the Area Reference Person for Nairobi, Kenya:

A ONE DAY WOMEN'S WORKSHOP

In November 2014, thirteen women gathered in Cura, in the outskirts of Nairobi, for a one-day women’s workshop. Wanjiku Kironyo (the Regional Reference Person for Northern Africa) and I led it. The women were from different parts of Nairobi. They got to share what they love about being women and discharge on what is difficult. The workshop also focused on language liberation and the commercialization of women’s bodies for the beautification industry.

From participant Rosenell Nyakinyua: The women were able to appreciate themselves and the culture surrounding them. Language liberation was used broadly—to pass on the message of love, loving andd appreciating our culture, and appreciating the environment. Re-evaluation Counseling now means the world to me.1 I want to pass the message of love, and caring for the environment, to everyone to ensure a safer future for the future generations.

ONE-WAY TIME FOR PUPILS IN SCHOOL

On several Friday afternoons I visited a school to give one-way time2 to pupils ages nine to fourteen. A lot goes on in the lives of young people in school that they do not get a chance to talk about. I offered the school management one and a half hours of listening to the lovely group on Friday afternoons, twice a month.

A ONE-DAY WORKSHOP IN KHWISERO

A one-day workshop took place in October 2014 at Shiongo Secondary School in Khwisero, Mumias, a village in Western Kenya. I led it with a team of RC leaders, including Nicholas Oiko,3 who had introduced RC to the students. We used the chalkboard as a tool for discharge. In our culture the chalkboard is reserved for teachers. This was a great opportunity for the young people to “own” it and express their views.

We started the workshop by reminding the young people that they were good. We celebrated something that each of them was good at and wrote that on the board. Next we shared the things that were good and true about them. We also focused on the RC goal on care of the environment and wrote our commitments for that.

From Rosenell Nyakinyua: Re-evaluation Counseling has been a great journey for me. I have used it for only half a year and I already love the progress. The team did a marvelous job. It was great to learn new ideas. What struck me most was the rule that one is not supposed to socialize.5 I had not fully realized why the rule was put in place. A highlight was the enthusiastic young boys and girls in the high school. They were full of life, ready to learn more about this new tool that was introduced to them not so long ago. They picked a cause I am fond of—the environment. They promised to take care of it. They made it clear to us that they would be the change makers we sought in maintaining a great environment. They believed that it had to start from them.

A YOUNG ADULTS WORKSHOP IN KISERIAN

In 2014 I led a two-day workshop for twenty-nine young adults from various parts of Nairobi. Noah T. Winer, an RCer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, was in the country and supported the workshop. Before and during it I continually discharged on the feelings that come up for me when leading. I grew up in a culture in which young people were not encouraged to stand in front of people and speak. Doing that was one huge contradiction6 and a good opportunity to reclaim my power. I also looked around the room and saw a group of powerful people who had committed themselves to re-emergence and to living full lives.

The workshop was held outside of Nairobi, in an area known as Kiserian, on a farm overlooking the Ngong Hills. The area is serene, and it was lovely being out there. During one of the breaks, some cows came to graze near where we were sitting. For me it was a powerful connection with nature, as I grew up in a rural village surrounded by farm animals and activities. I thought about coexistence and not taking up each other’s space or feeling the need to kill in order to survive.

The class that stood out for me was the class on sexism. We went back to childhood and talked about how we had been trained in our roles as men and women. We remembered some childhood games and how some were oppressive. We did more work on this during the men’s and women’s support groups.

Our area has experienced several forms of violence and terrorism-related deaths. We discharged on the death of a community member and the involvement of young adults in violence.

My highlights were leading the workshop, being with the young adult community, and seeing and being part of the energy as we fight for liberation.

From Anne Wanjiku Kamau: Our activities included games and sports, open discussions, discharging, and “opening up.” My highlight is always any discharging session; I enjoy this the most since it is what RC is mostly about. I’m not forgetting the good meals and cool7 environment! I wouldn’t mind having RC workshops often.

From James Mwangi: The youths were able to fathom the meaning of RC, its importance, its origin, and its impact. Our facilitators taught from their own life experience. In RC you always have a partner who listens to you as you share. I’m looking forward to another RC camp session.

From Isaiah Ochieng Mboke: Re-evaluation Counseling involves reviewing hurtful past experiences and finding a way to let go—a process called “discharging.” It’s a way of breaking out of the cocoon and sharing your issues with a trusted person. Every story is confidential to the parties involved. Youths learned how to approach life and challenges with a different and more optimal perspective. Re-evaluation Counseling is life changing and reliable.


1 "Means the world to me" means is extremely important to me.
2 "One-way time" means one-way attention.
3 Nicholas Oiko is an RC leader in Khwisero, Kenya.
4 A goal adopted by the 2013 World Conference of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities:
That members of the RC Community work to become fully aware of the rapid and unceasing destruction of the living environment of the Earth. That we discharge on any distress that inhibits our becoming fully aware of this situation and taking all necessary actions to restore and preserve our environment.
Distresses have driven people to use oppression against each other and carry out destructive policies against all of the world. A full solution will require the ending of divisions between people and therefore the ending of all oppressions.
The restoration and preservation of the environment must take precedence over any group of humans having material advantage over others. We can and must recover from any distress that drives us to destroy the environment in our attempts to escape from never-ending feelings of needing more resource.
5 The no-socializing policy of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities: that Co-Counselors not set up any relationship, other than Co-Counseling, with other Co-Counselors or with people whom they first meet in a Co-Counseling context.
6 Contradiction to distress
7 "Cool" means great. 


Last modified: 2020-07-02 14:27:35+00