Gambia – December 2015

 

Sheila Maurice-Grey

I came to Gambia with an open mind and have gained better self reflection and have built on my network within the arts and music communities. It has shown me how important it is to be practising as an artist in order to be relevant and relatable to the participants. This is a great opportunity for new experiences.

Soraya Lee-Clarke

As a person I feel that I’ve gained a much deeper understanding of life and how we choose to live it. It was inspiring to see the incredibly hard work that the people on our programme, A.YA and my peers in the Vessel. All people that want to learn, better themselves, help others and give love .This journey has massively developed my abilities of self reflection and sharing. My field is international relations and global development and this journey has really helped me to see first hand the effects of colonialism on a nation. I would most definitely recommend this journey to anyone I love it is an eye, heart and soul opener and I only hope I have given enough in this programme to help the participants in the long term.

Veronica Mason

This experience has reminded me about the great potential that all young people have and the reason why youth work and such educational programmes like this are of such value. It has also reminded me of why I got involved in youth work in the first place and the fired up motivation I had to be involved in positive change. We all have something significant to learn from each other but need a foundation to build upon by way of positive action to create shared practices which could be replicated in other countries. I think this Kori programme has the potential to provide a blueprint for this and I, for one, found my participation in this programme invaluable and will continue to support its development in any way that I can.

Poppy Tomlinson

I have gained some more peace within myself. Being part of a dedicated hard working team has given me some much needed hope for humanity. This journey has highlighted some improvements I need to make in the way that I work and deal with some situations. It has also given me more knowledge and a different perspective on how I approach assignments. Of course I would recommend this journey, I believe it is necessary for the majority of people. I have felt myself and seen others grow in this short time.

Zikko Archer

Vessel Project: Creative Writing

Age: 27

“I have worked with children and young people through the KORI Young Artist Programme and leading the Youth Group. I travelled to Zanzibar in 2010 as part of a team and co- delivered writing and music workshops. I am a rapper for two groups: African Revolution and R U 1 FAM.”

Reason for joining The Vessel
“Since travelling to Zanzibar with KORI in 2010 I was keen to go back to Africa and share my skills. Over the last few years I have developed as a facilitator and wanted to develop my project delivery.”

Project challenges
“I found that I had a weakness in my time management whilst working in Kenya, something I worked on whilst running the project. I also found it hard to break down issues like shyness and lack of confidence in the participants.”

Project strengths
“ I feel my style allowed the participants to be flexible and to really own their work. It took them ages to leave the sessions at the end of the day!”

Looking to the future
“I will continue to improve my time management and spend more time making sure I improve musically.”

Tyronne Issac – Stuart

Vessel Project: Dance and Movement

Age: 27

“I graduated from university in June 2014 after studying BA Jazz. I currently work as a professional dancer for Boy Blue Entertainment. I have seven years experience teaching young people in music and dance. I also choreographed the dance for a project called the Fly Over Show in Soweto (South Africa) and I play the saxophone for a Jazz influenced band called Parshnaune.”

Reason for joining The Vessel
“Travelling to Soweto I learnt so much about myself, sharing my skills was really beneficial. I joined this trip to Kenya to gain a wider understanding of working in Africa.”

Project strengths
“The visual resources I took were invaluable because it really helped the young people understand the different dance styles. They trained really hard and would rehearse through lunch breaks to try to perfect their moves!”

Project challenges
“Most of the girls were aged 12-19 with this age gap it was challenging to keep the groups concentration. I really learnt a lot about myself as a teacher and had to deal with some difficult behaviour through group discussion. I also found it hard to address my project focus regarding ‘dance and resilience’ and to work in a way that didn’t daunt them!”

Looking to the future
“Since coming back I have toured with Boy Blue Entertainment in a show called The Fives and the Prophecy of Prana. I really want to nurture the link between the UK and IPI and would like to take part in future vessel journeys to Kenya.”

Elijah Grant

Vessel Project: Events Management

Age: 24

“I have a degree in Marketing and Advertising from Goldsmiths University and I am currently a marketing assistant at FP Colms. I have organised events at the Jazz Café, The Courthouse Hotel and for 21st Century Fox and have worked with acts such as Akala, Shakka and Troy the Magician… Also I like to take long sunset walks on the beach… LOL!”

