Kristina Rosinsky

Kristina Rosinsky (Undugu Society of Kenya - USK): Kristina graduated in 2007 with a BA in government and politics (magna cum laude) from the University of Maryland-College Park with minors in French and history. During her time at university Kristina did study abroad in Nice, France for five months and then worked in Huancayo, Peru teaching English to children in early 2007. In her senior year Kristina wrote a thesis titled “The Effect of the Mexico City Policy on International Development: An Attack on Reproductive Health and Family Planning Worldwide,” which received high honors. Prior to her fellowship, Kristina worked at AP as an intern and then as the Assistant Information Manager.



Voices of Kenya’s Vulnerable Children and Youth

16 Jul

The participants in the blogging and photography project have all successfully posted their first blogs and photographs on the Internet!

This is a great accomplishment for my students. All but two had never used a computer before and only one had used a camera before. While they are still getting used to this new technology and simply the idea of a blog, they are learning quickly and have been able to post their writing and photographs online during class.

A total of 17 students are involved with the training. Nine were chosen from USK’s Education and Training program, which helps poor and marginalized children attain an education and gain practical vocational skills. The other eight were chosen from USK’s Street Children and Youth Associations, which are groups of children and youth living and/or working on the streets.

The workshops began with an introduction to blogging and photography, going over the basics of what makes a good blog and photo. Then we went out to take photos as a group and uploaded them from the camera to the computer and put them on a flash drive. Meanwhile, the students were writing, editing and sharing their first blogs on their own and in class. Once the pictures and first blogs were complete, we ventured to the Internet café to type the blogs, create email accounts, blogging accounts and Flickr accounts. Once the accounts were created, they posted their material online on their own pages (links to their work are below).

I encourage you all to read their blogs (including their About pages) and go to their Flickr pages to leave comments on their hard work. Ask them questions, start a discussion, or simply give them some positive remarks. The students have more work to post so continually check their blogs for new material. Also, some write in Kiswahili, but translations will be posted shortly.

Amina is 19 years old and is a student at USK’s non-formal school in Pumwani. Her first blog concerns discrimination she faced because she is Muslim.
www.aminakombo.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/aminakombo

Dominic is 20 years old and is a member of a USK Street Association. He writes about what his life is like on the streets.
www.dominicmuia.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/dominicmuia

Eliud is 18 years old and is involved with USK’s informal skills training program. He is learning mechanics. He tells his audience about Francis, a man who was killed in the post-election violence.
www.eliudkinyanjuichege.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/eliudchege

Elvis is 16 years old and is involved with USK’s informal skills training program. He is learning spray painting. His first blog is about the need for the government to clean up the slums in Nairobi.
www.elvisjamesmajani.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/elvismajani

Grivinson is 15 years old and is a student at USK’s non-formal school in Pumwani. His first blog is a picture from the internally displaced people camp in Mathare.
www.grivinsonmagomere.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/grivinsonmagomere

Harrison is 18 years old and is a member of a USK Street Association. His first blog is about his girlfriend and his second is about seeing death on the streets.
www.harrisonnjoroge.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/harrisonnjoroge

John is 18 years old and is a student at USK’s non-formal school in Pumwani. John writes his first blog about the day he will never forget – the day he learned he was going to school.
www.johnkioko.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/johnkioko

Joseph is 18 years old and is a member of a USK Street Association. The environment is the topic of Joseph’s first blog.
www.josephgachira.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/josephgachira

Martin is 21 years old and is a member of a USK Street Association. He writes about how some Kenyan cultural practices are bad for curbing HIV/AIDS transmission.
www.martinndugu.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/martinndugu

Mavish is 15 years old and is involved with USK’s informal skills training program. She is learning hairdressing. She tells of a man being beaten during the post-election violence.
www.mavishjepkemboi.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/mavishjepkemboi

Nancy is 14 years old and is a student at USK’s non-formal school in Pumwani. She blogs about children living on the streets in her first post.
www.nancyanyango.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/nancyanyango

Patrick is 22 years old and is a member of a USK Street Association. His first blog post is about how he lost a friend to drugs.
www.patrickmwema.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/patrickmwema

