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DDI Team

This is the corner where people talk about how they use Deep Democracy in their lives. Read three personal and touching stories from DDI seminar participants in Kenya.


Dr. MbaabuDr. Mbaabu Mathiu, Professor, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

“Before l joined the Deep Democracy Institute in 2009, l held my opinions dearly and wondered why people would not see the world the way l did. I now understand the essence of what l am comfortable with and what l am uncomfortable with; the u and x energy respectively. This to me is the origin of inner conflict; in other words, the reason for the doubts that assail us all, “the do l or do l not”? Also the realization that whatever we think, say or do, nothing is inherently right or wrong and there is some truth both ways. The liberating thing for me is to know that even what we are uncomfortable with has a meaning and can be useful if followed, understood and applied. That what we detest, we also have and exhibit. This profound learning has enabled me to be kind to other people's opinions, listen with intent to understand, suspend judgement and accept criticism. My group facilitation skills have also improved significantly. The overall impact is my improved relationships with family, friends and colleagues. l am a more peaceful person, the prevailing circumstances notwithstanding.”


Portrait of Ubah MohammedUbah Mohammed, Garissa, Kenya

“DDI taught me how to handle conflict in the work place. Secondly, awareness of the u and x energies helped me achieve the goals of patience and perseverance. Everything that happens in life happens for a reason. Thirdly, it is DDI that encouraged and cheered me up when I was angry, stressed and frustrated about getting married. I wanted to marry a man who was not from my tribe and I faced the music from my family, relatives and friends within the country and abroad. Through the facilitation and leadership skills that I learnt, I was able to stand my ground and stick to my decision. I really love the lessons from the Institute. I married the man of my choice and I’m living happily with my family. Despite the fact that many relatives and friends initially opposed my decision, I now have a good relationship with almost everybody; and I am now the mother of a baby girl. All praise be to Allah the most powerful.”


Portrait of Emanuel Karisa BayaEmmanuel Karisa Baya, Magarini, Kenya

“I am a farmer and I love farming.

I have attended five training sessions since I mysteriously came to know DDI. I say ‘mysteriously’ because few people believe how I came to know DDI. I say it was God’s plan. It was November 2010 and I was walking aimlessly in the trading center near my home. My eyes saw a heap of old newspapers in a garbage pile. My eyes were attracted to a piece of an old newspaper written Deep Democracy Institute in capital letters. I went for that piece of paper without knowing how that piece of paper would have a great impact in my life. After reading it I felt inside me that this was the beginning of a great chance in life. The paper had a contact mobile number. I did not waste any time but I called and Maryanne was at the receiving end, a total stranger who encouraged me to attend a seminar in April 2011.

I have been a grassroots leader in my community for many years but I had not yet known or understood my people well. At that time I was working part-time at a local NGO. I had problems with my boss. He used to accuse me of being an idiot and not taking orders properly. I was angry with him. The first DDI training I attended was about Vision, Strategy and Results. I learnt many things that touched me and helped me concentrate on my inner self. I vowed to put into practice every aspect that I had learnt. When I went back to my work place after the training I had changed because the earth spot had healed my anger and I had freedom in myself. I was working in the office when my boss came and passed me without greeting me and before sitting down he started shouting at me that I had not done my job well. Instead of getting angry I laughed. My boss looked at me and also laughed. He went into his office and instead of shouting more he called me to his office and I went in laughing. He laughed and asked me what I had taken for breakfast. Later on that day he promised to give me clear training on what I should be doing in the organization. It was so amazing to hear such words from my boss. This marked the beginning of my good relationship with him and two months later the board members recognized my work and promoted me to the position of assistant project coordinator in charge of Magarini District. I held that position until I resigned in October 2011 to volunteer with the Women Enterprise Fund. The trainings have had a lot of impact in my life. They have brought me closer to nature. Getting wisdom from the earthspot has made me listen deeply.

Most of the time I feel very close to my crops. I feel them because the earth connects us. By this connection I understand the different feelings of happiness and sadness and even know when my crops need my help. I now also understand my community very well. As a leader I feel I now practice my leadership and facilitation skills to the fullest potential. Many people say I have really improved in how I relate to my community. “It’s true,” I tell them. "DDI has made me discover myself and know myself more." By doing this I can help many people to help themselves. It’s a miracle to me. I find myself listening more and accommodating other people’s ideas. I’m also more positive to criticism of all kinds. I do not become angry or lose my temper easily. I feel DEEP DEMOCRACY IN MYSELF has given me peace with others.

I joined the Women Enterprise Fund as a volunteer in October 2011. I train women groups to work together to improve their livelihood through sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship and micro-finance. In facilitating these groups I use DDI ways to create relationships so that I can work without too many challenges as a volunteer officer. In October this year I was rated the most innovative officer in the whole of the Coast region. I became a role model to my fellow volunteer officers and now I will train them on how to create relationships for better results.

I feel it deep inside that DDI has nurtured me and trained me to work with all kinds of people, bosses, communities and most importantly my self-discovery and self-awareness to realize the existing potential in me for myself and my community. DDI has made my dream and vision very clear to myself and the people I work with hence I say DDI is transformational and once one realizes this one will agree with me that the DDI learning process is a lifetime learning process. With this in mind I have already declared myself a lifetime learner at DDI. Peace”.