In 2011, Journey Outreach continued on its life-changing mission in Kenya. Understanding the devastating effects emotional abuse and challenging life situations can have on individuals, Journey Outreach is working to help people heal from their pain, and in turn, help them return to healthy, happy, and empowered lives. Last year, eight Journey Practitioners provided over 400 individual and group processes throughout Kenya to more than 1000 people. Practitioners worked with twelve different organizations including the Hill Breeze Orphan Home, Nairobi Children’s Home, and Kdnuonga HIV Support Group, along with several schools, youth and community groups.
The processes have had a tremendous impact the participants, supervisors, and Practitioners. Journey Practitioner Sheila described the impact the processes have had on her:
“Doing the case studies gave me a chance to work with people from different background and life experiences. This has indeed taught me a lot. We are all the same, with same different issues, problems and life situations though what differs is how each one of us experiences it different. Our choices of response or lack of it is what separates us in most cases.”
Throughout the year, practitioners got to know many people from various schools and community groups, having impacts on entire communities. After the processes, participants felt much better about themselves and “could not stop smiling.” Many of the advisors witnessed complete emotional transformations in their students, all thanks to the Journey and its ability to help people let go. Teachers saw sudden progress in their students’ work. Each time Practitioners visited they were thanked and welcomed back by the supervisors. One teacher could not thank Journey Outreach enough for the transformation she witnessed in her students:
“Journey has been wonderful. The pupils expressed their feelings and were full of love, honesty, encouragement, and forgiveness. Many were healed from wounds in their hearts and minds. Let the work be carried on forever!”
For 2012 Journey Outreach will be working in partnership with Holistic Community Kenya (HCK) Outreach, led by Fazilah Bazari. With the support of six Kenyan Practitioners, Fazilah will help bring Journeywork to 12 schools, youth and community groups, continuing to serve over 1000 people regularly.
Hill Breeze Orphan Support School
In October 2011, Sandra Lindon was drawn to volunteer some time living in the local community and working at Hill Breeze Orphan Support School in South-Western Kenya. In spite of the difficulties she had faced in her life, there were many blessings for which she felt so grateful. The time had come to give something back in gratitude. Sandra’s training as a Journey practitioner had given her precious insight into the awesome potential that lies inside every human being. She knew that if we can open this awareness in children, we have the best opportunity to create a healthy and supportive future world society.
Sandra’s service to the school was through teaching and mentoring; she used some of the Journey tools and passed on life skills and wisdom she had acquired over the years. Knowing that most of these children are orphans she also played games, to bring fun and laughter to their day.
Sadly, Nyanza province has a high incidence of HIV/Aids, leaving many children without parents and further impoverishing the community. These children are part of a community who see no real tangible way out of their impoverished circumstances. Through Journey Outreach we hope to open their awareness to the limitless possibilities born of self-belief, self-awareness and the power of positive intention.
Sandra did process work with the Director of the school and used Journey techniques to encourage the children to be aware of their emotions, to welcome and release any negative feelings. The children used real balloons to breathe in supportive resource qualities such as love, forgiveness, courage, protection.
On Sandra’s last day they had a joyful celebration, with the children singing and dancing around the compound waving their ‘resource balloons’. She felt very honoured to have been a part of this small community and thankful for the opportunity to contribute towards the continued success of the school.
Journey in the Classroom
The Journey in the Classroom Kenya emerged during the 2009 Outreach tour of UK based Journey Practitioner Naraya and a team of dedicated Kenyan Training Journey Practitioners. At the specific request of local chiefs the team visited and worked with more than 20 schools located in Rachuonyo District, Nyanza Province, reaching in excess of 1200 primary and secondary school pupils aged 5-19 years plus an estimated total of around 70 teachers who also received the full Journey in the Classroom process.
