“We empower the community”

So, I still need to work on my Swahili…so that’s all you’re getting for now.

I just completed my second week as an intern at KMET, and I can honestly say I have mastered the art of waiting. Officially, I committed to working in the Education and Youth departments, and also go on field visits with staff from the other departments as much as I can.

The last two weeks have been a bit difficult for the Education and Youth departments (where I work) due to the death of a coworker. As a result, the team decided to cancel most of the field visits and activities that were planned for that week. After spending the better half of my second week begging (I even tried doing the puppy eyes!) our beloved Madam Jenepha for work, I ended up floating around other departments and tagging along on their field visits to different villages. It was very refreshing as I got exposed to the many different community groups that KMET work with. Also, at each meeting, every group had different issues that they were working on to find a solution. They ranged from clean water, to eliminating stigmas, and even book keeping for small businesses (Vicki gave an awesome lesson!!).

At these meetings, a KMET staff will facilitate and the community members put their heads together to come up with solutions and suggestions to their own problems. And that’s the best part. Listening intently as they come to realize that they themselves have the answers to their problems. That’s what makes KMET amazing! They help the communities realize that they know themselves better than any NGO or group coming in to offer help. “We empower the community,” is a sentence you will hear on many occasions in meetings and as you walk the halls of KMET. And despite only being here for a short period of time, I can honestly say it is a more than accurate summary of the work KMET does.

Rashida Aluko-Roberts ’15