Tuesday, June 7, 2011

CKC Training

In May, I transfered to Kisumu and was attached to One Global Economy, a non-governmental based in Washington, D.C. The project is a partnership with Cisco Systems and Appleseeds Academies to set up Community Knowledge Centers to deliver community skills, technology skills, leadership skills, management skills, and critical thinking skills and to ensure the sustenance of the Beehive (http://thebeehive.org), a locally produced website with resources related to the opportunities and needs of the community.

The following is a series of blog postst that I wrote during a training I attended last week.

Day 1 of CKC Manager's Training

As Day 1 of the Community Knowledge Center Manager's Training comes to an end I can't help but reflect on how productive the day was.

The day began with several groups of strangers coming into the training room. Groups of strangers from different CKCs throughout Kenya - ranging from Western/Nyanza Provinces to North Eastern Province.

We began the day with introductions - getting to know one another's names and where we all come from.

As the day progressed, we had group activities whereby we got to know each other quite well.

We had a session talking about the importance of a joint vision, and had group discussions were we worked with CKC owners to see how the operations of CKCs are affected by the mission and objectives of an organization.

As the day progressed, by lunch time we were no longer shy with one another and quickly we all were mingling with other CKC managers, owners.

Lastly, we finished out the day by setting up our own accounts on the RunCKC website.

What a great day we all had!

    Day 2 CKC Manger's Training

    Day 2 started with a song sang by our very own participants.

    Following the opening with the song, another one of our participants led us in a review activity of the previous day's events.

    One of the participants wrote the following regarding the previous day's events:

    " Yesterday was a great day for me. It was a start. The beginnign of a journey of learning. We met each other, we mapped the goals, we hope to achieve in the end, we learned what tools we had at our disposal and which ones we needed to acquire.

    Yesterday was the first step and I'm excited to be part of the grand commencement"

    It was a great activity that helped us see where we were from the day before and getting us on track for today's activities.

    Next we had a session on sustainability and we discussed different income generating activities.

    Following the sustainability session, we had a session in which learned about the different equipments each CKC will have. We had a group activity to try and indentify the different equipments and then we had some live demonstrations of setting up the equipment.

    Later we talked about community asset mapping - and we had some live demonstrations of how to approach members of the community and also a demonstration on how to approach potential donors.

    After lunch, we had a field trip in which we went out into the community where the Soweto CKC is located and practiced community asset mapping by asking members of the community the questions we created during the sessions before lunch.

    And stay tuned for further updates from the CKC Manager's Training in Nairobi.

    Day 4 of CKC Manager's Training

    For those who may be wondering what happened to day 3, well June 1st happens to be Madaraka Day in Kenya. It's a national holiday commemorating the day that Kenya attained internal self- rule in 1963, preceding full independence from the United Kingdom on 12 December 1963 (according to Wikipedia).
    So after a day of celebrating Kenya's self-rule, we're back to work!
    The day started off with some group activities: I sang for the group in Spanish - the song I *tried* to sing is called Quizas by Enrique Iglesias. Following my performance, Ayan Farah led the group in sining the Kenyan National Anthem. After the Kenyan National Anthem was sung, Keren and Roni taught us a Yemeni dance!
    We had a great start to the day.
    Next we had a recap of Tuesday's activities since we had been off on Wednesday (June 1st). We talked about the survey responses we had from our trip to Soweto and put it all together.
    Later on we had a session on marketing - we got into groups from each CKC and came up with marketing plans and strategies for each of our individual CKCs.
    Next we had 'a day in the life' of a CKC manager. We had a tremendously enjoyable group activity in which we had a mock up of a manager - in the form of Homer Simpson - and we had group discussions about different organs and how they are used by a CKC manager - the brain, the eyes, the mouth, the right arm, the left arm, and the feet. We went back into plenary and discussed as a group the similarities and some differences each CKC may have based on the different management styles of the owners of different CKCs.
    Now this was my favorite session of the day! Why? Well several CKC managers said what drives them - why they do what they do. Here are a few quotes from some of the CKC managers:
    "I'd like to have a CKC which not only draws people because of what it offers...but where they will offer themselves to the CKC. I want people to come and say "I have a lot to offer" not just going to get something but to give as well"
    "what drives me is my desire to empower my community to have knowledge in technology, to be sustainable economically"
    "My driving force is, one, Love. I love doing what I'm doing right now. It is important to remember that first you must have a heart for it...with your heart in it you give more commitment. Love takes it all..."
    It was truly touching how several of my fellow trainees opened up to the group and expressed why they do what they do. It was truly an inspiring time, listening to them.
    We had a budgeting session in which we worked in groups to create sample budgets. It was a great activity that allowed us to see how it takes many pieces of the puzzle to achieve financial sustainability for each CKC.
    In the evening, we had a session regarding ICT 4 development (ICT4D) in which we had a guest from www.askadoc.co.ke talk to us about a social enterprise which he started 6 years ago with 3 other physicians. It was really neat to hear about how something can start off as a simply idea and expand, with love and passion, to what it is and how it keeps growing.. It is truly inspiring.
    We finished out the day with Joyce leading a session telling us about MyCKC websites and how versatile they are. Tomorrow morning, we'll be having a practical MyCKC session, I can't wait to see what the different CKCs come up with!

