Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reconstructing The Future

AZMA Youth Network pays a courtesy call to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education
Wangechi Mwangi - their Chairperson, explains AZMA's purpose to James Kiyiapi, PS (Friday, 06 Jan. 2012)


Money is nothing, do not worship it. Be wary of lost many in 35-45 year-old generation believers that life is all about acquiring more money for themselves, with littlest care for others' plight and the environment. Aspire to work and earn for a living not to live for work. Listen to your hearts.

DO NOT pursue studies solely to please your parents but pursue courses you are passionate about. Rather than identifying individual child's talents, parents routinely coarse their children to pursue courses they do not like, forcing students to either “copy” their parents careers or try to achieve what they failed to become when young. Resulting in disastrous career choices, parental-sibling conflicts in certain instances students studying for two degree courses, one “for the parents” the second “theirs” fulfiling their own knowledge passion

Hello Parents?

But do parents listen? Well known to “talk to” not “talk with” their children. Ever from high up speaking down to the youth handing down incontestable chain series of talks, instructions, advice and more. Foregone cultural norms practised when they were young but which have no place in modern society. Why they never “speak with” or “talk with” thus “communicating” two-way? Compelling the children to coalesce in their deviced youth worlds free of “insensitive parents.”

Good news to students whom have long suffered from the aforementioned challenges. From today, you have been given a license to force your parents to listen to you. To “help” them understand tell them the license is from non other that Professor James ole Kiyiapi the Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Education, Government of Kenya! Certain that will encourage them to find out more.

“Force us to listen by your actions. Also take from us, your parents, with slightly more and give to the more needy in society. Collect foods, clothes, books and more from our homes for the homeless, the
Prof. James Kiyiapi, PS, Ministry of Education listens
hungry and the less privileged in our society. Create a new caring youth revolution in this country like has never been seen before and rest assured of the firm support to AZMA youth network by the Ministry of Education,” said Professor Kiyiapi.

Echoing Prof. Kiyiapi's encouragement to AZMA was a message from Rod Beckstrom, President & CEO of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) which read: -
“Please tell them that the power of youth networking to support the youth and social change is very powerful. It is clear from the site that they are bringing forth a true spirit and heart of service, and this is where it all begins. From here it is about keeping and holding those good intentions and acting based upon that intention. I wish them the very best of luck in advancing the development of the people of beloved Kenya. Warmly, Rod”
Prof. Kiyiapi praised AZMA saying, “We are in dire need of the welcome change you inspire among our young. We embrace your quest for knowledge, peer-to-peer counselling, mentorship, outreach to the less fortunate in society and your care for the environment, youth-led “cultural reform” transforming our society to recognise and appreciate serving over always expecting to be served and youth wasting themselves away. Encourage all of them take charge and reconfigure the future, for the future belongs to you. Spread your welcome transformation throughout the country to change and benefit every child.” Ending by requesting to be included on AZMA Advisory Board.

That was yesterday when had the pleasure of accompanying AZMA on a courtesy call to Professor James ole Kiyiapi. The atmosphere was cordial enabling a conversation rich in ideas expressed.

Wangechi Mwangi their Chairperson, earlier introduced the founder-members, AZMA initiative outlining their purpose, objectives and activities to achieve their goals. Shared with the PS their vision of “the Kenya they need” and were working to achieve. Introduced Advisory Board members whom thereafter made a few introductory remarks.

Finally thanked the PS for his encouragement, challenge. Concurred with his selfless belief on the purpose of life as to live and work for the benefit of all society. Promised to follow his advice and will formulate a strategy to spread AZMA through out the country. They welcomed Prof. Kiyiapi to their Advisory Board, with immediate effect.

The visit lasted two hours having started at 11:30am and ended around 1:30pm.

As was subsequently commented in private, the message AZMA sent out was quite simple. They truly believed in Matthew 7:7,"Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Instantly concurred without a shadow of doubt.

Awespiring “do good” passion, dedication and unstoppable zeal can move change in new Africa.

Yours truly was also requested to join their Advisory Board. Which made me smile apparently since it appeared they were unaware of an earlier (2006) effort under “Focusing on the Individual Internet User” project. Reflecting on Internauts’ club launched to connect schools at Nairobi confess that my initiative came nowhere close to the success AZMA has achieved, thus far, and should not be surprised to soon hear of an AZMA Chapter at a school near you.


