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Mwamko Mpya Introduction

Liberate yourselves”, he said, “speak the language you are most comfortable speaking, express yourself in the way that feels most natural to you.” That was one of the first sentences that Bonface, the host, spoke welcoming the group of eager participants to October 2019’s Mwamko Mpya workshop.


His point was to emphasise that this is a safe space. A space where the participants could be their authentic selves, a space where they could share their real stories, express their raw fears, outline their hopes. It was a space where they were not only expected to be their true selves, but the success of the workshop is hinged on this authenticity.


And share they did – happily, boldly, beautifully, intentionally.


These are a few of their stories; stories that we are honored and privileged to be partakers of. May their voices encourage us to work with added urgency and greater insight into why the program needs to reach more and more members of our security forces.


INTRODUCTION


I belong


What came to mind when you received the call from GSN inviting you to this workshop?


“I felt like I belong. I felt that I belong to an institution that cares about my wellbeing, I felt that I belonged to a community that is concerned with the mental health of its people, I felt like I belonged to a family that desires the best for me.”
All that from a simple phone call?


“Yes.”


This is what a participant in the October 2019 Mwamko Mpya training said he felt when a staff member at GSN called him with details about the workshop. His sense of belonging that emanated from that call speaks volumes about the reception that the Mwamko Mpya initiative receives from the members of the uniformed forces that GSN partners within this ground-breaking program.


Kumbe tulikuwa tumelala (Alas, so we have been asleep!)
When one participant heard the name of the program Mwamko Mpya, her first thought was “kumbe tulikuwa tumelala, sasa tutaamka.” (Alas, so we have been asleep, now we will wake up).


Many of the participants came with huge expectations for the October 2019 Mwamko Mpya training which can best be summed up by the term, learning. Many of them are counsellors at their various stations whose work daily brings the wounded at their doorsteps. Their main aim was thus to learn how to better handle their own stress and trauma and in turn equip their colleagues with the tools needed to handle their own stress and trauma.

A TOKEN OF APPRECIATION

My first posting as a police officer was to what is termed as a good post. This could mean several things. It could mean a well-staffed station, it could mean a station

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THE TOOL BOX

Words like easy going, friendly, relaxed could never have been used to describe him. Instead, many found him rigid, stiff, unyielding. He was set in his ways, he didn’t like surprises, he

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THE SNIPER

He shot eight men; not just men, but policemen; not just policemen, but his colleagues. He shot eight of his colleagues in cold blood before he was felled but his story begun

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RECONCILIATION

I’m a good husband, no- let me rephrase that – I’m a great husband; I’m kind, considerate, supportive and helpful; I do my best to be the best provider that I can

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RAISED FEES

I knew something was amiss when she hesitated, she was telling me that the hostel fees had been increased from five thousand to eight thousand. There was a subtle change in her

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PURPOSE

You don’t know what forgiveness is until you’ve had to forgive the unforgivable; that despite the fact that you were wronged beyond what any human being should ever have to endure, you

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NEW COLOURS

I’m going to be a mentor; I’m going to be the kind of officer that a younger officer can look up to, the kind of officer who inspires others, the kind of

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FROZEN

Of course, everyone is happy during their passing out parade, but I tend to think I was happier than most. This day was the culmination of a lifelong dream of becoming a

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ELEVEN BULLETS

They were fighting, again, and it was tiring. It happened every evening like clockwork. As soon as the husband arrived home from work, a fight was sure to ensue between him and

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A CHANGED MAN

He was screaming again. He has been doing that a lot, it’s become the new normal. He’s screaming his head off because the keys are not where he had last left them,

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A CHANGE OF HEART

“If I had known they would be walking scot free, after the heinous crime that they had committed, I would have shot the three of them in the head instead of arresting

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A 4-YEAR OLD

I joined the police service because I have an insatiable desire for justice; I long to see the wrongs in the world righted; I long to see the underdog getting his day;

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Maria’s Story

I’m very proud of my heritage. It is what makes me who I am, it’s what makes me unique. I come from a family of police officers. By many people’s standards, I

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Jonah’s Story

Three years, that’s how long it took. Three years of wondering what had happened, three years of wondering what was going on in his mind, three years of wondering if there had

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Sally’s Story

“So, who exactly will you be counselling here?” Her boss asked before walking away. He didn’t even give her a chance to answer the question. She was deeply hurt and disappointed and

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“Unfair treatment”

“We in fact need well learned people of your calibre working in Katilu, I remember my boss telling me gleefully as he gave me my transfer letter. I had been transferred to

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“Leopard”

I heard the gunshots before I felt the pain. They were loud and all consuming. I thought I would never hear again. It never occurred to me that the shots had landed

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“Hostile Neighbors”

I rubbed my eyes because I couldn’t believe what I was just seeing. I closed my eyes and opened them again. Never would I have expected to find what I just did

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