Mentorship for Boys in Juvenile Prison
Not so long ago, I joined this wonderful forum and met people who were doing things with the resources that they had at their disposal. I remember attending the World Pulse meeting in Nairobi and meeting the likes of Leah Okeyo, Jane Anyango and many others. Though I was the only male in attendance, what I had to do to effect the kind of change I wanted to see happening wasn't lost on me.
I left the meeting with one resolve. I was going to do all I could to start mentoring boys through reading initiatives. I was working as TV producer by then. I started by meeting children and coming up with forums for boys that would meet on a weekly basis. When I met about 100 boys aged 13-17 in juvenile prison, my life totally changed. I became so engrossed and consumed (in a good way, hahaha) to what I was doing with the boys to an extent I started looking back to what I grew up wanting to do. Apart from the juvenile prison program, I also run a reading initiative for a primary school where the children are showing a remarkable improvement in class.
With time, it was apparent I had to quit my job and focus on pursuing my dream and vision. I had what I thought was a simple plans. I quit my job and started looking for a writing job which I strongly believed would free me to focus on the mentorship program.
There have been a lot of challenges. But the successes I have made far outweigh them. I am yet to find a job and making ends meet in terms of catering for my personal needs isn't easy. Though I am struggling, I am happy that I have made a lasting impact on the boys I have met in juvenile prison. A good number of them have regained their freedom, embraced a crime free life and gone back to school. Every day I wake up in the morning believing it could be my biggest break as a writer. I keep looking for jobs and with each, rejection letter, I know it is only a matter of time before my dreams come true.
I have learned much more from engaging with the boys. And as I soldier on to the Year 2014, I have decided to continue the good fight and hope the universe will take care of my needs. I am writing and looking for jobs at the same time.I am at a point in my life where most friends misunderstand me due to the choices I have made. But I know I am doing what I am meant to do on Mother Earth and hope I get a job soon, or a donor to partner with because when all is said and done, I need finances.
I am living a full life. Thanks to the World Pulse Forum I attended in Nairobi.