Ruiru meeting at focus youth initiative centre and project lucas orphanage.

After a lazy morning we left for Ruiru around 10. When we got to the centre we met Kris, Roman, Mike and Vincent and sat down for a meeting about the way forward with their combined work towards the ICT skills development project. Me and Rosie mainly audited and took notes throughout the meeting be were asked our final thoughts towards the end. There was alot to talk about and follow, after a brief introduction from everyone Mike outlined the itinerary and what he believed to be the three main areas of discussion for the meeting.

The three main topics up for discussion were the remodelling of an annual conference bringing key figures in to share ideas and meet each other. How to organise the training workshops such as the ones we had par taken in from here on out and how to properly support the community media centres in a sustainable and manageable way.

Initially Peter opened up the meeting by discussing his idea’s for setting up a community media interest group back in the U.K that could channel investors and supporters through one organisation to make funding and contributions more manageable and accessable to potential investors. After suggesting how support for the CMC’s could be managed from the U.K Mike opened up the same questions for how support can be sustained in Kenya. It was agreed between Mike, Kris and Roman that long term sustainability would have to come from the ground up, people in the communities would need to see and understand the potential for CMC’s first to then be more willing to contribute, Peter emphasised the idea that it should be approached in a reciprocal manor, and discussed with Kris the potential with new partnerships established at the Hill Park workshops between the rongo university, the potential for Kenyan students to come to the U.K and teach workshops much in the same way.

Mike then emphasised the importance of proper co-ordination moving ahead with these ideas, bringing it back to the three topics Mike expressed that it was now the how? that should be asked. The resounding understanding then among the group was that they should set up one single organisation to co-ordinate all the activities under one roof, making communication easier to manage.

Other items for discussion included a discussion about partnerships, everyone came forward with the partnerships they had been overseeing and agreed to an open policy with sharing contact details and developments in these relationships.

After these Mike brought everyone back to discuss the way forward and conclude on proceeding’s. The four main things to move forward with that I identified from the meeting were, forming a community interest company, developing and writing a memorandum of understanding between all partners, Developing a network between the CMC’s and creating a model/strategic plan as a basis that all CMC contributors and developers can work from.

After the concluding thoughts from Mike he opened the forum for everyone to contribute their own concluding thoughts. For myself, feeling that the discussion had stretched far into the future for plans that would take some time to develop I thought I would bring it back to the basics and reitterate that it would be important as a basis to go forward with all these plans to have a well defined and coherent philosophical framework that was written and understood throughout the organization, this way new partners would have a full understanding of what to expect and how to interact with the organization especially as a community run organization in which every individual has a say, this way it will be easy to see if the direction and intentions of the project change as the project grows. I felt I had witnessed an important moment for the community media project and I look forward to seeing it grow and fulfil it’s potential.

After the meeting we then travelled a short distance to visit the Project Lucas orphanage, we brought lollipops for all the children and played with them all taking photos, playing football and catch and talking to them all. They were all so lovely and well behaved, I was taken of to a classroom to help teach the kids some english. They were learning about passive and active phrasing and past present and past participals (something I had long forgotten) I read from the handy teachers book that was sat infront of me, it was a breeze, I don’t know what Peter is complaining about teaching is easy. After moulding a few minds and playing with the kids outside again we left to travel back to the Hartebeest camp. Another great day in Kenya.

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