MY EXPERIENCE AT THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT DESIGN SUMMIT (IDDS)

Ismail Matipa has been with the Zion Home since 2007 and has been working with the Kubuni Centre since October. He has completed his Bachelors in Education with a specialization in special needs development. Currently, he works at a coffee company located in Mbeya, Tanzania. Through the Okoa Project at the Kubuni Centre, he had the opportunity to apply for the International Development Design Summits this year. Thankfully, he was accepted into the Nairobi Summit and spent 2.5 weeks capacity building with people from all around the world.


According to the IDIN website, "International Development Design Summits (IDDS) are intense, hands-on, community-based design trainings that bring together a diverse group of people to teach them the co-creative design process and how to prototype low-cost technological solutions to improve livelihoods of people living in poverty." For more information check out their website at: http://www.idin.org/idds.

Ismail has written a small piece explaining his experience below. Everyone in the Olive Branch Family is so so proud of your accomplishments!


TRIP TO NAIROBI FINANCIAL INCLUSION


This past July, I went to Nairobi to attend the International Development Design Summit (IDDS). The summit was attended by people from 23 countries with the great mix of cultures and backgrounds from 6 continents. Due to this diversity, I met different people with a broad range of talents and skills. Despite our differences, we were all united by one great goal of helping to improve the lives and livelihoods of people living in poverty.


At the Summit, we learned the Philosophy of IDDS which is  “co-creation” (designing with). The summit aimed to redefine the way in which development is practiced, to work with people so that they become active creators of technology rather than being a passive recipient of technology.


Upon arrival, we were introduced to various topics including; valuing wastes, solar lanterns, financial education, and micro-forestry. Each member had to choose one topic to focus on and develop the applicable solutions for each issue most of the Embu people living in the slums in Kenya face.




TOPIC SELECTION

I chose the micro-forestry topic because the forest can be very beneficial to the community, but it takes much time to give back returns. Due to the long returns, many communities in Kenya decide only to plant short-term crops and leave micro-forestry industry alone. Myself and our team of five developed a mobile platform which will help reward some people who will be willing to engage in micro-forestry activities. For now, we have come up with conversational SMS platform and piloted it in the community. From our initial pilots, it seems to be working and we have received positive feedback.


Project Planning


The broad range of skills and talents from different people helped me to learn so many things. I learned how Data mapping and Internet Of all Things (IOT). Working with such a diverse group, we were able to share our personal stories of how we got to where we are today. I got a chance of narrating my story which goes by the name of “MY 2 HEROES WHO BUILT WHO I AM”. The story was emotional and inspired many people that evening to the extent some of the people thought to change their big job and decided to do community works.


Working with the Olive Branch for Children, I plan to use the data mapping skills I learned at the summit to further progress the data mapping project we do of their catchment area, and where I am from. My hope is people can easily visit our home without getting lost.


In the summit, I decided to volunteer my self during the evening to teach Kiswahili to non-native Swahili speakers. I conducted the session every night for the entire two and a half weeks. This helped me a lot to connect with people from different countries, for example, there are some people from Japan, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, and India still continue to learn Swahili with me through Facebook and WhatsApp.

We also were able to share our cultural culinary dishes. I taught some people how to cook Ugali, Tanzania's main dish and how to cook Tanzanian Pilau.




EXPERIENCES AND UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS

I had so much fun while I was in Nairobi, We visited different communities and learned about different cultural traditions including how Kenyan men get married.

We visited some Kenyan national parks and gazetted forests. We went hiking in one of the tallest Mountain in Kenya.


I still remember the nice moment of morning circle, where we all seat together and talk to each other about different cultures from different countries, appreciating to one another, talking about hopes and dreams of everyone.


MY HOPE AND DREAMS.

Attending IDDS, has reshaped my mindset. I now look at problems as an opportunity to be innovative, I hope to be able to look at Tanzanian issues and apply the same thought process. My new dream is to test the solution of reforestation that we designed in Kenya to see if it can help to increase coverage of forests in Tanzania.  I hope it can change the mindset of most of the Tanzanian to look at the forestry industry as an opportunity and not an enemy because of being a source of pests and dangerous animals.


MY APPRECIATION

I would like to extend my regards first to Mom (Deborah) for funding me the participation fee at the summit.


Secondly, I would also like to extend my appreciation to Allison from the Kubuni Centre for helping me to apply for the Summit. She really put great effort into making sure that I get selected and have those experiences that I have shared above.

Thanks to everyone whom I have not mentioned here but you helped me get these experiences and be part of the family in one of the fantastic network @FINANCIAL INCLUSION IDDS KENYA.

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