Today’s blog was brought to you through the collaborative effort of Maureen Molumbi, Pauline Diaz and Judi Stalter
“A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who just tries to give back as much as possible and help people.” – Debi Mazar
These words embody the very core guiding principles that define Hatua Likoni and is manifested by the numerous individuals and companies who support our programs and continually give back to Likoni. Together we are ensuring Kenya’s youth can complete their education, find professional jobs and secure prosperous and bright futures for themselves and their families.
On Friday, April 21st, Hatua Likoni held its first mentor-networking event since the launch of their redesigned professional mentoring program. In short, the program aims to match highly talented students from underprivileged background with understanding and accomplished professionals to help them navigate through their career path.
Over 60 people gathered at Mombasa Yacht Club that Friday evening for a casual night of networking and learning more about Hatua’s professional mentoring program and the roles they could play. The event was marked by memorable presentations from Hatua’s founders, the mentoring program coordinator and testimonies from Hatua’s alumni. Furthermore, Hatua’s current mentors spoke on behalf of the program, illustrating the fulfillment they gained from having the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise with this next generation of youth and give back to the community.
At the end of the evening, we were pleased to have been offered numerous attachment opportunities for Hatua University students and had even more professionals express their interest in giving back to Likoni’s youth and becoming a part of the Hatua family as professional mentors/career coaches.
Thank you to all those who attended the event, to our current mentors, and to those who have expressed sincere interest in helping guide Hatua students throughout their journey from poverty to professional careers.
Today’s blog post was written by one of Hatua’s newest team members, Boniface Kimunyi. Thank you for your contribution Boniface!
I have been thinking on what to write in the organization’s blog. I am a content writer which means that I am used to writing. I am also what you would call a creative. In one of the personality tests that I took in my line of work I found that I am a high frequency thinker. That is something a physicist might understand. However, to break it down for us the common folks to who physics was not a cup of tea; a high frequency thinker is a person who gets very many intrusive thoughts and ideas against time. That said, I had a million and two ideas on what I can write in this blog. After filtering through the many ideas and almost getting exhausted along the way, I settled on writing about my wonderful experience at Hatua Likoni for the first three months.
When one joins a new company, the first months are characterized by a lot of learning: learning the job roles and responsibilities, learning the good and the bad sides of the colleagues, learning the company’s work culture and much more. My first three months at Hatua were no different. However, I must bring to the attention of everyone who is taking a break off their work to read this article an interesting aspect about the work culture at Hatua Likoni. Actually I would prefer to refer to it as a work and fun culture.
The Hatua Likoni team is characterized by colleagues who are tremendously welcoming. I remember telling myself that the colleagues must be pretending. This cannot be real, probably they are just showing their fun and pleasant sides because there are two new co-workers. Today, being three months old at Hatua, I would wish to appreciate the work of Gabi and Kwame- the directors for providing such a wonderful working relationship. Hope that you note that I have referred to them with their first names. That is how cool our directors are. They have created an environment whereby one can go to the office with an enthusiastic mood ready to work for the Likoni Community.
Social Psychologists have studied and proven that a conducive environment is very instrumental in improving the performance of the workers. Additionally, it makes the employee feel important and respected in the work place. This in turn encourages them to give themselves more freely to their work and other work- related responsibilities. This enables the company or the organization to have a competitive edge over all its competitors.
Therefore, the work and fun culture at Hatua Likoni could be one of its strengths. This could be the reason behind the exemplary work done by all the staffs who are motivated to work beyond the normal working hours to create an impact in Likoni and in Mombasa County.
I am proud to be a member of Hatua Likoni.
One of the many great things about being a part of the Hatua Family Team is their willingness to continue learning and improving personally and professional….and furthermore working together to do such things!
We are very honored and proud to have been one of the few Segal Family Foundation(SFF) partners to be selected for their Targeted Compacity Support (TCS) this year. The TCS is an intensive capacity-building program designed to leverage SFF’s resources and launch their best partners (us!) to their next level of impact.
Our program with SFF kicked off Monday morning ( March 20th) with a site visit to Hatua’s office in Likoni. We always look forward to these visits as it truly feels like your catching up with old friends who care just as much about your work as you do and they genuinely want to see you succeed and congratulate you on your accomplishments. That morning we were able to sit for more than an hour with each other just explaining our work and projects in each department. This was followed up with an introduction to our homework helpers and Computer Skills program being conducted that day along with a thorough library tour. We ended the day talking to our enthusiastic and energetic gap year students.
The following morning, we all met up at the Royal Court Hotel in town for our first full day of capacity building and assessment work shop. Memorable activities included mind mapping Hatua’s mission and identifying and comparing characteristics of our students as we first invite them into our program, as they prepare to graduate university, and what they would look like 5 years after university graduation as alumni of our program. We than took it a step further to identify activities and data collection processes we have in place to help support these key values and characteristics we ideally want all our students to come out of our program with. This was a great exercise which illustrated areas for improvement as Hatua’s alumni program increase in size every year. The following day was equally rewarding as we took a hard look at our M&E practices, our connections within the communities (major stakeholders), fundraising strategies, and leadership strategies. To conclude the day we had an exciting discussion among the team about Hatua’s plans for future growth, replication and scale.
With each passing year Hatua’s programs grows larger and more robust. It’s safe to say we have big plans for the future which includes expanding our programs to all regions of Mombasa within the next decade! These are big picture goals and here at Hatua we believe you can never start preparing too early. For our students that means hitting the books hard but as a team this means thinking ahead of the game and planning for it. Therefore, this year with the help of the Segal Family Foundation, we will be focusing on fine tuning our programs, data collection, communication outreach and reporting practices to make sure all aspects continue to align with our vision and work towards our mission.
Many thanks to the SFF Team for taking time out of their busy schedules to facilitate such a well-organized and executed workshop. We look forward to working with you again and we are excited to hear you feedback.