MTG’s spirit: The Women on the stair case
Dorcas Amakobe is Programme Manager in Moving the Goalposts.
On Wednesday afternoon I delayed to have my lunch. The stair case, "our lunch spot", was deserted. I then decided to sit in an empty office to have lunch alone. As I sat quiet in the office I realized that I missed the stair case moment! I remembered that at some point in my training I studied a unit "organizational culture" which is an important aspect of an organization. Eating our lunches at the stair has become a culture. I can't remember how it started. It just happened. I can tell the feelings that float on the stairs: sometimes the mood is tense, sometimes bubbly, sometimes it is all jokes. We talk about families and friends, we tell experiences from the field, we generate working ideas. It is always a chance to sit and have lunch with colleagues from different offices, who are doing different kinds of jobs, but are all working to achieve the same objective.
On this day I was all alone, as I perused through the MTG Tunaweza magazine, made for and by MTG girls, reading the Most Significant Change stories. The edition seemed new to me but as I read through it, I realized this was my second time reading the most significant change stories. Every story had its own perspective and its own voice. I was struggling with the balance between reading and eating. I enjoyed reading it as much as my food, sukuma wiki (vegetable) and ugali (Kenyan staple food, a sort of maize cake) that I was having for lunch. I realized that "girls telling their stories" has become another organizational culture. I grinned. Nowadays every girl participating in the MTG program wants to tell her story.
As I got engrossed in a number of things while reading the stories, I realized that each of the girls' stories had a special message for me as a staff member. I realized that MTG programs impacts on our lives, both as staff and girls. The changes may sometimes seem very small but they are impactful. They are things like sharing a plate of "omena" (fish), mtsunga (vegetable) and ugali. Or it is sharing your secrets to success and let other girls get inspired by your struggles as a young woman, staff or participant.
It was time to go back to my office. I suddenly remembered that one of my chicken had disappeared that night. If I would have had lunch on the staircase with my colleagues, they would have laughed about it, made fun of me and my chicken and I am sure they would have given me so many suggestions on how I could get my chicken back. I'll keep my story for another day when I have lunch with my colleagues.