Testimonials from both pupils and teachers are phenomenal and as one result of many, God Agulu Primary School which was worked with most intensely, involving all children in the school, the entire teachers team plus interested parents and community members, achieved No.1 in the exams following three weeks after the Outreach teams visit and was able to maintain that status way into the next academic year without having received any follow-up visits. Corporeal punishment, which is the norm in Kenyan schools, has been abolished by the teachers as through The
Journey process they realized more appropriate ways to deal with problem behavior. Teachers of the school also reported that only a week after the visit, there was no absenteeism any more and “the adamant pupils created for themselves an environment enticing for the teachers”. Another school, Kanga Omuga Primary School, where John Odida, one of the Kenyan training Journey Practitioners, teaches and tentatively introduced the Journey to his exam class (8th Grade) jumped from it’s traditional place of No.21 out of 23 in the location to number 8 – the biggest academic leap ever witnessed in this location; while nothing had changed in the school at all but that The Journey had been introduced!
People Infected and Affected by HIV/AIDS
Supporting people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS has been a strong aspect of Journey Outreach work in Kenya since its humble beginnings in November 2008. Initial focus was placed on two groups in extremely underprivileged areas – Chaukweli HIV/AIDS Women’s Group in Dandora/Nairobi, and Raganga New Vision HIV/AIDS Group in Mosocho, Kisii District, Nyanza Province. In 2010 work has been extended to an HIV+ youth group under the umbrella of Catholic church run Oyugis Integrated Project (OIP) as well as to Imani Development Initiative in Oyugis, the latter in partnership with Holistic Community Kenya.
All groups reported huge improvements in physical and emotional well-being, physical strength of individuals, increased (self-)acceptance and high levels of de-stigmatization and re-integration in local society. At Raganga, membership numbers climbed steeply after The Journey was introduced as an activity for group members. On average around 40 people receive Journey group process work at every meeting with representatives present from the adult group, youth group, men’s awareness group and disabled group. During a visit in October 2010, accompanied by a joyous display of traditional dance and celebratory song and with Executive Director Journey North America Kevin Lockwood in attendance, most enthusiastic feedback was shared by members that T-cell counts – the medical indicator for immune weakness or strength – have completely stabilized and even gone up for some of the individuals worked with!
In summary: as a result of Journey Outreach work so far, there is a new consciousness emerging amongst those with HIV/AIDS – the most hopeless of the hopeless, the most neglected of the neglected, the most desperate of the desperate. It is a consciousness of hope, courage, even boldness, a sense of oneness, solidarity and mutual support. An understanding that living positively positive it is a huge opportunity to join hands and help others not only bear their “status” but be an expression of life while facing death.
When sharing the Journey tools of forgiveness, healing and personal transformation with those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, the Kenya Journey Outreach Team has often been deeply touched by the joy, aliveness, and deep gratitude met with particularly in those groups. And more than once we were left in tears of love and gratitude when looking into those shining eyes as they opened after a Journey process.
Empowering young people to take positive charge of their lives, regardless of circumstances, has been at the heart of Outreach work in Kenya since youth leader Moses Oindo first invited Naraya to give a Journey talk and facilitate process work for his Dandora Youth for Community Development group (YFCODE) the day after he attended the Journey Intensive in October 2008.
With the vast majority of young people in the deprived Nairobi suburbs remaining unemployed after graduating from Primary or Secondary education and an ever increasing influx of rural youth in search of sustenance and a means to fulfil exaggerated family expectations of financial support, the situation is dire. In an environment that hardly sees electricity, clean running water and sanitation and where people typically live crammed together on less that 2m2 each, drug and alcohol issues, unprotected sex, rape/harassment and sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion, violent crime and gang activity as well as political manipulability are just some of the symptoms of a deeply lost and hopeless generation. However, when post-election violence along tribal lines ravaged the country early 2008 with Dandora being one of the worst hit areas in Nairobi, Moses gathered some of these youth, formed YFCODE, and diligently started to work for peace and unity in his community. So it was only natural that he was eager to share The Journey with his fellows.
Since then, much as happened on the Youth Empowerment front. With just a few Journey processes given to them, most of the original YFCODE members have found or created jobs for themselves with five of them having undergone the entire Journey Practitioners Program in Kenya and South Africa and with all their hearts volunteer for Journey Outreach. Other youth groups and individuals have been and are continuously being added to the beneficiaries list of Journey work and the results achieved with this vast and majorly neglected sector of Kenyan society are more than rewarding, strongly urging for continuation and expansion.