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Highlights from the October Kenya Workshop

A teachers’ and leaders’ workshop took place in Nairobi, Kenya, in October 2015. It was organized by Wanjiku Kironyo1 and her committee and led by Barbara Love,2 assisted by Fela Barclift.3 The forty-seven people who attended were from Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda.

Barbara assured us that we were going to have a wonderful time together, and that turned out to be true.4 

Early on she asked us to recount past events like our first day at school, to relax the atmosphere and help us discharge—and it did just that.

There was interpreting from English to French, and vice versa, for our brothers and sisters from Francophone Africa. Interpreting was also done from and into Kiswahili.

Barbara asked how often we had Co-Counseling sessions. She reminded us that it is important to help ourselves first before seeking to help others by counseling them. She then asked us to choose one thing we were going to work on for six months. Everyone wrote something down, whereupon we had a mini-session on our individual choices. We took the same task to our support groups.

 Then we were asked to pick two topics to discuss as a group. People’s choices included leadership, oppression, African democracy, sexism, bullying in school, aging, youth, and care of the environment. We each chose the topic that interested us the most. Then we broke into groups and discussed it. The following are tidbits of what transpired:

  • Sexism and male domination: Following a discussion on how men have generally treated women badly, Barbara had all the men stand in front of the women and apologize. The women seemed pleased.
  • Colonialism and racism: The following key words were used in the interaction: primogeniture, aristocrats, Negroid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid, slavery, land, resources, Europeans, Afrikaans, Asians, greed, internalized oppression, races, God, Age of Reason, Christianity, ideology of white supremacy.

Culture night was colorful. People from all the countries shared about their food, clothes, dance—anything they wanted the others to know.

Then Barbara passed the baton to Fela to lead family work.5 After a brief introduction, we divided into groups and played our favorite games. We got to play games we had not played in years! At one point we broke into groups based on our countries of origin to brainstorm on how we were going to replicate the family work in our Communities back home.

When all was done, we had a circle of farewell. Barbara led us in paying a glowing tribute to Mama Africa,6 who is now retired. We sang for her and sent her a recording of our singing. We also wrote messages. One could tell7 from the emotions expressed that Mama Africa’s contribution to RC in Africa will be remembered always.

Thumbs up8 to Wanjiku for having all of us in one place and for improving communication by means of a WhatsApp9 Group for Africa. Now we can a ll share with one another what is going on10 in our Communities.

Urbain Bamana

Area Reference Person for Accra, Ghana

Accra, Ghana

(Present Time 182, January 2016)

1 Wanjiku Kironyo is the Regional Reference Person for Northern Africa.
2 Barbara Love is the International Liberation Reference Person for African-Heritage People.
3 Fela Barclift is the Regional Reference Person for Brooklyn and Greater New York City, New York, USA.
4 “Turned out to be true” means is what actually happened.
5 Family work is the application of Re-evaluation Counseling to the particular situations of young people, and families with young children. It entails young people and adults (both parents and allies) interacting in ways that allow the young people to show and be themselves and not be dominated by the adults.
Melphy Sakupwanya, a former Regional Reference Person for Africa
7 “Tell” means perceive.
8 “Thumbs up” means appreciation.
9 WhatsApp is a cell phone application that allows people to send messages for free to many different kinds of cell phones.
10 “Going on” means happening.

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00