Stacy Chemutai: COP – A Road to Discoveries
Stacy Chemutai, a fourth year Law student and former Information Manager for the Community Outreach Programme (COP) first joined the club in her first year. She immediately felt like one more with the rest thanks to the wonderful and welcoming team at COP. She shares the memory of her first COP event at Mary Immaculate Rehabilitation center for boys, an experience that threw her out of her comfort zone and which included learning how to make bracelets. “This marked the beginning of one of my best experiences in my school life.”
(COP) Community Outreach Programme is one of the three main programs of the University Community Service Department. This is a program where students give back to the community, through donations, mentoring and tutoring, cleaning, cooking and playing with children during their free time.
To spread the love all around, the Strathmore COP community are always geared to share their lively spirits with the disadvantaged communities around. Saturday is one of their best days: Whether spent in a children’s home, a local school, a rehabilitation center, a prison, or at the Strathmore Writing Center having meaningful discussions (Gumzo) the outcomes are always positive.
“After my first activity, I was there for the next one and the next one and the next one.” These activities illuminated her passion for service to others. The Outreach experience heightened her desire to help those in need and slowly morphed into a hobby. Her passion towards giving back to the community became self-driven throughout the years and she now does not wait for the planned COP activities for her to engage in service to society activities. She has left traces of her bustling and cheerful essence in young moms in their homes, children’s homes, and rescue centers. “I spent my birthday in 2020 in a children’s home and that still stands as my best birthday to date,” she says.
Being in COP and amidst the wonderful members of the program while spreading kindness and love to the communities became her ideal day well spent. One of her most difficult moments were during the pandemic where they could not indulge in the usual activities. The Online Gumzo sessions kept them going and shed light on ideas to be implemented post-Covid. The annual COP week is always one of the most striking with the best activities on campus. But during the pandemic, its equivalent, the online COP week “Tenda Wema Challenge” kept the spirit alive. Acts of kindness and online fun activities and forums for helping the community formed the brim of the online events, “but nothing beats the spark of being in the field amongst my friends cleaning, cooking, mentoring, playing with kids” she adds.
From all the sessions, Stacy has picked up many lessons. Planning for online events, creating content, and ushering, unveiled an affection for events planning and led her to apply for the Information manager (social media manager) position in the COP student board. People skills have also become one of her strong points. Furthermore, interaction and learning about different people and the different walks in life is of great interest to her. Her confidence has also peaked , an added advantage for her as a law student.
Stacy, a third year Law student, passionately speaks about how ready she is to offer free legal advice to those who need it but cannot afford it. By visiting different communities in their homes and centers, she observed that people in disadvantaged positions and communities suffer more injustices than others generally do. Essentially this is because they cannot afford lawyers and other professionals to assist them. They may also lack sufficient education to determine what constitutes an injustice and what course of action to take and hence suffer in silence.
This article was written by Bany Sabore.
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