Encouraging Growth: Why Kimana School of Leadership?

» Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in encouraging growth | 3 comments

Encouraging Growth: Why Kimana School of Leadership?

Why is the Kimana School of Leadership and Professional Studies (KSLPS) significant to the Kimana Rift Valley? How do they impact the population they serve? What is the impact of the investment of time and financial support on Kenya? Encouraging growth in the local population compels a multi-dimensional approach. How does KSLPS address these concerns?

Typical landscape in the Kimana Rift Valley and future site of the Mt. Kilimanjaro Baseball Field. Photo courtesy of Dr. Warren Bruhl.

Typical landscape in the Kimana Rift Valley and future site of the Mt. Kilimanjaro Baseball Field. Photo courtesy of Dr. Warren Bruhl.

Empowering the teachable spirit requires thoughtful consideration of the indigenous environment of the subject population. What services were being provided to the residents of the Kimana Rift Valley before KSLPS?

Negative stereotypes and discrimination combined with lack of domestic resources seriously hampered the ability of the Maasai to integrate into the mainstream society of Kenya. —Dreamweavers International

In searching for a way to describe the position of the Maasai prior to the inception of KSPLS in 1997, I turned to Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money, who has witnessed similar circumstances in Bangladesh:

Students of KSLPS in front of the school building. Photo courtesy of KSLPS.

Students of KSLPS in front of the school building. Photo courtesy of KSLPS.

The thing that was missing, which would enable them to become self-reliant and self-sufficient, was a vision of their own strengths and capabilities. They needed a program to enable them to reconnect with a vision for themselves and their country, with an awareness of their assets, and strategies to put their ideas into action.

Lynne has been a fundraiser for Project Hunger, and worked with over 100,00 people in 50 countries. Assisting people with money has been the core of her work; however, she recognizes that:

Giving ear plugs to workers at the quarry near Ingrid Education Centre, January 2013. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

Giving ear plugs to workers at the quarry near Ingrid Education Centre, January 2013. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

The societal effect of aid was that people at the receiving end became even more disabled, more impoverished, than they were before. They felt debilitated and helpless by the fact that they could not take care of themselves and had become welfare recipients. They felt lessened and weakened, and the future prospect of their own self-sufficiency was often suppressed and diminished by the behavior they needed to exhibit in these situations. When money or aid flowed into these communities based on scarcity, the relief was short-lived, and those on both sides of the transaction were left feeling ineffective.

Ken and Sandy Taylor, photo courtesy of Ken Taylor.

Ken and Sandy Taylor, photo courtesy of Ken Taylor.

The Kimana Rift Valley needed an entrance into, a beginning, a source for impacting the Maasai culture and bringing vital change to the region. This was the vision Ken and Sandy Taylor worked tirelessly to build, organize, and establish through KSLPS in the Kimana Rift Valley.

As the College evolved it became apparent that there was a necessary broadening of the curriculum to impact the local needs, encouraging growth in more profound ways. Educating the Maasai in contemporary skills of business, computer skills, early childhood education, and seminary training expanded the reach the college facilitated. Through collective teamwork and building the very foundation for leadership in service, Kimana School of Leadership and Professional Studies now possessed the integrative abilities to create lasting change and growth. 

Dr. Warren Bruhl and Dr. Jeff Kahrs working side by side in Kenya, December 2013.

Dr. Warren Bruhl and Dr. Jeff Kahrs working side by side in Kenya, December 2013.

Education is the key to encouraging growth through clarifying the issues being addressed, underscoring the value of energy and money bestowed on a remote part of the world, and highlighting why Dr. Warren Bruhl and Dr. Jeff Kahrs why Ken and Sandy Taylor, and why Douglas Monene and Ingrid Education Centre are integral players in contributing to the well-being and social integration of Kenya’s greatest under served and under resourced population.

 

Why is education so vital to the Maasai of the Kimana Rift Valley or to the children of Ingrid Education Centre?

Tablet learning is a powerful agent for educational transformation. Dr. Warren Bruhl is helping Matthew learn how to use the tablet. Photo courtesy of Dr. Warren Bruhl.

Tablet learning is a powerful agent for educational transformation. Dr. Warren Bruhl is helping Matthew learn how to use the tablet. Photo courtesy of Dr. Warren Bruhl.

Creating self-sufficiency in individuals who typically look for support from outside themselves, shifting the focus internally to increase the strength and ability on the inside, and encouraging them to find solutions to the issues they face from the vantage point of the experience they have with their particular environment, provides opportunity for them to solve problems while being supported. This is true education, and the model that will have the greatest impact by addressing needs at their inception; meaning, at their place of origin in the heart of the region where the Maasai live.

KSLPS humbly stands as a vibrant reminder that encouraging growth happens “above down, inside out.”

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3 Comments

  1. Hello there, just became aware of your blog
    through Google, and found that it is really informative.
    I will be grateful if you continue this in the future.
    Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    • Thank you for your kind comment. I am glad that you find my blog informative. I enjoy writing and will definitely continue my work. Shalom!

  2. Bruce,

    Thank you for reaching out to me. I am grateful for the information about Kimana, the foundation you have been working with, and the poverty in the region where the Maasai live. I visited Kenya with Dr. Bruhl in January 2015; he came to Ingrid Education Centre in the Matopeni/Kayole district of Nairobi first, and then I went to Kimana to see the school and work with his team in Amboseli National Park helping the Maasai. It was a rewarding experience.

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