On July 22nd and 23rd  2011, a group of 30 climate activists including educators, environmentalists, artists, government officials and faith-based leaders from different cities and provinces of Kenya gathered at Meridian Hotel in Nairobi for a two-day Climate Leaders Workshop organized by 350.org Africa in collaboration with African Youth Initiative on Climate Change-Kenya Chapter.

During this workshop, participants (most of them have been organizing 350 events in the past and are preparing Moving Planet in September) acquired the critical leadership skills that are essential for effective movement building and campaigning. The workshop also covered other important areas such as advocacy and lobbying, engaging officials and media and planning future actions.

It was truly amazing to see this diverse group in terms of talents, experiences, background and age- come together under one goal: building a grassroots wave to solve climate crisis. The energy was high, the commitment real and the passion amazing. Joseph Chengoli from Jambo Africa Tourism Organization Network, a community-based organization involved in environment conservation and community development in Bungoma Western Province of Kenya said: “This workshop has really shown me who are the partners and people who I am going to mobilize in the preparation of Moving Planet. Officials, students, head teachers and pupils should all join us on September 24”.

Towards the end of the workshop, the group created a Facebook page where they have already started posting updates, photos, videos and recruiting 350 supporters in Kenya.

Kenya has been a country where 350.org has received significant support since 2009. Holding a capacity-building workshop there is not only a recognition of efforts made on the ground but also a way to push for more commitment and successful organization as Nairobi is among the key cities where massive mobilization is expected on Moving Planet Day.

For the facilitator team made of Samantha, Landry and Winnie, it was such a privileged opportunity to meet face-to-face organizers, have interactive sessions, share stories, experiences and tips on how to help grow the movement. We left Nairobi Sunday afternoon with the feeling that we made a substantial step in sustaining the movement and have no doubt that we’ll soon see great stories, successful collaboration, and a strong 350 network from Kenya.