5 Easy Ways to Make the Best First Impression

Image | Courtesy With the digitization of every aspect of life, most people are slowly losing their interpersonal skills. These skills have been proven to be critical for those seeking career advancement or business development. Interpersonal skills begin from the point of first contact and hence the need to have a spectacular first impression. It is unfortunate that human beings are wired to judge you based on your first impression despite what else you have to offer. Here are tips that will help you create a lasting first impression be it in a meeting, interview or social gathering. a) Appearance and grooming Before people listen to you they tend to form a perception of you based on how you present yourself. Always ensure that your grooming and mode of dressing represent the personality you want to show and is consistent with the occasion. Before meeting a new person, assess the nature of the meeting and the position you are presenting. As you work on your presentation it is also goo

Why I Struggled to Celebrate International Youth Day this Year?

Photo | Courtesy If you have interacted with me in person or through digital platforms you know I am an avid advocate of issues affecting adolescents, youth and women.  Any efforts going into these cause I will cheer on with my heart and soul. This year I felt challenged or rather constrained to celebrate International Youth Day (IYD) a day I have celebrated for a decade now. Let me begin by explaining the spirit behind IYD. This is a day celebrated annually on 12th August following a resolution passed by the General Assembly in 1999 endorsing recommendations made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 Aug 1998). They also recommended that public information activities be organised on this day to promote awareness of the World Programme of Action For Youth.  This year's theme was, 'Youth Engagement For Global Action' with an aim of highlighting how youth engagement can be enhanced in different levels to enrich processes and institutions fro

Life Threw Me Lemons; Lived on The Streets, Had Life Threatening Asthma and Degenerative Eye Problem But Now I am Having My Lemonade – Benson Kiragu

Photo | Courtesy “My life has been a roller coaster of unforeseen and unprecedented events, but I am proud of whom I have become.” Benson Kiragu outlines as he begins to narrate his story. I was raised by my grandparents with my two siblings in Uasin Gishu county, Kenya. The year of my birth is unknown to me, but I settled for 1985 when I was applying for a birth certificate. The year 1992 marked the beginning of a dark phase in my life. The tribal clashes associated with the general election rocked my life and that of my family. Despite us having a home my grandparents were squatters. When the clashes begun our home was torched and we had to run for our lives.  I remember hiding in a trench with my dear aunt as ragging youth ran past us with bow, arrows and machetes. This was very terrifying. I thought we could escape the attack, but fate was not on our side. A group of the attackers spotted us. As I tried to scream for help, they sexually assaulted my aunt despite her

Truth About Being a Young Adolescent

I am an angry and mad teenager. I believe I have a right to be angry and annoyed. Angry at everyone in my space. This includes me. I know being a teenager is being between the ages of 13 to 18. That it is supposed to be exciting and fun at the same time.  It is a stage of me turning into an adult where I’m expected to make mature decisions that will determine whether my future is bright or doomed. Why am I angry again? I’m angry because I have a million things crisscrossing my small mind but with a few options of who to turn to that wouldn’t judge me. The adults are supposed to understand me. My peers are supposed to love and accept me and I am expected to fully understand myself. And yet none of these people understand me. I don’t even understand me. So I’m mad! Let me tell you what being a teenager is all about. Read: Vulnerability is all about being human . Being a teenager at home. I want my parents to stop with the many warnings. They need to stop telling me that they are always r

Vulnerability is all about being Human

Take off the mask. Put your guard down. Enough about hiding your insecurities. Today I want to talk about vulnerability. Yes! Vulnerability. I have found that many of us look at vulnerability as a weakness and we all dread the thought of being open to people about those things we are not proud of doing or the things we are still doing that we never want people to find out about us. The type of vulnerability where we are sharing our needs, exposing ourselves, sharing the not enough-ness we sometimes feel, sharing our deepest fears and regrets. This is the case for those who undergo rehabilitation for alcoholism or drug and substance abuse. (Hello I am so and so and I’m an alcoholic.) Saying it out loud! The kind of vulnerability where we are opening our hearts and exposing the real and sensitive us. Being open and sensitive to people about who we are has become an act of defiant resistance, and we will go to all strengths, pretend and walk around with smiley faces that show that all i

