Hassan: Hat Tip to a Local Champion

Last year I wrote a post for A Day Without Dignity about a community based development organization, Mbuyuni Development Youth Group. Mbuyuni works on a number of small-scale projects in their neighborhood, including trash collection and recycling.  They run a tree nursery, make soap to sell as a way of fundraising, and help run the school for children that can’t afford school fees or for whatever reason can’t go to the primary school just down the road.

Mbuyuni is made up entirely of volunteers.

I recently helped Hassan, the director of Mbuyuni and a friend of mine, set up a blog for the group. At the moment we are talking about how to coordinate posting and how best to solicit donations online.

For Hassan, the blog represents a way to get support (moral and monetary) from a broader audience than the suburbs of Mombasa. For me, as a graduate student trained in area studies, it represents a much needed platform for organizations like Mbuyuni and people like Hassan to have a more audible voice. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to either interview Hassan or ask him to write a blog post in time for A Day Without Dignity 2012.

This post is a hat-tip to, and mini-portrait of, Hassan.

Hassan

Hassan

On the weekends, Mbuyuni makes the rounds in the neighborhood to collect trash.

Trash is brought to a central location, where it is sorted.

Hassan with some of the children at the school Mbuyuni helps run

As if community work and providing a place for the local kids to socialize and learn weren’t enough, Hassan commutes to Mombasa during the week to manage a small curio shop just across the way from Fort Jesus. If I’m reading his emails correctly (my Mombasa Swahili is rusty) Hassan has also just trained to be a teacher. This is a schedule that rivals that of a working graduate student (which, I should be clear, I was once but am not at the moment).

Hassan's shop

Hassan has a great sense of humor and is always laughing with friends and visitors

Hassan packing up his wares for the evening

I write this post, then, in support of A Day Without Dignity 2012, whose focus this year is on Local Champions.

Hassan, kweli wewe ni shujaa ya jamii. Tuendelee kufanya kazi kwa bidii pamoja ili Mbuyuni ikue. Tutawasiliana tena hivi karibuni.

About Carol Jean Gallo

PhD student at Cambridge. Interested in local context and global affairs and the crossroads and misinterpretations between them.
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One Response to Hassan: Hat Tip to a Local Champion

  1. Pingback: A Day Without Dignity 2012 – Local Champions | Good Intentions Are Not Enough

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