I have decided to keep writing…to inspire social justice, peace and sustainable development.

A few weeks ago, I got into a very difficult situation professionally that made me look within myself for answers. Here’s the thing, I love to write even though I do not consider myself a writer and always perceive my writings to be good enough to communicate. You understand my articles right? Most of them at least. But when I took up a new professional opportunity that involved a lot of writing, I kind of lost interest in my personal writing. 

It is that feeling that grows on you when you monetize your hobbies. They stop being enjoyable. There is no honor in running a passionate (and voluntary) project that does not excite me. I consider it a waste of my time. The pressure to be exceptionally good with my blog because I am expected to deliver the same standard of excellence with my writing at work got the best of me. 

To be honest, I thought I was done with this blog until six weeks ago. 

I was working on research with my colleagues and I was tasked with examining the progress of the Youth, Peace, and Security Agenda in South East Asia. First, I wanted to see what progress has been made and the notable achievements by different stakeholders. I googled ‘Achievements of the YPS Agenda’, and guess what came first on my search list – my blog! It was an article I wrote in 2020 about the progress of the implementation of the YPS agenda, one year after I briefed the United Nations Security Council. 

I cannot begin to explain the feeling I got when I saw my article pop up as the first reference when it comes to the achievements of the YPS agenda! Perhaps when you search for the same thing, you may not get the same results but that’s not the focus here, okay? This is a sign, I told myself. If my work mattered then, still matters now, I should not let my fear keep me from writing. It was as affirming as was exciting. I felt that Beyond the Lines is important not just to me, but to the world. To see my work from my earlier days in peace-building contribute significantly to this global agenda is the encouragement I needed to come back here.

So, here I am…

It is true that overdoing a hobby makes it boring but it is also true that it makes you better skilled. I am no longer the same writer I was. I am more skilled, experienced, and informed now. I want to keep sharing this beautiful hobby of mine with the rest of the world, with every one of you that comes here. You make this work important and I hope that you can continue to support this work that I started four years ago. I invite you to be my partner in peace and justice through this blog.

Life is still happening and I’m still struggling to find the balance between my work, personal hobbies, studying, leading ISIRIKA; a grassroots youth-led network in Mombasa while still finding time to be a human bean(being). I cannot do it alone. I need your support just like you always have done. If I show up every week, will you promise to show up too? 

Challenging as it is, I am up for the task and I hope you are too. 

With everything going on right now in the world; climate crisis, war, conflict, Covid-19, and humanitarian crisis, I feel a deep sense of personal responsibility to keep conducting public education on important development topics. It is only through public education that we can inspire action and real change. We do not have more time to sit and wait for world leaders to save us, we must save ourselves.

‘If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?’ Rabbi Hillel


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