Small steps, big wins: Wasilwa, a model of resilience

For Wasilwa the chairperson of Kayole stars, a youth association formed by USK in September 2020, the struggle is real yet the win is remarkable and inspiring. He captures his journey

“Mimi nilikuwa natumia madawa mingi sana. Sasa naweza kukaa mchana mzima bila kutumia dawa. Nimepunguza sana,’ Translated to mean: ‘I was using hard drugs. Now I can go for a day without the urge. I have reduced intake of drugs and I hardly indulge.” Wasilwa.

As a chairperson of this association, which for survival engages in the business of garbage sorting and offloading at the Kayole Dumpsite, he confesses how difficult it was for him to envisage reformed youths, less on hard drugs and petty crime. He, alongside his colleagues have experienced transformation, though at varied paces, since his election as the chairperson of the association. He confidently claims that his various trainings by USK on governance and leadership has inculcated, excited and strengthened his ability to lead the group, while taking charge of his own life as an individual. He attributes this to his continuance of Electrical wiring course that USK enrolled him for in May 2022. He is determined, owing the discipline inculcated in him now, to complete this course and enrol for university learning in future.

His members are inspired by his growth and changed ways, even as they acknowledge their own struggles. They look up to him for lessons and pathways to resist and reject drug and substance abuse amongst other socially unacceptable behaviours. He applauds USK for believing in him and a second chance to explore his potential and follow his dreams.

Wasilwa’s journey demonstrate why patience, determination, love, conviction and perseverance are key to reforming youths on the streets. Each step is important and every milestone celebrated. Using the Association model USK continues to enable youth overcome challenges to realise dignified lives.  USK continues to support Kayole Stars under the ongoing projects.


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