It has been a year full of exciting and thought-provoking moments for Kemen members. We started the year at a high note with the monthly awareness programs, development projects, awards and many more. KEMEN is a Diaspora movement of men that are looked upon as men of impact in all fields. We aim at empowering men to believe in themselves and equip them with tools of knowledge through workshops and conferences, to enable them to attain the grandest height possible. Men empowerment is the core of sustainable development, wellness, stability, and progressive societies anywhere in the world and as such KEMEN is on track.
2019 Kemen Summit
On 29th June 2019, we hosted the Annual Kemen Summit in Atlanta, members from all over the United States celebrated their one year of KEMEN existence. Speaker, after speaker, gave diversified views on ways and means on how to empower and improve the lives of all men in the Diaspora. It was a rare special occasion where a diverse group of visionary Diaspora leaders chosen from business, Mentorship, Financial guidance, Religious, Literacy, Motivation, Immigration experts, Education, Health, Wellness, and many others gave speeches on their areas of expertise. These are men who clearly understand that change and effective progress are only possible with a good vision, that can impact and bring about total change to all in the Diaspora. Speakers included Mr. Antony Kamnao, KEMEN Chairman, Mr. Sam Thugi, KEMEN Vice Chairman Dr. Clive Bosire, Mr. Michael Karuu, UBRICA Vice Chairman, Eng Moses Kinyanjui CEO of KDL, Eng Peter Gioko, Mr. Francis Kabugi of KCL, Pastor Dennis Mutuma, Mr. Phillip Gitonga CEO of NES, Pastor Peter Ndumbi. Eng. Peter Gioko CEO of Gioko Taxes. Topics ranged from Marriage, Parenting, Development, and Finance. During the summit, many received KEMEN awards in various categories.
HUMANITARIAN AWARD – MR WILLIAM MUNGAI
LEADERSHIP AWARD – MR TONY NGARI
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AWARD – MR SOLOMON KIMANI & MR ANTHONY KAMNAO (Tie)
HEALTH AWARENESS AWARD – MR MICHAEL KARUU
CULTURAL AWARENESS & PRESERVATION AWARD – PASTOR GC GITAHI
BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD -MR MICHAEL KARUU
Month after month we held our online conference calls and discussions among Kemen members and Mental Health Stars where key experts provided their insights in plenary sessions and facilitated the debate on current topics ranging from addiction, mental health awareness, Alcohol, and Substance Abuse and many more. On May 13th we held a conference call with Dr. Peter Ngungi headlining Substance Abuse and Parenting issue, the effect of violent video games social media and cellphones. July 23rd we focused on Parenting challenges in the diaspora, spirituality-new age and hypnosis without guidance. How do you know that behind a man’s smile lies a dark cloud that weighs down on his soul, well on September 2 we discussed the elephant in the room, Depression In Men. Depression is one of the most common mental health problems among Kenyan men. Unfortunately, it goes undiagnosed because most people do not recognize the symptoms. Depression affects men and women differently. However, there are some common features among both sexes. On October 31, we opened a discussion that is often overlooked and ignored the Mental Health Awareness Forum. We held an interactive Question and Answer Forum on the 26th of November on Relational Bullying Across the Board and further dived deeply on the topic on the 17th of December advancing to other topics including Social Media and Holiday Stress. Other topics discussed along the year include;
Saying no to Depression
BIBLICAL FOCUS ON ALCOHOL & SUBSTANCE ABUSE RECOVERY PROCESS
The Effects of Alcohol & Substance Use on the Family System
HINDRANCE TO RECOVERY FROM ALCOHOLIC AND DRUG ADDICTION
Depression in Couples
National Child Abuse Prevention
Depression and Alcoholism
Mental Health Awareness Forum & Family Event
We held a Mental Health Awareness Forum & Family Event on the 2nd of November where we had a face to face conversation around mental health. The reason for raising awareness is for destigmatizing Mental Health, which sometimes is a matter of life and death. We can no longer refer to individuals with mental health illness as “Mad”, “Crazy, “Muguruki, “Mwenda wazimu” or as Americans say “Gone Banana.” Just as much as we do not place such labels on individuals who are managing Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Asthma, Cancer, AIDs, and so forth. We need to reach a place in our lives were when we notice someone is struggling with Mental Health issues, we will nudge them to seek help. Someone has given an illustration to the fact that, if a colleague shows up for work every day coughing, someone would ask, “By the way have you seen a doctor for that nasty cough?” Or another example, if we see a person drowning, would we cry out for help? Would we give a helping hand or would we watch in shame and silence?
KEMEN needs all men to work together to pursue a sustainable path that leads to the economic growth of the communities that they reside in here in America and still, extend the same even further to our motherland. While doing so, they are aware that there are many challenges in order to fully be the custodian of social justice, economic, health, education, wellness, and even political stewardship.
KEMEN community is us, for us and about us, so lets KEMEN – let’s *Talk About Us, Communicate with Us, Know Us. Since being part of that’s how I feel. I am meeting a friend and getting to know and understand men, me, us. So lets KEMEN.