Yes, it’s true, Perseverance & Possibility in Kenya is now available for purchase on Amazon! I barely believed it when I clicked on the link. A Dream come True! And I want to share it with you. This is deeply important to me; the stories within these pages are ALL about Perseverance, NOT Giving Up, seeing the Potential where perhaps others only saw Pity. When we view obstacles as opportunities the possibilities are truly Limitless.
You will read about Steve Kyenze’s Transformation from Cocaine Dealer to Art Teacher:
The Transformation of Steven Kyenze
We are proud to highlight Steven as one of the people featured in our Storybook: Perseverance & Possibility in Kenya – Stories Capturing an Image of Intensity, Persistence & Big Dreams
It is not only the children and teens who benefit from Uweza Aid Foundation, as Teacher Steven Kyenze shared his life story in detail. Steven, an orphan, lived a hard life before his transformation a little more than a year ago. He was a cocaine dealer, a criminal and an addict. He was always on the run and in and out of prison for years. One day he decided to stop running. Steven found his transformation through religion and decided to devote the rest of his life to helping others see the error of his ways and prevent them from following the same destructive path as he did for so long. He discovered he had a talent in painting, a talent that had lain dormant for years. He shared his desire to paint with his Pastor and his need for supplies; the Pastor presented paints and paper and Steven was on his way. Today he encourages the children in Kibera to tap into their artistic talent and to express themselves through painting.
He hopes they do not lose their lives to the streets and drugs as so many people he knew. He has found a family in the children. Every Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon, Steven can be found at Uweza in the well lit room with paint splattered walls. His trunk of treasure filled with paints, paper, brushes, palettes and plastic cups await the eager hands of youth as young as four and up to the age of twenty, ready to express their stories on canvas.
Children paint scenes of Maasai Mara, the National Park of elephants, giraffes and other animals that many of them have never seen but they are aware of due to outsiders’ visions of Kenya. They paint scenes of fishermen, sunsets and serenity. When encouraged, they paint warriors dancing, skyscrapers of Nairobi – a skyline they see over the rusted roof tops of Kibera. They paint their neighborhoods, vibrant market stalls, mud and tin houses and multitudes of people bustling with business. Steven paints right alongside them; peaceful palms, zebras running across the Savannah.
“They give me reason to live. I ran away all my life. I ran away from the police, I ran away from people I’d harmed. And I asked myself, how long can I keep running? One day I felt it in my heart to go to church and start a new life. The preacher listened as I shared my dream of becoming a painter. He bought me art supplies. I now use my hands in a positive way. I have a purpose in life. I have vowed to give back one year of service to these children for every year I have done wrong. I hope I live a long time,” Steven says with a smile on his face.
A HUGE thank you to Hilary Wallis at Artfully AWARE for trusting me to take her Story Book Project to Kenya and in October to Ghana, December to Haiti and in 2014 to Belize, India, Colombia and… the list goes on.
Every single penny, 100% of the proceeds goes back into the volunteer project allowing us to provide Free copies of the book for Every person & organization who contributed stories, illustrations and their time to creating this volume. The book will also be distributed to community centers and schools for use as a teaching tool.
You can read all about the Story Book Project here: http://artfullyaware.org/work
Thank you for your support!