Being involved with Initiatives of Change (IofC) has not only been an experience but a journey of learning and gaining so much good. It’s been years of personal development in terms of integrity and moral values. There has been much wisdom that I have gained.
At the time, before being introduced to IofC, I was a very young man in high school-trying to experience life from all angles. During our school holiday, Mike Muikia who is my neighbour began talking to me about IofC. At first I was confused and didn’t get it clearly - whether it was a religion or what it was. I remember him inviting me to one of the meetings where I met the other team members and I was impressed how they related so well. The quiet time experience was the most puzzling as I didn’t clearly understand what I was supposed to do. But, slowly the inner listening practice became part of me and I began to understand IofC.
Having found this new family, I shared the experience of inner listening with my parents and they looked at me doubtfully and cautioned me lest it was a cult. Being staunch Christians, I understood where they were coming from. I had to make them understand IofC and change that perception. The changes in me made my parents appreciate the impact IofC was having on me. Before then, I used to quarrel with my parents over very simple issues. I was also very dishonest. Every day I would go to my mother’s safe- I secretly had her pass key- and steal some money. Whenever she would access her safe to get some money, she would find money missing. However, she never questioned any of us for she was sure we didn't have her pass key.
One day, I remember I had just taken some money from her safe when she arrived home. She wanted money, opened the safe only to find the money was less than she expected. She asked me if I had seen anyone open the safe and I said no. She got very upset. I was so guilty. Later, when I learnt of the moral absolutes in IofC of love, honesty, purity and unselfishness, I remembered that incidence and I felt it was important to ask her for forgiveness. She was amused that after such a long time, I had come to confess my actions to her. I told her I had learnt the essence of being absolutely honest. Since then, IofC has been something my family has come to value.
When I became actively involved with different IofC actions, my friends thought I had now received employment and many wanted to join me and the others. But when I told them I was doing this because I felt inside me it was the right thing to do, not just for me but for the society as well, many of them backed down. Nevertheless, I stuck to my course that I was so enthusiastic to pursue - the work of bringing change to the society.
So much has happened through the years since 2006 and lots of changes have happened in my life. I have learnt new ways of being a change maker and starting initiatives that bring change. My leadership skills have developed as a result of the many leadership opportunities that IofC has offered me.
Today I celebrate IofC for moulding me into the person that I am today. What I have learnt in IofC has become my guide in life. I feel refreshed and stronger to carry on serving the community through IofC. For me it is not just a commitment but a calling to do what is right and contribute to building our society.
I greatly appreciate Mike Muikia for having introduced me to this amazing way of life. Many thanks as well to Ann Njeri Kimanthi for being a great role model and a mentor. I also wish to express much appreciation to the entire IofC family in Kenya that has served as a platform for my growth morally and intellectually.
By Zachariah Muturi
Zachariah Muturi (Zak) is a university student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce with a major in Accounting. He is a talented musician both in composition and singing and this talent has seen him compose the theme songs for the first and third East Africa Youth Forum in Kenya and Rwanda respectively. Zak is passionate about peace building and community development and IofC has given him a great platform to pursue his passion for the last six years. Zak has assumed leadership on various capacities including being a community youth leader. Currently, he is the Chair of the planning committee for the next Eastern Africa Forum which will take place in Burundi next year in February.