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Leaders behind the masks

There are so many excellent quotes about leadership floating around out there, but these here really stand out.

“The true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis “ – Brian Tracy

“Anyone can lead when the plan is working. The best lead when the plan falls apart “ – Robin Sharma

“Leaders think and talk about the solutions.

Followers think and talk about the problems” – Brian Tracy

“In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams” – African Proverb

When thinking about these quotes, each is so meaningful, especially now when we have seen each one come to life. Functioning well in a crisis certainly doesn’t sound easy, and…. it isn’t. But, the faces behind the masks make it happen! Even though our regular activities are not functioning at the moment under our normal plans as we support the Ministry of Health’s call for social distancing and preventing spread, our team is still functioning at a distance. When our normal ways of conducting activities fell apart from the presence of COVID-19, our teachers stepped up to the plate in finding alternative ways to serve our girls and their families! They did not just sit around and talk about the problem of COVID-19 existing and the doom and gloom that comes with it, instead they devised creative solutions to still be of help to others with distancing and no physical contact.

Teacher Michelle quickly found an alternative to maintaining the connection with each of our Shining Scholars and Girls Empowerment participants with a weekly check in call from home, she has facilitated food/supply drops to our place that have been re-packaged and distributed to our girls and their families (using distancing and no contact measures) during this time of job and supply shortages. Last, but not least, our Maridadi Skills Teachers re-purposed our skills space within an hours time. They went from making the most beautiful sandals in the world to using our machines and supplies to begin making masks to serve our participants, their entire household and so many housing rows were also able to receive masks that live near our teachers in Kibera. The natural skill sets of Teacher George and Teacher Bernard are seriously unmatched! When you can make a mask for the first time in 20 years on the machines making sandals and it is near perfect……. Definitely unmatched skills! 560 masks were made and distributed for free, and still counting!

In all of this something else happened…… building bridges! Joining the Pamoja Circle has brought us in direct touch with so many other organizations serving in and around Kibera. We are glad to have had the chance to co-create this opportunity with La Femme! We have been able to share ideas, practices and even policies with one another- bridges were built and discussions were all about solutions. If one is experiencing something, it is likely someone else already has or knows another contact to help. We have even been able to support one another’s work in the community during this time of COVID-19.

So many organizations are doing so many amazing things and each of them has brought these leadership quotes to life! Now is not the time to build dams, it is never time for that. Thank you to all of the organizations that joined Pamoja Circle, and local business leaders for sharing information and support on supplies (vendors), and to the best Boda Team around for working the moving of supplies very safely. Each of these organizations and business leaders have done excellent work!

So back to the faces behind the masks… who are they? While each organization has their leaders behind the masks, here are ours below. Thank you for being the leaders that you are. You shine every day in the community! We wanted to share their smiles behind the masks!