My name is David, I am from Stockholm, Sweden and I am currently doing an internship at Wale Wale Kenya for my master’s degree in Peace and Conflict studies. When looking around for different internship opportunities I found Wale Wale. It was one of the organizations where other students from my program had done their internships as well. When looking at the website and Instagram it looked like such a fun and welcoming organization that I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
I came to Kenya a week ago, and as this is my first time in the country everything has been very new to me. Figuring out how to get around the city, how MPESA works, where to buy food and what kind of food I can buy etc. These might seem like trivial issues for a native Kenyan, but to me they were huge. Even so, I have gotten a ton of help from people here at Wale, to my French roommates who have helped me around the city and many kind people on the streets of Nairobi who have welcomed me into their city.
I have also tried to follow along the Kenyan election which has been exciting to say the least. Back in Sweden I tried to read as much as I could about both candidates and different analysis about the election. Talking to Kenyans here in Kibera and other places has been very helpful in trying to understand the election. And seeing everyone on the street looking at the livestreamed presidential petition proceedings wondering what was going to happen next is a moment I know I will carry with me from this trip. It has been such a relief afterwards that the city has stayed calm. People seem to be tired of violence and instead want a more peaceful existence. Which seems promising for the future.
My first few days at Wale have also been intense. Getting to know both the people that work here and the youth that makes Wale Wale what it is. I have barely learnt a handful of names so far, but I hope to learn all of them by the end of my stay here. On my first day here some of the youths showed me around in Kibera and I was awed by the resourcefulness of the people living here. From building the houses to finding different ways to support themselves financially. While I am not very good at dancing, it has been fun trying to follow along to the best of my ability and my confidence in my dancing abilities have definitely improved after just a few days (though it is still very low). I have enjoyed taking part in the art program as well. Seeing what everyone can imagine and produce there is fascinating. I have in addition started planning the project I will run while I’m here. I want to discuss masculinity with some of the boys here and how it may affect their lives and their surroundings. It is still very early on, so I have mostly been reading and thinking about it so far. But I hope to develop further on it in the coming weeks.
My wish is for my time here to be fruitful for all of us. That I may learn something about how an NGO such as Wale works. But also help contribute to the organization and the youths that come here as they are the core of what makes Wale Wale.