Gabriel Oboki Neriman; a teacher, activist and youth advocate living in Nairobi, Kenya.

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What does self-care mean to you? It is the wellbeing of someone, happiness. You like what you are doing in life.

How did you get into self-care and wellness?Growing up in Kibera, I experienced peer pressure and I went through a phase of experimenting with drugs. I soon realized there was no happiness there. My friends got deep into it, mugging people, getting killed. During that time I joined a group that took me through trainings of how to live well and how people can come out of drug abuse. I learned that if I am not sober then I am not well, because I'm not able to use my free mind to be well and happy. There is joy in living a healthy life.

What struggles are there in maintaining self care and wellness? Poverty and unemployment. For example, when we were abusing drugs it put us in a mind set of not feeling down about our situation and when not using drugs we were faced with the reality of life. And even once someone stops using drugs and recover they are often met with discrimination because of their past, this makes it difficult for them to maintain healthy ways of living.

How do you share self-care and wellness with others? It’s what I do everyday through teaching and trainings and forums. SAPTA is an addiction prevention and treatment program. We also focus on HIV, AIDS and reproductive health. School of Hope is a center for youth in the Kibera slum. We teach them about sanitation, health, peace, technology, English and Swahili. Both of these programs mean a lot to me because of my experience in the slum and I want the youth living there today to have a better life as they grow up.