Wendy De Macker is the founder of Vizazi, an organisation in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, which offers the high-quality training- and counselling program called ‘Social Upgrading Program’ for challenging youth. I did an apprenticeship at Vizazi and Wendy was the person who taught me everything about the dynamics in this environment. What impressed me the, was the fact that she has a deep understanding of how to deal with challenging youth and the whole system they are in. She gave me the real insights about vulnerable youth from slums and without her advice Nai Nami wouldn’t be so successful today.
Wendy has become a close friend of mine and it was a great honour to facilitate twice a design thinking and vision workshop for the trainers of Vizazi. In these workshops, we developed ideas together with the community-based organisations and their leaders on how to make the ‘Social Upgrading Program’ sustainable and income generating. To achieve this, it’s very important that the trainers of the program understand themselves in relation to the work they do. It was very inspiring to see how the simple question “Why are you committing yourself to Vizazi and its youth?” can trigger new reflections and how the resulting answers improved the self-confidence of the trainers.