Youth Alive! Kenya: Hi Shalin. We are glad to have you as our Person of the Month, an initiative to spotlight and recognize young leaders from the grassroots. The work you do in your community is commendable. In this interview we would like to know a little more about you and your work. Kindly start by introducing yourself.
Shalin at the PARTICIPATE 2022 international conference hosted by Youth Alive! Kenya, YETT Zimbabwe and The Danish Youth Council
Shalin Obinda: Hi everyone, I’m Shalin Obinda, and it’s a pleasure to share my personal and professional journey with you. I’m a driven Young African leader with a background in Social work and Community Development. Professionally, I’m a Profile Advocate for Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) and Disability (PWDs) rights. I’ve been actively involved in advocacy initiatives both online and in the community. This has included community mobilization and the implementation of various community projects, such as mental health facilitation, civic education, and SRHR workshops for adolescent girls and boys in Kisumu County.
I also had the privilege of working with Youth Alive! Kenya as a project intern in the Kisumu region, an experience that profoundly shaped my path.
Youth Alive! Kenya: Tell us about your experience interning at Youth Alive! Kenya.
Shalin Obinda: Working with Youth Alive! Kenya, particularly in the programs department, has been a transformative journey for me. I’ve gained valuable insights into project-related activities such as project management, implementation, fundraising, proposal writing, and report generation. These skills have proven to be immensely beneficial as I implement similar projects in the Kibos community within Kisumu county.
Youth Alive! Kenya: What challenges have you faced as a young leader?
Shalin Obinda: Like many young leaders, I’ve encountered my fair share of challenges. One significant hurdle is funding. Working in the community often exposes me to issues like children dropping out of school due to lack of fees. While I want to help, the scarcity of funds can be quite limiting.
Starting initiatives also poses its challenges. People might not initially be willing to lend a hand, and occasionally, planned activities might not materialize due to the lack of support.
What are your proudest achievements as a young leader?
Shalin Obinda: My proudest achievements revolve around the appreciation I received from community members. When they actively seek me out for guidance and education, it validates the impact I’m making. Ultimately, every effort I put into the community aims to create a positive change, and these moments remind me of the value of my work.
What has it taken to achieve your success?
Shalin Obinda: My journey to success is paved with a few key principles. Self-determination is crucial; it keeps me focused and motivated. I’ve learned to view disappointments as challenges rather than failures, which helps me keep moving forward. I’m always open to learning and correction, adapting as needed.
Youth Alive! Kenya: What advice would you give to young leaders trying to build organizations?
Shalin Obinda: To fellow young leaders venturing into building organizations, I’d offer some advice. Embrace correction; it’s a pathway to growth. Treat mistakes as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks. Clearly define your organization’s purpose; a well-articulated mission guides your actions. Most importantly, cultivate self-determination and unwavering self-belief.
Youth Alive! Kenya: Any parting shot?
Shalin Obinda: I leave you with this thought: Dreams remain mere thoughts until they’re paired with action. Regardless of setbacks, discouragements, or falls, it’s the final outcome that counts. Remember, A dream without action is like an empty canvas. And I extend heartfelt gratitude to Youth Alive! Kenya for shaping the person I’ve become today. Your support has been invaluable on this journey.
Thank you and keep believing in the power of dreams and actions.