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Friday, November 2, 2012


By Sheila Ngigi

Monica Soila had just completed her high school education when she visited Isinya and learnt of the ICT training programme offered for free at the Isinya Maarifa center and she pounced on the opportunity gratefully. At the center, they were taken through the five Microsoft office packages; introduction to computers, Microsoft word, excel, powerpoint and internet.
But for this determined lady, this was not the end of the road for her quest to learn. The Isinya Maarifa Center has a voluntary service programme open to young people who are willing to serve their community by assisting at the Maarifa center while also gaining skills.  Soila enrolled for the programme and will never regret her decision as it has changed her life in a big way, for the better.
It was not a walk in the park for the young lady as she had to fend for herself; food, accommodation and clothing.  She candidly recounts those earlier days, “Many of my friends wondered why I was working with no pay and advised me look for a job now that I had computer skills as I would not have searched for long before finding a job. However, I was determined to give back to my community and so I plugged my ears.”
In action...

Since that day, she has never looked back and her persistence paid off. After six months of volunteer work, ALIN was granted funds to undertake an ICT training project and required trainers to train the community. Soila was appointed as a trainer and benefited from further training at the Masai Technical Training Institute where together with others, was trained on how to be a trainer. After successfully completing her course, the young lady was awarded a certificate.  She has hitherto trained so many community members at the Isinya Maarifa Center and is even referred to as Mwalimu.
she closely observes her students

“The Maarifa center at Isinya has really changed the lives of many around this area, mine, as their teacher included. I have learnt how to deal with different kinds of people and my leadership skills have also greatly improved.” she says.
Truly, real sweet progress and development should never be an isolated individualistic pursuit but should be produced through sharing and community. As a West African proverb puts it, I am because we are!

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