Reason for joining The Vessel
“I was interested in working with different communities and trying to create a positive influence. I also feel like working with others in The Vessel team helped me to grow as a person.”

Project challenges
“The project preparation really paid off! I carried 5000 sheets of printed paper (the heavy good quality type!) to Meru from London. Everyone thought I was crazy but when I got there the resources where so valuable! I also felt like the course ingredients made the everything go really well and having fun group activities meant that we really bonded together as a team.”

Project strengths
“Not enough papers! No really, it took a long time for the group to trust me and each other, we had to become a cohesive group in two weeks and that was a challenge!”

Looking to the future
“Desire, faith and persistence are the keys to success in every aspect of life.”

Sheila Maurice – Grey

Vessel Project: Visual Arts

Age: 22

“I am a recent fine art graduate from Goldsmiths University. My artwork is both provocative and political, aiming to highlight and explore the black female form. I have been leading KORI’s Art club since January 2013 and have also gained teaching experience through the KORI Young Artist Programme. I also play the trumpet and am a member of the band Nerija.”

Reason for joining The Vessel
“I wanted to take part in The Vessel as it was an opportunity for me to further explore my teaching and develop my teaching skills.”

Project challenges
“I loved the mural, it was so good to see it all come together by the end of the project.”

Project strengths
“I had to be very flexible with my workshop plans, it was hard as some of the things that I had planned did not go the way that I expected them to. To overcome this I took my issues to the team meetings and made use of their advice, it also allowed the course to be more fluid and change in response to the participants needs.”

Looking to the future
“I have taken the power of community home and have also tried to slow down my pace of life so that I am able to absorb more things”

Yoma Edgeworth

Vessel Project: Play Work

Age 19

“I came aboard as a long-term member of KORI; I grew up in it really. I work with the younger children in the After School Programme as creatively as I can and try to support their emotional needs.”

Purpose of taking part in the Vessel
“I had travelled to Tanzania as a young observer in 2010 but never had the chance to be part of the team. This project gave me the chance to work as a team member through play work in Africa, which was one of my dreams.”

Project Strengths
“The project was a joy from the beginning. I loved the way the children started to show their learning through leading the games I had taught them by the second week.”

Project Challenges
“The numbers of children were overwhelming at the beginning, we had to create two sessions to make it easier to run.”

Looking to the future
“I definitely know that I am in the right profession, working with children is what I love and I hope to do more play work internationally!”

Angeline Libock

Supporting Manager

Age 21

“I am have been a staff member at KORI for the last 4 years. Throughout my time I have managed different KORI programmes as well as the academics club.”

Purpose of taking part in the Vessel
“My sister travelled to Tanzania and Zanzibar with the KORI African Journeys programme and always came home a changed person; very excited, full of a sense of fulfilment about the work she had done. This gave me the drive to come onto the next Africa programme.”

Project Strengths
“I aided the programme leader with her management of the team and the programme whilst in Kenya, part of this involved me carrying out the afternoon reflection, this is the part of the day that we called all workshop leaders and young people together to share their learning and end the day on a high. This is something that I am very proud of as, I was able to gather the group together and make sure every day was ended in a positive way.”

Project Challenges
“My challenge is that although I am an out going person I don’t really like to talk in front of large groups, it’s something that always leaves me feeling daunted. I had to overcome this for the afternoon sessions and most of my inspiration came from the Kenyan participants, because at the beginning of the programme it was hard getting them to speak about their day. Toward the end of the project people were willingly coming forward to reflect about their day with the whole group. This gave me more confidence in delivering the afternoon reflection!”

Looking to the future
“Since coming back I feel I have really embraced my role at KORI. I think before I left I did not have a lot of confidence in my decisions and so would always seek answers from other managers, now that I have come back I have had so much more confidence in my ability to handle different situations, from one-to-one meeting with schools to talking to groups of young people. One thing that will stay with me is the kindness and love we received in Kenya, which has given me a positive outlook and has driven me to participate 100% in any task.”