In a world full of technological advancements, is it really possible to keep up? Frankly, its not even possible even if you’re Bill Gates, father of Microsoft. However, what about the basics, typing, sending a message, or even playing a video game, easy right? That’s where we’re all wrong, at least that’s what I’ve learnt working with kids comp camp. I always had this notion that the basics came naturally, pressing a power button and logging on to my computer, making documents, listening to music or watching a video. How about when you get to Kibera YMCA primary and talk to Mutiso who has only seen a desktop let alone a laptop countable times.
The anticipation on the children was almost tangible, as they flock around your station to get close enough to feel this mystical contraption, almost brings me to tears. Why, because I just didn’t volunteer in vain. Well some might say I’m being too dramatic, but walk into any office and tell me how many people still do any actual paper work without a laptop present. Walk into any building and lack at least one desktop work station and tell me what chance these kids have without us doing what we’re doing for them.
Well at least the government gets it, in Muranga we we’re privileged to get there just as the laptop project was underway, where some very fancy looking tablets meant to come in place of the laptops had just arrived the previous day. So more devices meaning more kids get to interact with the devices. Muranga also held a more personal attachment as we were housed in one of the children’s home for our stay there and trust you me, the reception was divine. I give my thanks to Mama Thomas and Thomas my young friend, who at the end of the day was always eager to rush home to play with my laptop. Soon I fear he will become a gamer, technical term coined to imply someone who plays sports with a computer. Anyway, also getting to interact with kids is so refreshing, they offer a genuine urge to learn and never question, I guess that is why we got higher grades in lower primary than in upper primary. The subjects don’t change or become harder, we just become more rigid to learning something different, which is why we found it so easy to teach so much about computers in such a short span of time Maybe, just maybe that is what we all need to remember how it felt to just learn and not to always question or second guess ourselves. I can’t also forget to mention the wonderful group I got to work with, “Kids Next Door”, I’m sure perhaps Ann wouldn’t approve.
Well after Muranga we headed out to Oduwo Primary, Muhoroni where I might also point out we almost lost our wheels, well Muhoroni did lose a bridge to minor flooding of a tributary from river Nyando. All in all I thank God we arrived safely at the rural home of Mr. and Mrs. Origa who in fact made our stay very memorable. We got to cook and become a part of their culture, and at school I became a teacher, chalk and duster and all. The kids still made me feel like welling up. They made it all seem so glamorous. Something so small could in fact make such a large impact still shocks me. I am yet to wrap my head around this beautiful revelation and I can’t help but appreciate kids comp camp even more.
Microsoft office, desktop, mouse, keyboard, have become an extension of me. They are no longer just tools but a source of inspiration. To a trainer, you shape the children’s minds with sentences, words, and numbers. To the child they are for a few moments taken to a new dimension where anything is possible. Al be it cruel to just give them a taste of the elixir of life and then take it away from them when you leave. We do this to drive their passion and hunger for more, they climb out of the pool of education and yearn to be part of the work force or whatever life calls them up to be. For me kids comp camp is a new leash in life. Through them I can make a difference and I am grateful for the team behind it, Caleb Ndaka and Lennah Wanjiku you are really a cut above the rest. For the opportunity you have given me and the children of Kenya, we thank you.