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The Power of Connecting Through Stories.

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

Words by Abdulkarim -Cohort 5 fellow Founder & CEO of Elgon Centre for Education.

Abdulkarim and other cohort 5 fellows during the Metis retreat.

When I walked to my office on May 22nd to set up the computer for Metis Finalist day, I was not sure if I would make the cut for cohort 5. I was also cognizant of the fact there were some people I would never see again after the virtual event.

As I continued setting up for the virtual call, I reflected on what pushed me to reimagine education and apply to Metis. The sad state of corrupt officials running the institutions of learning and policy making.

I remembered my reservation about Metis, and the call I got from Rebecca- the Executive Director, when I was on the verge of dropping out.

The virtual finalist day was incredible and I made it to cohort 5! A few weeks later, we all met for the retreat to officially kick off cohort 5 activities. I felt awful about missing the bigger part of the first day, but I was just in time to be a part of what would be the highlight of my first day -the bonfire. We sat in circles sharing our leadership stories around a warm and well lit bonfire.

As I sat there listening to fellow educators sharing their stories and motivation behind what they do, I realized that many people do not get a chance to share their stories, especially education innovators.

I could see a pattern.

Our stories were unique, yet similar -connected by a shared vision of engaging our communities and shaping the education narrative in our society.

The stories were diverse, devastating, encouraging and hopeful. Stories of the moments that shaped all of us to reimagine the world and to make it better than we found it; to make a change without the trappings of the past and to rise above the individual and societal challenges.

To do hard things for self and humanity.

These stories reminded me that no one can tell your story better than yourself. The way you tell your story communicates what is in your soul, heart and mind and a perfect way to solidify your conviction for why you do what you do.

I got reminded that the work we do for humanity can be daunting and thankless.

However, with conviction and fidelity to our belief, we keep doing what we think is best for everyone.

We simply never give up!

I had found my tribe.

The second day reminded me that life is all about fun in the process. That through art, we can share, learn and even do great things. I went to Metis a terrible dancer but came our as a choreographer, thanks to Franco from Cheza Cheza!

I am excited about the next 6 months. The journey of collaborating to re-imagine education.

Thank you Metis!!! Jiamini!!!

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