Josphat Kamanya

“That as much as the world needs a lot of change. Do a bit. Do what you can.”

Part 1: Living Clean

“I founded Living Clean Society, about 7 years ago now. Living Clean Society is a non-profit organization. So it’s my way of trying to find an entry to society, giving back and impacting some social change. We do various things. For the youth we have football, it’s called Ganaki FC. Check us out on Facebook, or better yet, come play for us! We’ve been playing for about 5 years. We’ve done so well we’ve started in our local leagues. So sports, for positive social change. What we want to do is to be able to meet the needs of the communities, especially the young and the youth, both boys and girls, in a way that is sustainable and helps them to become independent. And hopefully help someone else in the future.

We also provide intervention on substance abuse, because you know, drug use and drug abuse are quite prevalent in my area. So we do sponsorship for treatment, rehabilitation. For those who are successful, we try to get them back to technical skills or education. We also provide preventive education, because you can help people stop using drugs, but it’s best to delay the process of substance abusing, or not use at all. So we run programs with various schools, partner with hospitals to get medical attention to those who are addicted. We try to partner with other organizations to formulate programs that will be long-lasting and have a long effect.”


Part 2: Education

“I was in Groningen at the Hanze in 2016 for the minor Changing Behavior. It was quite a good experience. I must say, ‘goed.’ It has shaped my approach and attitude towards supporting or initiating programs of change in my community.

There’s a lot of differences between education in the Netherlands and Kenya. I think in comparison with our system, people learn in Groningen, how to interrogate concepts and embrace processes. Here we are taught what is there. Everyone learns the same thing. It’s repetition. The difference is quite interesting. But it’s good to find that you can approach the same topics in your own individual way.

A memory of Groningen? I’m even getting goosebumps. I got there when it was still cold. For the first time in my life, I had to enjoy the sunshine from inside. I remember this one day. It looked warm. Because the sun was out. I didn’t bother to look at the temperature. But it was about -2. I went outside in a vest. I was shocked. I froze. I almost became an ice cube. That was quite an experience.”


Part 3: Future Change

“I see myself growing to a level to get involved at policy-making. I’d want to influence the policies that are made in our area, our region, our country. If getting involved in elected positions and politics is one way, it can go a long way. It will change how resources are distributed, how people are involved, how the communities engage. I want to do that.

This is just my theory. That as much as the world needs a lot of change. Do a bit. Do what you can. I’ll do what I can. It’s the small things that matter. Anyone can change something. Even through good will, encouraging a person. If you want to have a change in your community, be a role model. Lead from the front. Us, we talk about drug free lifestyles, that’s how we live our lives. Learn how to have fun without drugs. In your family, your community, your neighbourhood. Before we know it, the entire world will be running behind us.

Finally, I encourage myself by saying, the kind of service, the kind of work we do, is like planting seeds. Where you know, it is your grandchildren who are going to enjoy the shade. So if want a healthy environment for your kids, your grandchildren, that starts now.

There’s this story in Kenya. When there was a bushfire, a hummingbird flew to the nearest water source. A river. It immersed in the water and came out to flap it’s wings over the fire. That’s what we’re doing with drug prevention. It’s a small start in a small place. But it’s working. Be the hummingbird. You know, maybe the fire will not go out, but it won’t burn as fast.”