TOPICS WE DISCUSS IN THIS EPISODE

  • Lily tells us about how she gave up her job to start this project to provide education to children from the informal settlement
  • We talk about how her vision has grown from the five children she originally wanted to help in 2003 to the hundreds, including many disabled children, whose lives have been changed since
  • Lily explains to us how she accidentally became a passionate advocate for inclusion
  • We talk about the challenge of gathering resrouces for this kind of work – and why passion is what matters in the end
  • We also hear what Lily has learnt in the process of developing and expanding the project
  • And she gives us her advice about getting your own change making project started as well.

Some quotes from the show:

‘The needs of children an informal settlement are more than education, that was why we called it an early childhood development centre’
‘The main challenge is being able to get enough resources to provide the kind of services that the kids need because the majority of their parents are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table’

‘I mobilised my friends and we sat down as a committee and all the ones who were thinking I was crazy are now the ones I put on the committee and said we can do something’

‘We thought we were going to work with five children but the number of kids was growing everyday’

‘I looked at my child and I asked myself, if this set up was meant for my own child, what would I provide for them?’

‘The project is a collaboration between little rock, the child and the parents’

‘After the post election violence the parents had begged you to keep the school open because it was the safest place for their children, I always remember that’

‘There is no way you can teach a hungry child and you cannot teach a sick child, so the porridge and the lunch really is a boost for them’

‘Even if a mother or father walks in and they have nothing, their children are fed’

‘Biggest lesson is the joy and the opportunity that the children have got’

‘A number of the kids have been able to go to high school including three kids admitted to national schools because of their grades’

‘We simply spend our door to disabled children and said please come, we are ready to welcome you, we are ready to communicate with you and provide your child with quality early childhood education which was our mandate and our core business’

‘In 2006 a mother brought her child to the centre and we realised that the child was not able to walk so we asked ourselves if this was my child, what answers would I expect from the other side and so we accommodated her daughter who had cereal palsy in to our set up’

‘Our classrooms our inclusive we do not segregate the kids and have a special unit, we put all the kids in the classroom and they are learning together. So we have become advocates of inclusion.’

Connect with Lily
Little Rock Website: littlerockkenya.org
Little Rock Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LittlerockKenya/
You can also find a few different interviews with Lily on You Tube by searching for Little Rock Kenya there!

This is the second of a two part launch episode in which we introduce you to the women behind Change Making Women.

TOPICS WE DISCUSS IN THIS EPISODE

  • What Nia is and how it has cured Mary Ann’s problems with her back
  • Working on disability and children and young people as Director of AbleChildAfrica
  • Working on mental health and illness in Tanzania as Regional Representative for BasicNeeds
  • Getting burnt out trying to make a difference
  • The on-line community Mary Ann is working to establish for Change Making Women
  • How making a difference can start where we live
  • What food Mary Ann says she could eat for the rest of her life!

Some quotes from the show:

On finding Nia –
‘I’m in her class and I’m like, I wanna do this, this great, I love it, I love it!’

On teaching Nia:
‘I tell my students, here’s a movement, but follow your body’s way with it, so if that doesn’t feel go for you, adjust the movement….
Get used to how the music makes you wants to move and just feel your way with it’

‘It’s a really go balance with a lot of the other stuff I do which is more in your head’

‘For me personally, it was just like, I can’t do this anymore, there is mixed feeling on the inside’

‘Maybe I don’t actually have to take so much responsibility on myself and think that this is all my thing to solve’

‘What I am really wanting to do now is really support other people that are working in the NGO sector to really kind of basically look after themselves so that they do have the energy’

‘People always look from the outside and they load this ‘your so amazing’ thing on you but the reality of your work can still be hard work, a lot of travel, and a lot of not being with your family and personal struggle’

‘I am working on setting up a community for women who want make a difference which will offer them support so that they can kind of make sure that they are doing their work to make a difference in a way that’s healthy for them – It’s giving people a bit of space to step back from the daily grind of their work’

‘If you wanna make a change you don’t have to travel a thousand miles you can just start with your neighbour’

‘I do miss the food, I could eat Pilau and Chapatis for the rest of my life!’