Let’s Get a Little Personal
By Loise Machira
I had a three months writer’s block. The last time we interacted was in June when I published the Global Wellness Day article inviting you all to join the online celebrations which brought together more than 300 people on Instagram. Who knew that 2020 would force us into doing online events? For all those who tuned in, thank you for engaging with us on the platform and if you missed it, the interviews are still accessible on IGTV in the GWD Kenya page on Instagram which is linked here. We also have exciting updates to share, so keep reading!
Sometime in May, I started a project to help families in Kariobangi North who were unlawfully evicted by the government. Within a short period, the campaign was able to raise close to KES 2,000,000 and with this, we helped close to 500 families with relief care packages and sponsored their rent. Why I am I bringing this up? This experience completely shifted my perspective on how I look at life and most importantly, it humbled me to a point where it was almost toxic. Does that make any sense? Toxic humility is where you try to be grateful for what you have while also discrediting your frustrations making you feel almost numb.
Let’s take it back to March 13th 2020, when the first COVID-19 case was discovered in Kenya. I had just started a new job at a head-hunting company as their Head of Communications & Marketing, a role I was excited to undertake and one that would involve a lot of travel. Unfortunately, within two weeks of other cases being reported in the country, we got a 50% salary cut and in April, I was laid off. I kept the news to myself for a long time planning how I would make it through quarantine without an income and no safety plan.
I remember meeting David Kogi, who lost everything during the demolitions and had to separate his family of five into different households because he could not afford a new home. His story until today is a reminder of why we should never remain silent when we see an injustice. For this reason, I created a platform called The Relief Connect, to shed light on social injustices that are ignored by government or society at large because they take place within vulnerable communities.
Along with the campaign came cyber bullying in all shapes and sizes. I had never experienced any form of direct attacks until one day, I woke up to a flood of notifications across social media where my name was being dragged online. Although this went on for a couple of weeks, I found a way to silence the noise and focused on providing relief to the affected families. This experience on its own deserves an entirely different article because I would love to dive into the effects of cyber bullying on our wellbeing and how we can armour ourselves as we navigate social media.
Why I am I making this personal and telling you all this? Through a lot of soul searching, I have come to understand that life is so fragile, one minute everything seems to be going according to plan and next, your world is falling apart. However, we need to keep in mind that within all the adversity we face, lies the seed of a greater opportunity.
New Series Update!
We recently started a new series on our instagram page called 'Wellness In A Pandemic' where I host different guests discussing how we can all cope in this new reality of COVID-19. With all the unexpected changes that have occurred since lockdown, I wanted to have conversations where we could learn, be inspired, be entertained and grow together. So far, Anne Wairimu, Anne-Marie Burugu, Gabriella Fox, and Yvonne Endo have graced us with their presence sharing great insights on wellness. In case you don't follow us on social media, the account names are @tizitalks across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Linkedin.
Yours in Wellness,
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