Notes from Spark*Kenya Accelerator

12:27:00 PM

Spark International Accelerator, Sept 2013
As may all know, I am currently working on #hugSitawa, my first project under my mind, my funk outfit which I consolidated last week during a week long accelerator boot camp by  Spark*Kenya. 18 of us working on different ventures were chosen as the first in-house boot camp and spent a whole week panel beating our ventures, eating good food, watching unreasonable videos and learning 60 sec pitched. We later did a pitch at Growth Hub and the winner got $ 1000.I decided to call my mental health outfit; my mind, my funk because the mind is our cool factor, you lose your mind, you lose yourself.

Different ideas of what my mental health organization would look like

It was a really eye opening experience for me, i learnt so so much but the one thing I liked the most and would like to share is the Theory of Change which they simply divided into 3; (take out your notepads)

1. What do I want to change
- What the problem? The one thing you find unacceptable

For me it was having to drop out of Actuarial School due to lack of a support system after my rape and when developing a mental health condition, the expensive medical systems and discrimination at a work place.
- What is that I imagine the community being like when I change it
I believe in a Kenya where people with mental health conditions receive appropriate support and have access to information. But right now the reality is that there is only one referral hospital that is underfunded, understaffed and overcrowded, there are only 79 psychiatrists for a population of 40 million Kenyans and there are no proper support systems.

2. What do I think works
- I think that the best way to bring change to this solution is to create content around mental health and establish support groups.

- The proof that this is a great approach is my personal experience, winning the East Africa Philanthropy Award, getting into the Spark*Kenya Changemakers program and the therapeutic power of writing, the content generated by the blogs and poems and edutainment purpose they will serve.

3. Exactly what am I going to do
- Have a digital story telling project where people will learn blogging, journaling and poetry writing.

- Projected impact is 100 blogs started (10 universities with 10 representatives)

My project is at the start up stage as I have already explored the problem and come up with an action plan. I am in talks with a counsellor from one local university to start a digital story telling story. Really excited about that, already working on the program essentials should the deal go through.The structure and team are also things I am looking into plus the money hence #hugSitawa.
I encourage everyone working on a change making project to apply for this program.Apply to be a 2014 Spark*Kenya Change maker through this link

Came up with my mantra and got loads of love notes from my team in that envelop

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