Picked lessons including “reconstructing the future”, “money is nothing” , “force parents to listen”, “speak with your actions”, “communication (and respect) are two-way” and “the purpose of life.”

The professor posed intellectually stimulating questions, “reconstructing the future”. Is something wrong with the future requiring our a reconfiguration? Or are we witnessing a new empowered youth generation re-engineering a future free of problems adults have failed to fix?

“Money is nothing” - not in the popular culture context of “money makes the world go round” but when one asks “where did that very first currency coin and notes come from?” A goldsmith just took some naturally occurring mineral, moulded it into a coin then attached some hypothetical “value” which humankind adopted as a new standard to value everything else in life.

Force parents to listen, not because parents are mean creatures from outer planets. They are kind, caring and loving and wish nothing but the best for their child. Otherwise they would never stiggle so much to house, feed, clothe and educate their children. The problem is different. They grew up a past generation whose societal norms, values and standards were different from today's. Help them understand the changed world and adapt to its new realities whilst the youth should oppositely take an interest and learn what their parents youth life was like.

The old adage, “words speak louder than words” holds true today. Try counting the number of conferences taking place in Nairobi on any given day. Chances are that all hotels and meetings venues are all fully booked for conferences. Whereas conferences are not a bad thing, as such, but there need be a healthy balance between theoretical conference talks and dirtying our hands “doing” something talked about at the conferences. It makes subsequent conferences conversations richer with experiences gained when trying out proposals made at earlier meetings. In this regard, AZMA group were challenged to, “do more and talk less” - which I must admit would resonate very well with the Japanese culture.

Respect and communication are two-way and the purpose of life, “is to live and work for the benefit of all society” the kind lady from Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project [on video:'KSCPP at Sung Kyun Kwan University in Seoul on June 30th, 2009' at the bottom of home page] told me at Seoul in 2009 after giving me five books including one titled King Sejong the Great and making me promise to share the knowledge with others. One may wonder why or of what relevance would be books on Korean culture? Bearing in mind that I was at Seoul, South Korea attending an ICANN meeting?

You see, in the 1960s Kenya and South Korea were ranked together among "poor nations" or the world.(see pictures here) Why is South Korea now developed while we are still poor? They have best Internet in the whole world. (Various reports, such as, digital prosperity prove the correlation between internet usage and development.) Learn what they did for us to do the same in Kenya. An additional task two Social Justice advocates - Ezra Mbogori and Kepta Ombati added to Seoul ICANN meeting to-do list!
South Korea continues to lead the world on Internet download speeds, according to a 21 September, 2011 blog post by Hayley Tsukayama on The Washington Post website:
“Not that it’s a surprise, but South Korea smokes the rest of the world when it comes to Internet speeds, according to a recent study from Pando Networks. Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia and Japan also made the top of the list. Worldwide, the U.S. ranks 26th, according to the study.

South Korea outstrips the rest of the world by a healthy margin — an average speed of 2,202 KBps — which is more than Great Britain, Turkey, Spain and Australia combined. The U.S. clocks in with a mean speed of 616 KBps, above average but far from the speediest.

The group measured the speed and reliability of the world’s Internet networks. Stats were based on 27 million downloads by 20 million computers from January to June 2011.”
The book King Sejong the Great free to download and available as an mp3 recording answered my questions. Societal change is merely cosmetic until inspiring humble leadership emerges offering a new thinking and approaches that bring out the best out of all people for an irreversibly developed society. As far as I can tell, AZMA's Youth Social Internetworking-based initiative captures our development recipe's quintessential ingredient which has for long escaped our eyes and attention.
LtoR: Wangechi takes notes,  J. Kiyiapi signs Teddy Warria shares a joke
Appreciate this youth initiative, partner schools, teachers, parents, Advisory Board and especially thank Professor Kiyiapi for pledging official support and Rod Beckstrom for encouraging the youth, “bringing forth a true spirit and heart of service, and this is where it all begins.”
UPDATE: A background on how AZMA Youth Network was conceptualised and instantiated - The Kuyu Project 'AZMA – Girls from Precious Blood School Creating A Social Network For Community Service'

South Korea's strong work ethic: "Getting people to take a holiday is going to take some hard work."

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