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An E-Learning Student from Nairobi Reflects on What He Has Learned

My name is Samuel Karanja. I completed the CCP's e-learning program on child protection. The course is a blend of online interaction with the material and face-to-face sessions. When I began the course, I was actively involved with children and youth ministry in the informal settlement area within Nairobi. The children and the youth in the program came from extremely poor backgrounds, which made them vulnerable to all forms of abuse. I found the course materials very useful in my work with children and youth.

The unit on Understanding Culture and Childhood was enriching, putting into context my own cultural values and upbringing and how this influences the safety of children under my care. The module on self-care sounded fluffy and self-indulgent, but after going through the material, I realized how crucial it is to my functioning. It’s easy to neglect taking care of ourselves because when we’re busy and overwhelmed, even a small reprieve feels like a luxury. Yet, a few minutes for reflection each day or enjoying a weekend with friends could make a difference in the work I do with vulnerable young people. The last unit that had a great influence on me is the one on Jesus and Children: The Image of a Loving God. This is a true indication that the safety and well-being of children is a Christian duty.

The reflection and journaling activity was also important. This enabled me to think deeply about the materials and resources that were provided and enabled me to come up with an action plan. This course has generally helped me to be a good voice for vulnerable children who are at a greater risk of abuse, and it has also served as a great source of reference and training materials for my colleagues and family, who are involved in ministry with children. I am hoping to use my skills that I gained from the course to continue volunteering as a child rights officer and to help informal schools that we work with in Kibera develop child protection policies. I am also intending to lead some sessions with the children on rights awareness, roles and responsibilities, and to encourage the establishment of child rights clubs in the schools. Our moderators Brother Amandi Mboya, Mr. George Warari and Ms. Beatrice Mumbi have been very helpful inside and outside the classroom and I will continue to engage them whenever I need any assistance.

— Samuel Karanja