#Reimagine Kenya competition finalists
Reimagining a better future, for every child.
To celebrate World Children’s Day on November 20th, we challenged children and young people to tell us about the world they would like to see after COVID-19 and how each of us can make a difference. Participants in the challenge submitted essays, videos, audio or photos below:
10-15 age group
Tyra Angel, 14 years (Winner)
Tyra is the overall winner of the 10-15 age group. She is a pupil at St Andrew’s Turi. She is passionate about children’s matters. Her winning audio entry re-imagined a world where children will not worry about an uncertain tomorrow. She appreciates the new world where connections are made through digital channels. She sees a world where love triumphs fear, children learn in safe environment and express themselves without fear. She envisions a safe, clean and habitable world where all lives matter.
Listen to her essay on SoundCloud here
Melody Tamasha, 15 years
Melody is a rerflective young person. In her audio essay, she looks forward to a Kenya where every child has access to education, basic healthcare, food and protection. She sees a world where toxic cultural stereotypes are discouraged and every person stands up for the rights of children, women and men. She looks forward to a female president in Kenya.
Listen to her essay on SoundCloud here
Joshua Kimkung, 11 years
Joshua is an outdoors enthusiast. With schools partially closed due to the pandemic, he is exploring the outdoors for a worthy cause. In December, he will be hiking three mountains (Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Kenya and Mt Meru) to raise funds for buying a new school bus. This will be his second time scaling Mt Kenya. He has a website and social media pages to share his exploits. He appreciates parents who nurture their children’s dreams.
16-24 age group
Baboleno Mbero, 23 years (winner)
THE FUTURE WE WANT
Look at me, a girl with dreams,
today we face trying times of COVID-19, anxiety and uncertainties,
many hopes and dreams shattered,
no longer at ease with the challenges that come with being female,
Thy eye is faith, thy wing is hope,
for hope does not disappoint, a better life, a better future.
We want to hear a sweet melody,
sad songs have raptured our souls,
Poverty and illiteracy overcome our dreams,
songs of FGM and early marriages hunt our growth,
Sing us a sweet song for a change.
Give me back my broken light,
a light that GBV, rape and lockdown pregnancies have turned into night,
the clouds Infront of me won't let me see,
Inequality and injustice a big sea,
light my future so I can fly glittering through the sun's golden beams.
Come into my joy,
where my future won't copy my past,
where every girl is getting high,
it's all about high profile,
no more prison and trial,
more of education and empowerment.
I look in the mirror,
what do I see?
A face with a future,
a future where illiteracy will no longer have a female face,
where girls will no longer compromise their sexuality for the towels,
where we will have our tales of the other days,
a future where we will have a face to face the world.
The future we want,
days when my tears will be wiped away to let me see the future clearly,
where food, water will no longer be a luxury in our homes,
where specific needs of girls and women will be met,
where I know where to run, someone to hold my hand, to teach me, to give me access,
an environment where I will thrive and be satisfied with life,
If we only keep holding hands,
speak about it, campaign about it,
then will I smile at the rising sun,
in peace will I settle to sleep,
that, that will be the future a girl would want.
Immaculate Ajiambo, 24 years
Immaculate is the overall runner up for the 16-24 age group. She is a youth advocate who is passionate about creating awareness on children’s rights in Kenya. She volunteers with Tumaini Support Group which raises awareness on HIV among young people in Mariakani, Kilifi County. “I envision a world where we will conquer the barriers: digital divide, poor access to the internet or computer, over-dependency on the traditional mode of learning, and lack of digital literacy skills,” she writes in her essay below;
Dense, dark, and jagged clouds symbolize the coming of rain. The ringing of a bell in school announces that it’s time to move into something else. But COVID-19 hit the world without warning. As of 4th November 2020, COVID -19 cases have surpassed 48M with 1.23M deaths.
The pandemic has had a greater impact on all spheres of human activity than any other pandemic before. Governments imposed measures and restrictions to control the spread of infection as advised by the World Health Organization. One of the ways of ensuring that children were being kept safe was through the closure of schools.
Children stayed at home with little or no information about the virus. Many hoped to return to school soon, so, they did not take their studies serious while at home. As the infection curve went up it became apparent that children would have to stay home longer. During this period, many children did not receive instruction and feedback on their learning activities from teachers. Moreover, others found it hard to study on their own.
Fortunately, COVID-19 has opened the door to digital and remote learning. Overtime digital learning has been a topic of discussion in the realization of quality and accessible education. With the situation at hand, digital learning has been greatly emphasized. This is especially important for children at higher risk of contracting the virus; those with special needs and those who are immune compromised. With digital learning, there is reduced physical meetings and continuity of knowledge acquisition. Therefore, learning institutions need support with technology, E-learning solutions, and digital pedagogy.
Dear parents, education stakeholders, policymakers, and all welcome to the (near) future of digital learning. Strategic partnerships and collaboration on educational innovations is the way to ensure that every child can access learning resources and materials at an affordable cost.
There are so many great innovations in education that we could tap into. For instance, the Mavis Talking Book developed in Nigeria to tackle the high number of out of school children (Over 13 million according to UNICEF) could go a long way in being adopted worldwide to reach out to more children. The Mavis Talking Book is an offline digital solution. It doesn’t require and cannot connect to, the Internet making it safe for children. It is cost-effective as it uses much less and cheaper portable solar kits. It has the ability to run for 10 or more hours of continuous use while it takes one hour to be fully charged. The fact that it is learner-centred and can be used individually or in a group makes it the go-to solution.
I envision a world where we will conquer the barriers; digital divide, poor access to the internet or computer, over-dependency on the traditional mode of learning, and lack of digital literacy skills.
Peter Nderitu, 20 years
Peter is a first-year student at Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology in Nyeri. When he is not studying Electrical Engineering, he is a freelance photographer with a special interest in taking telling stories of children through his photos. His photo below appreciated the bond of friendship among children and re-imagined a world where they can play with their friends once again.