    Day 5 of CKC Manager's Training

    We started off today working in groups by CKC coming up with subject areas and topics for the websites each CKC created on MyCKC.
    We worked in groups coming up with ideas based on what is important in each community.
    Later on, each of the CKCs further worked in groups to create SMART work plans.
    After we created SMART work plans for each CKC, each CKC was assigned their *drum roll please* Final Project. In the Final Project, each CKC is required to put all the information together that we have learned about throughout the week.
    The Final Projects include: The group members names, demographics of the communities, a CKC profile, the work plans created earlier today, information for marketing their packages and which tools will be used to market, the budget, and ideas on how to use ICT for development of each of their communities.
    Following the updating of the newly formed websites, we finished the day by making sure the Final Projects were ready for tomorrow mornings' presentations.
    On paper, it seems like we did not do as much as we have in previous days, but in practice I think today has been the most intensive day in terms of activity.

    Day 6 of CKC Manager's Training

    Today was the last day of the training. It was a sad day and at the same time an exciting day.
    Sad in the sense that all of us new friends are going our own ways after sharing a wonderful week of learning. And yet it was also very exciting in seeing how far we've all come this week.
    The day began with Group Therapy led by Teddy with Peter assisting. Following our group therapy session, which was rather fun and interactive with Peter tossing marker pens into the group whereby the person who caught the marker pen was to provide input.
    Later on, Roni led a leadership session in which all of us voted on what we felt was the most important qualities of a leader using candies.
    Then a bit later on, after our leadership discussion, each CKC had a chance to present their Final Projects to the group and receive feedback from other participants and the trainers.
    After a short break, we got into a circle and shared how we felt about the training. Many different people shared their stories that I would like to share.
    At the beginning of the training, Omondi said he had come with his pockets empty - and literally showed us an empty trouser pocket turned inside-out. He said he expected to leave this training with his pockets full, full of knowledge. I think Omondi and others will agree that all our of pockets have been stuffed with knowledge this week. In fact, another participant said "All in all I'm grateful for this opportunity to come and learn and make new friends. I think I'm pregnant with information, though our 'due dates' may be different.. the ball is in our court to perform the big task. Let's take it positively!"
    I think the above quote really states how everyone was feeling at the end of training today.
    Let's finish today as we did (just before the presentation of the certificates) with a story:

    The story of the businessman and the carpenter, which goes something like this:
    There was a businessman who built communities. This businessman hired a carpenter to do work for him in the construction work. The businessman would continually pay the carpenter just enough even though the carpenter was continually doing his best work. Eventually the carpenter grew tired of doing his best work and being paid little for it, coincidentally this occurred near the time of his retirement. So the businessman asked the carpenter to create a great big house. The carpenter resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. When the carpenter had finished the house, the businessman told him "This is your house, my gift to you."

    Think of yourself as the carpenter.

    Think about your CKC as your house.