CPI Storytelling Program in Kenya Attracts Support from International NGO

girl in kenya drawing during storytelling event

CPI Storytelling Program in Kenya Attracts Support from International NGO

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CPI’s Storytelling Partner in Kenya Brings in EU NGO

Girls showing off their drawings during storytelling event Kenya

In July, ChildsPlay International (CPI) announced a new Storytelling Partnership aimed at supporting vulnerable children in Kenya.

Storytelling Helps Girls Navigate Trauma

Gloria Ochola, our esteemed local partner in Kenya, is deeply committed to empowering vulnerable children, women, and girls. She collaborates closely with the Tunaweza Empowerment Organization (TEO), a dedicated local non-profit organization that focuses on advancing women’s rights and fostering youth development. Thanks to the CPI Storytelling Program, Gloria successfully attracted a new European partner, and a local person who donated to the library!

Support From CPI Attracts Other Partners

CPI provided Gloria with supporting materials, as well as financial support for a weekly storytelling gathering for vulnerable children. “The financial support from CPI, coupled with the Storytelling Manual, CPI’s social media and digital campaigns were instrumental in bringing in the European NGO, CISP. It heightened our profile,” Gloria said. “CISP was so impressed with our work that they also read about our work on CPI’s website, and expressed interest in expanding our efforts. They proposed extending our CPI storytelling workshop and art-based interventions to engage both the community and girls at risk of FGM for the purpose of social change.”

Support from CPI enabled us to cover essential expenses, such as travel to schools where the children are, and fees for our storytellers. Through this support, we were able to effectively communicate our approach of using storytelling to promote social norm change, while preserving the positivity that is innate in the children.

Gloria Ochola

 
 

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What the New Partnership Means for Vulnerable Girls

Gloria tells us that the partnership with CISP will open doors for more opportunities since it’s just a three-month period of implementation and we plan to maximize the opportunity to develop a good piece that can be replicated elsewhere. 

Gloria Ochola is our partner in Migori. We had the pleasure of meeting her during our previous visit to Kenya, where we organized programs at schools to support HIV orphans.

CPI’s Storytelling Program Boosts Vulnerable Children’s Confidence

We wanted to know more about the change that happened to the girls and boys who attended the Storytelling Circles. Gloria explains: “On the first day of the workshop, the girls were anxious and hesitant to discuss the challenges they were up against both at home and in school. However, by the end of the second session, I noticed a significant boost in their confidence. The storytelling sessions played a crucial role in this transformation.”

Student and Teacher Relations Improve

Gloria was pleased to observe how the children’s interactions with their teachers also changed. Teachers participated as observers in the storytelling circles. The girls (and boys) began asking their teachers questions and engaging with them in a more informal manner although teachers are seen as authority figures. “Suddenly the children interacted, joked, and laughed with their teachers, whereas previously, they saw their teachers as stern figures. This realization was remarkable for me,” explained Gloria. “I made sure that the teachers learned how to conduct the Storytelling Circle so that, in the future, even when we’re not present, they can incorporate it into the school program.”

Storyteller and children attendingCPI Storytelling event for vulnerable children in Kenya.

Gloria Ochola, a teacher and the storyteller with children during Storytelling circle.

The Girls Started to Share Stories from Home

The girls were encouraged to share stories from home, and they discussed how their parents reacted to these stories and their future plans. This newfound confidence as a result of CPI’s Storytelling program, and Gloria’s care and commitment to the girls’ wellbeing, continued to grow over time.

Children proudly showing off their drawing during CPI Storytelling workshop in Kenya

Gloria, along with TEO, has set their sights on implementing CPI’s Storytelling for a Brighter Future program in partnership clubs within schools in the local communities around Migori. This storytelling collaboration aims to bring the transformative power of storytelling to these young minds, providing them with a platform to express themselves, find strength in their voices, and ultimately shape a brighter future for themselves and their community. Through this joint effort, we seek to create a nurturing environment where these vulnerable children can thrive and reach their full potential.

Storytelling is a unique way for kids to develop an understanding, respect, and appreciation for other cultures, and can promote a positive attitude toward other people.

~ Gloria Ochola

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