Turning the Tide, Kenya… “the Plan is to Change the Plan”

Lance Muteyo lives in Harare with his family. He is an experiential education trainer who has facilitated trainings in the US, Europe and Africa. He has hundreds of hours in training diverse groups in different hard topics. He was trained by Training for Change Philadelphia USA and works for Pan African Peace Network and Trees of Peace Africa as Coordinator. He is a frequent contributor to my blog and I am pleased to share his words and photographs from Kenya.

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I and my Canadian good friend LeeAnn Mckeena were trained in experiential education for teaching hard topics by the same organisation in the US; trainingforchange.org at different times. I am in my 30s and she is a granny. She is more experienced than I . We both have hundreds of training hours in different parts of the world in different topics and experiences. We had not facilitated together before but we were both enthusiastic about facilitation a training together, learning from each other and more outstandingly learning from a successful Turning the Tide (TTT) project in Kenya.

LeeAnn is the Director of Partera Canada and she invited me to learn from the TTT Kenya. I was so thrilled because my country Zimbabwe had recently attained a new political dispensation. This was November 2017. We had survived under a Government that did not allow fundamental freedoms. I had trained many trainers around the world but I had not really seen trained grassroots groups empowered to demand for services as well as rights they had been denied by the Government and/ or Government agencies. We visited groups in Western, North Rift and Nyanza regions.

My very first motivation came from Bernard Agona TTT Field Coordinator when he said;

“The plan is to change the plan”

This is what I witnessed in all our visits. I observed the beauty of how the citizens have become so vigilant and how they are commendably participating in governance. This has been deficient in my country for many years. I learnt a lot. I really admired how the TTT program is structured and how good, progressive work is rewarded to the best Community Resource People (CRP) annually. It was such an honour to be given the opportunity to present the award to the Prophet Boaz in Chewele and Mr. Wilson Ngaira in North Rift Province. It was so significant for me to receive the Maasai cloth as a gift and a bracelet with the Kenyan flag.

It was an nobility again to be in the TTT meetings where I observed how the reports were conducted. I learnt about the 4Rs; Reconnecting, Rebonding, Reflecting and Refocusing . I saw the love and desire to transform the community. My greatest inspiration came when I learnt about the Tuinuane Kenya Community based organisation in Kakamega county where they mobilised close to 700 000 people to take responsibility for their own community. This was a touching experience of ordinary villagers transforming their vulnerability into community solidity and sustainable development. They developed round table banking, civic education, help for orphans and widows, and they were involved in building houses, helping the sick, burying the deceased. I had never seen such community unity and it was so breath-taking to me.

We took an opportunity to share our skills. We shared two tools in different places. We shared the human knot and the forehead stickers. Our debriefs showed us how dedicated the TTT trained volunteers are. We saw a vow to work, a desire to think outside the box, a hunger and thirst for perfection and brilliance in the community. Our dream is of coming one day and share the similarities between our training methods.
I dream that one day the TTT program will come to Zimbabwe. As I am sitting in my humble home in Harare I can’t forget how some people inspired me. Walter took me from the Kisumu airport and I could not believe that he was going to be our careful, patient and smart driver for hundreds of kilometres. Disability is not inability, the Lord is able to do exceedingly and abundantly what we can ask for or think of. I will not forget all the humour and support from LeeAnn, Bernard, Betty, Mark, Margret, Benson, Boaz, Wycliffe, Monicah, Mukienei, Mary, Pamela, Martha, Jack and Carolyne.

Our former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe read a speech that people thought was his retirement speech, everyone was glued on the television sets waiting but he did not retire to people’s frustration and in conclusion he just said ; “Asante Sana- Good Evening”
Asante Sana TTT Kenya!

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