Peter is 20 years old and is a member of a USK Street Association and is involved with USK’s informal skills training program. He is learning hairdressing. His first blog concerns police harassment and his second blog is about his and his friend’s lives on the streets.
www.petermwatha.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/petermwatha

Piliphan is 14 years old and is a student at USK’s non-formal school in Pumwani. She tells her audience about her friend that died.
www.piliphankanana.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/piliphankanana

Raphael is 18 years old and is a member of a USK Street Association and is involved with USK’s informal skills training program. He is learning mechanics. His first post is a photoblog of his base (street association).
www.raphaelngugi.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/raphaelngugi

Rispar is 16 years old and is involved with USK’s informal skills training program. She is learning dressmaking. She writes of her friend that disappeared.
www.risparrusimbu.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/risparrusimbu

Robinson is 20 years old and is a member of a USK Street Association. He blogs about the respect and unity present amongst children on the streets.
www.robinsonmunene.wordpress.com
www.flickr.com/photos/robinsonmunene

Posted By Kristina Rosinsky

Posted Jul 16th, 2008

10 Comments

  • Jesse

    July 17, 2008

     

    congratulations Krissy! this is really impressive!

  • Debby

    July 18, 2008

     

    It appears that these children are so eager to learn and you are doing a fantastic job with teaching them. Your hard work will be your reward in the end. You should be extremely proud of yourself. Keep up the hard work. I look forward to reading every one of their blogs.
    DKR

  • Philippe Boucher

    July 25, 2008

     

    Congratulations to all of you for your blogging work 🙂
    I recently saw a documentary from the BBC about children smoking in Africa and I was wondering what your experience is about this problem.
    It looks like a number of children in the street make a living by selling cigarettes but several governments have banned this practice.
    I wonder how such a ban (if it is enforced) could affect the children and what the alternatives can be for them if they lose this “business”.
    Of course I am very much in favor of reducing smoking and promoting prevention but I am concerned about the kids who survive that way in many African countries (see the recent article from Nigeria I copied on Africa news blog).
    The Gates Foundation has started a program to help tobacco control in Africa. I wonder if you could help us get a direct perspective from the children and youth themselves about this issue.
    All my best wishes to all of you and thank you in advance if you can provide me with some feedback 🙂
    Philippe

    I wonder if you are using flipcams (just curious).

  • Dipesh Pabari

    July 28, 2008

     

    Great initiative! Am also teaching a blogging course this week at the Kwani Litfest (www.kwanilitfest.com). Would love to touch base with you about this sometime as this is something dear to me…

  • Kristina

    July 29, 2008

     

    Thanks Philippe for your comment. I haven’t encountered this issue that much during my stay, but I have seen young children selling cigarettes on the streets to passerby. However, what I have also noticed is that they don’t only sell cigarettes but also candy, gum and other small goods. I am not sure how much of their business is dependent on cigarette sales, but in the next phase of the project, I will ask some students to write about it since I know that some have small businesses that sell tobacco. The current pilot phase is coming to an end and dependent on funding, the project will continue again with the same students in September, so look out for their blogs then!

  • Kenyan Pundit

    August 1, 2008

     

    Great initiative, you might want to get them signed up on the Kenyan blogs aggregrator http://www.kenyaunlimited.com so that they can get more traffic.

  • Helio Sassen Paz

    August 7, 2008

     

    Hi! 😉

    Please allow me to introduce myself: I’m a researcher in Communication and my MS thesis subject is the influence of the sociability both online and offline among southern Brazillian leftist bloggers that usually critics the status quo and what they call “unique thought” from mainstream media. 🙂

    Your job is AWESOME! Congratulations! It’s a very simple and easy way to show people in need that their voices aren’t completely unlistened or unreaded. Probably beginning next year, I’ll start to observe some kind of blogging like yours for my PhD project. 😀

    My best regards,
    Helio Sassen Paz
    Porto Alegre, RS
    Brazil

  • That is positively a step in the right direction! i welcome the newbies to my blog where they can find additional tricks and tips in order to increase the online presence of their blogs this side of the Saharan desert!Kristina’s efforts are to be applauded!

  • Ruth

    August 9, 2008

     

    Inspiring.

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