Mentoring Young Minds

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From your left to the right : myself(Cera Moon), Wangechi Kiongo,Jecinta Wewa, Esther Wachira and Dominic Mugambi together with pupils from Kiamucheru Primary School, Karatina

 

“You can take the monkey from the bush but you cannot take the bush out of the monkey” .

This adage vividly describes the impact of a person’s environment to their thinking and their way of doing things.

Oh,Happy New Month ! Welcome to my blog, dear friend… Ensure you leave a comment or share so that I know you were here. So back to the main story (we will catch up later)..


I remember growing up when my late grandfather would come to visit us at our home which was then in Mukeretti,Dagoretti. My little sister, Wahu and I would get very excited because he would take us for walks around our home area . We used to refer to them as “strolling”.

Guka twende strolling!” (Grandpa let’s get strolling)

We nagged him immediately he got home, even before he could rest.

We enjoyed his company as he would ocassionally point at a tree and call it by its scientific name . It was amazing. He taught us the importance of trees . We used avocado leaves to clean our teeth(oh yes!). The leaves of the Croton Megalocarpus (mukinduri)  were used to treat our cuts,bruises and wounds.

Little did I know that the little stints we spent together would act as a building block to the person I am today. May he rest in peace, he was an awesome grandpa.

I also remember every Sunday when my dad would turn on the television to watch the National Geographic channel and other wildlife documentaries. He did not spend a lot of his time in watching television but he never missed these episodes. We found profound joy just watching him enjoy the shows.  He would occasionally exclaim as a prey narrowly escaped its predator.

Hushu! ”  (Phew!)

He would let out sigh of relief every time the prey escaped.

These nature-loving backgrounds were key factors that guided me into finding  my “career niche” . That is, however a story for another day.


Today many efforts are being made to mitigate the climate change,to stop the poaching of endangered wildlife, increase the forest cover… etc, but nothing gets more effective than mentoring young children.

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Robert and Kena (Nature Club of Karatina University) having a great time with students from Mathaithi primary school during a tree planting and mentorship programme

TEACHING THEM

Despite the negative views people have about the teaching profession, I respect it. It is the most noble profession there is. Teaching is necessary for every living organism that can communicate.

Did you know that we are all teachers?

To the younger people we are. The only difference is what we to pass on to them whether with our words, our actions or our beliefs.

Mentoring a child does not involve literally “whipping them into shape”. Yes..it should not necessarily involve a rod.

‘Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”~Plato

Young minds are always ready to learn, and they will always pick up the little things that adults do.They will mimic what their parents and teachers say an do.In this case we are all teachers.

Nurturing young minds to conserve will go a long way. People who have been mentored since childhood are more incessant in protecting our wildlife and our environment, to mention a few; Saba Douglas-Hamilton, Wanjira Maathai and Angela Sheldrick.

Mentoring these young people is much more fruitful compared to convincing adults to overhaul their lifestyle in order to mitigate climate change. For example, It is easier to convince a child or a young adult that cycling is better for the environment compared to driving a car as it reduces the release of green house gases into the atmosphere. Older people tend to have rigid systems of doing things.


TIME TO ACT!!

Choose to mentor someone today. Mentor a younger person to conserve the environment. Not just by telling them but by inspiring them to be like you. To plant a tree, avoid littering, to minimize noise.. and this will help them develop a great character.

Remember:

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
William Arthur Ward

 

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