Serah Kimeu (Counsellor, Kenya)

Serah Kimeu joined us at the start of 2022 to develop our initial counselling program into a psychosocial program.

I grew up in the Eastern part of Kenya, this is one of the driest area in the country. Our parents had to struggle to provide for us thus leaving no time for them to sit down and guide us. Our guidance and mentoring only came from school. Not all of us benefited from this and I always imagine if it were not for the circumstances probably many could have managed to do better than we did. My education was supported by a charitable organization. As I grew up I slowly understood what the charity was doing to my life. I could see the social workers travel so many miles to check on me, help me write letters to my sponsors, encourage me and support me emotionally. I knew this was something I would want to do in future, “giving back to the community that really saw me work towards achieving my dreams.”

“Next to physical survival, the greatest need of human being is psychological survival; to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated and to be appreciated.” I know exactly what it means to get psychological support when you are growing up. Having this opportunity to work as a psychosocial support social worker in GEF, it gives me joy and fulfilment. Working with the children and their guardians always reminds me of my past and how someone worked hard to see me succeed. To me, spending time with the beneficiaries is a therapy in my life. I do understand that what is necessary to change a person is to change his/her awareness of self. When people appear to be something other than good and decent, it is only because they are reacting to stress, pain, or the deprivation of basic needs such as security, love and self-esteem in addition to the physical basic needs. In my work with GEF, I work towards helping the beneficiaries realize their worth and inner self.

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