How time flies when you’re having fun!
For me, that’s what this half year has been. Much as we have had challenges – here and there – half of 2018 has been fruitful. So much so that the challenges are jewels that crown our achievements so far. I promise to keep you posted with frequent posts going forward.
However, this is a snippet of what has been going since we introduced Standing With Boys.
Half Year 2018 Flashback
It is always gratifying to see boys decide – without being pushed – to take action. Hillary Wandera, a student at Five Star Academy, decided to start farming in order to appreciate what the head teacher had done for him.
Since Hillary wasn’t able to pay school fees, the head teacher allowed him to continue learning. That gesture positively impacted Hillary. One day, he decided at start farming at the school. With time, the other boys at the school wanted to be part of it and now the boys grow vegetables. They have also tried rearing rabbits and chicken.
Late last year, we were able – in partnership with Lifesong Kenya – acquire a business where we sell eggs, chicken and provide mobile banking services. With time, it became a place where children, especially boys, come to hang out.
Though some of the boys still in pre-school, they enjoy looking at pages of books and are able to pick on the values we aim to teach young men who come to the store.
“Stand true to your calling to be a man. Real women will always be relieved and grateful when men are willing to be men”
― Elisabeth Elliot, The Mark of a Man
We believe that this is going to be a platform that will usher young men into a life of excellence. In fact, there are signs showing that this is going to be an every day experience with the boys and young men who are coming to the store.
Training in Kampala, Uganda
Earlier in May, I travelled to Uganda where Joseph Kalyango and I met 20 boys he had introduced Standing With Boys to a year ago. Strangely enough, there were several boys aged 8 years old who stood by and keenly listened to what Joseph and I had to say. I shared my life journey – starting from when I was a little boy to the present – and how I am living with purpose.
The young men got encouraged to embrace courage, conscience and character. I challenged them to leave a mark in the village where mothers, children, other men and especially boys, are looking up to them as sources of inspiration.
They accepted the challenge to find and use available resources such as their ability to work hard, land, farming and rearing of chicken and doing other activities that can be easily supported locally. I urged them to form a group and engage in an income generating activity.
On their part, the boys assured Joseph and I that they will practice what Joseph and I challenged them to do and promised to share a report before the end of May. Joseph has done a lot of good work, laying a firm foundation that will prove pivotal.
The following day, Joseph and I conducted a training session where we shared about boys and family relationships and decided to give the boys what we already have or practice, our main focus being courage, character and love for self and for others.
As we usher in the second half of 2018, we are confident that things are going to get better. What started off as a small spark of fire is catching on. Feel free to check our Facebook page and do not forget to share our story and journey with your family and friends.