Drylands Learning and Capacity Building Initiative
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DLCI hosts an outstanding annual Linking & Learning event

By Joan Letting

Drylands Learning and Capacity Building Initiative DLCI last week hosted the most successful annual Linking and Learning event dubbed #SautizaUtu in Watamu, Malindi County. The event took place between the 19th to 23rd of March 2023.

The event organized by DLCI in collaboration with the Voice in Kenya team brought together 92 participants from 30 Voice grantee partners including their rightsholders, WE LEAD, Voice in Kenya and DLCI.

From Left Catherine Natiir, Hillary Kitel, DLCI’s CEO Jarso Mokku, Muhamud Mukhtar  and Lilian Lenaiyasa.

The event had two conferencing days with several facilitators both from the grantee partner organizations and external experts. It also included an unconference session on 21st of March afternoon, where grantee partners from Usawa Inc, Mfalme Productions and UPDK shared their best practices, challenges and lessons learnt.

On the 22nd of March 2023, the team visited two grantee partners MADCA and IPD-K where they learnt and shared their experiences. MADCA has a project of protecting the elderly who were to be killed under the guise that they are witches in Kilifi while IPD-K focuses on sensitizing the indigenous communities in Kilifi County to legally own land and utilize it for sustainable community growth and development. The team later had a tour of Malindi town and even visited the infamous Vasco da Gama pillar.


“Let’s give a huge round of applause to Drylands Learning and Capacity Building Initiative for their remarkable efforts in organizing the #LinkingAndLearning event in Watamu! It was an incredible opportunity to bring together Voice grantees, with unique experiences and knowledge, to collaborate and share their insights. This interactive environment truly fostered a space where we could unlearn, learn, and relearn, ultimately unlocking our full potential,” Stretchers Youth Organization wrote on their Facebook page.

“Memories are made of great experiences. We take this opportunity to thank Drylands Learning and Capacity Building Initiative and Voice for the great learning, unlearning and linking opportunity with the other Voice Grantees 2023  during the #LinkingandLearning workshop in Kilifi County Watamu. As an organization we learnt a lot to help us in the implementation of our project,” Health and economic development strategy organization -Hedso wrote.

Joan Letting (right) introducing the DLCI’s CEO Mr Jarso Mokku who took the participants through the process of advocating for policies. He also assisted in the formation of the Communities of Practice COPs.

Jeremiah Nganda, a lecturer at Daystar University and a facilitator at the event said, “Interacting with the participants and listening to conversations made me realize that we have many youth-led organizations doing amazing projects with a goal of transformation in our nation.”

Voice in Kenya Linking and Learning Amplifier Emma Mengo (right) with Shiko Kihika (left), the CEO of Tribeless Youth during the Annual Linking and Learning event.

“From pens to adventure, Drylands Learning and Capacity Building Initiative truly captured the essence of #LinkingAndLearning by taking us on a wild ride through the stunning town of Malindi. Our last day at the                     #LinkingAndLearning event was filled with exciting exploration, valuable networking, and unforgettable experiences shared among like-minded enthusiasts. We immersed ourselves in the local culture, discovered breath-taking sights, and connected with amazing people while forging lifelong relationships. This incredible experience reminded us why we are passionate about learning,” wrote Stretchers Youth Organization.

Diana Moreka, Voice in Kenya and Tanzania lead, speaking at the annual Linking and Learning event in Watamu, Malindi County.

Beryl Arogo from Ideal Research Centre said, “I enjoyed Watamu. It was a therapeutic time not only just the Linking and Learning that played a huge role in fostering commitment to cause but also because the environment was so rejuvenating. The breeze and the music was therapeutic. I am glad and humbled to have been a part of the team.”

A co-founder of MADCA explains to the team about the process of rescuing elders ostracised on the guise of being witches in Kilifi.

Big thanks to our incredible partners for their amazing contributions at the #SautizaUtu Annual #LinkingandLearning event in Watamu, Malindi County. A special shout-out to our facilitators for such great sessions. Special thanks to Voice for the continued support both financially and during the planning and execution process. Three days of learning, collaborating, and fun.

“I express my heartfelt gratitude for your support during the #SautizaUtu Annual Linking & Learning event. Your support had a significant impact on making the event a success, and we are truly grateful. Please know that your efforts and support have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated,” said Mr Jarso Mokku, DLCI’s Chief Executive Officer said.