|By Luis Borrallo|
How did you come around to starting the podcast project? What inspired you and your team?
During the lockdown between April and May 2020 we were looking for ways to engage with the students in Macheo and similar programmes we run through the Community Service Centre. We realized that the secondary school students needed more support and encouragement than ever before. We started by writing a few stories to discuss with them. From there, we decided to make recordings of these stories. Eventually we realized that while the stories are good, with time, their relevance dies out. That is how we decided to make podcasts dubbed Winning @ LifeSkills.
What is the podcast all about and what do you hope to achieve through this project?
These podcasts focus on life skills and values, that in our opinion young people in Kenya and elsewhere, must acquire in order to succeed in life .They are based on discussions between young people, many of them students of the University, with one or two older people. For instance, we recorded two podcasts on what an ex-form 4 needs to know to proceed with his education (application to KUCCPS and HELB loans), but we also have podcasts on more general topics like resilience, life after school, use of time and so on.
How does this podcast contribute to the Service to Society Pillar of the University?
Very often our office has been approached by staff members or other people asking us to run programmes like Macheo in schools in their home areas. While we try to oblige such requests whenever possible, resources are always a challenge. And now with Covid-19, this kind of interaction with schools is even harder. So we are offering an alternative that is easily available, free. The podcasts can be accessed by all who are interested, be it individuals or groups within schools, churches, youth groups, and families.
If the material is well received, we will keep making new podcasts. For that we call on Strathmore staff and students, as well as other collaborators, to share with the world the bit of wisdom that they have gained through their personal journey.
What lessons have you learned from your experience?
Certainly at the beginning of 2020 we did not have such an initiative in mind. But the “new normal” forced us to come up with new ways of doing our work. I was pleasantly surprised by the capacity of the Community Service team (Babu, Victoria and Tess) to think outside the box and come up with something simple yet innovative. Let us keep thinking how to solve the little and big problems that we face as a society, and let us keep trying different solutions in an effort to serve society better.
Listen to the podcast here: Winning at LifeSkills Podcast