It Is Time We Practised More Self-Compassion than Compassion

“I want to be a Child Protection Champion for teenagers, Can I? Is it possible? “Corazon that dream is way too big for you to achieve! “ “You are too weird and too ugly to fit in! You just do not qualify “   “Your shape and form look like one of a lion. You cannot be beautiful in anything you dress in.” “You deserved the rejection from that friend! You deserve all that is happening to you and more. That is what you get for setting your standards too high!” ‘They will laugh at your stupid ideas and opinions” I have been a victim of such conversations countless times in the past when I was growing up.   They also pop up once in a while in my adulthood and I feel uncertain about my capabilities.   I am not the only one in this world.   So many people think negatively about themselves. Many also talk themselves out of opportunities. We are fast at reprimanding ourselves more than we are at praising and uplifting ourselves for the things we accomplish in life.

What Access to Justice Meant Growing Up as an African Child

Photo | Courtesy Today we mark the International Day of the African child. A day marked to honour ten thousands of black school children who took part in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 to protest poor quality education and demanded to be taught in their own language. Hundreds were shot and hundreds killed in the protest. This day has been celebrated every year since 1991. (Wikipedia) The theme of this year's celebration theme is, Access to Child-Friendly Justice System. This theme has made me think of access of justice which starts at home; with family being the first point where children learn about justice and access justice. Justice is a concept that children have had little or no understanding about. In African culture, parents and the elderly in the community had the final say in matters justice. When I talk of justice, I am going with these two definitions provided by Cambridge dictionary: 1. Fairness in the way people are dealt with 2. The system of law

Effective COVID-19 Messages For Children; Episode 2

Image  Kenya’s first case of Covid-19 case was reported on 12th March 2020 and the numbers have continued to rise drastically with 607 confirmed infected persons, 127 recoveries, and 29 deaths as of 7th May, 2020. Many more citizens are getting tested and the numbers are still expected to rise. Sadly children are part of the above statistics given to us by the Ministry of Health. World statistics and facts about the exact number of children infected and survivors is not known due to child protection issues. In Kenya the ages of Children mentioned are 15 years, 12 years, 7 years, 2 years, and the youngest and the most recent case being a 6 months old baby. Read:  Effective COVID-19 Messages-for Children Episode 1 With all this information, the sad reality remains that there is no vaccine, so parents and caregivers must protect children from this Virus at all costs. No one can help children other than the adult in their life.  In this episode, I continue sha

Effective COVID-19 Messages for Children; Episode 1

World Health Organization has assessed that COVID-19 is a pandemic that is spreading across Counties and Continents across the world. As the Virus continues to spread it is governments are working hard to put prevention and control measures to ensure that their populations are safe. Children are Global Citizens. They are key in the fight against Covid-19. The only message we are giving our children is to stay home ,wash hands and wear a mask. This is very true, but I believe more clear information on Covid-19 given to children by Parents and Caregivers will go along way in reducing the spread of the Virus amogst them. Anyone who has interacted with Children knows that they have a lot of questions. And explaining things to them in a language they can undersatnd sometimes can be very tricky.  Here are some children realated, clear and actionable guidance for Adults to use while engaging Children on matters COVID-19 What is COVID-19? It is a disease caused by a new strain of c

Safe Measures For Teenagers in the Fight Against COVID-19

        Courtesy:Undpkenya       Being a young adolescent in the 21st century is not easy and, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is not making life that easy for them. With the abrupt closure of schools, cancelled events, curfews and, lock downs happening without prior warning or preparations are causing young adolescents to miss out not only in academics but on some of the biggest and important moments of their young lives. As the virus continues to spread across the world, countries are facing multiple new stresses like psychological health risks, family confinement, isolation, and economic vulnerability. Through all these children and young adolescents are particularly very vulnerable and at risk. As countries try to understand the pandemic and come up with coping and survival mechanism for the virus, families especially parents and caregivers are faced with new challenges and realities. That of taking care of their children. One key thing to note is teenagers