When: January 2023
Where: Nairobi, Kenya
Institution: Shamiri Institute and
MSF France (Doctors without Borders) Youth Program
Facilitators: Fatma Ali, Laura Cheptarus, Joe Chege, Kelvin Mukaria
Participants: 45 teachers

Shamiri Institute recently partnered with the MSF France (Doctors without Borders)
Youth Program in Kenya. Through this partnership, the Shamiri team implemented a
Pre-Texts workshop in MSF’s Youth center in Dandora, Nairobi, Kenya. The
workshop, which was held on January 17 th , 2023, involved a group of 45 youthful


The Facilitators led the participants through various texts including a mental health
text which had been translated to Nairobi’s local slang commonly referred to as
‘Sheng’. Sheng’ is widely used by youth in Kenya and the participants easily
connected to the text immediately. During the art making activity, the youths
expressed themselves in drama and plays, games, word search, charades, songs
and poems.



When:December 2022
Where: Nairobi, Kenya
Institution: Shamiri Institute and SHOFCO Kibera School for Girls
Facilitator: Tom Osborn
Participants: 75 teachers

The 7,8 and 9 December, the Shamiri team led a Pre-Texts Facilitator Workshop at SHOFCO Kibera School for Girls. Over 75 teachers participated and completed the 3 day workshop. The teachers went through various sessions and explored texts in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Literature. During the art making activity, the teachers expressed themselves in song and dance, poems, drama, choral verses and even did a TV news show presentation. A memorable experience for the teachers and the facilitators. 

The teachers appreciated the Pre-Texts protocol and expressed excitement in introducing it to their students and using it on a regular basis. They confessed that it would break monotony in the classroom, especially afternoon lessons. We expect the Pre-Text implementation at SHOFCO to improve the academic performance and mental health of hundreds of students in their schools based in Kibera and Mathare.


“Our teachers indeed learnt, had fun and were  fully engaged.” Hecky Odera, SHOFCO Education Director


When: February 2022
Where: Nairobi, Kenya
Institution: Shamiri Institute
Facilitator: Tom Osborn


During the seminar De-stigmatize, De-colonize: Mental Health Through Local Arts in Nairobi’s Slum for Harvard MBB, Tom Osborn presented the preliminary results of the impact of Pre-Texts in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety among the youth population. The results were obtained through a Control Trial with 235 students in Kibera.

Read the Qualitative Report Feedback!


Preliminary Results of PT’s Impact on Mental Health in Kibera, Nairobi

When: January 2022
Where: Nairobi, Kenya
Institution: Shamiri Institute
Facilitator: Tom Osborn


The Pre-Texts project in Kenya has reached over 300 adolescents from Kibera, a slum in Nairobi, working in 2 schools. In partnership with Shamiri Institute, our African team works to deliver arts-based intervention to these youth. This year, at the end of the study, we hope to use the findings to include Pre-texts as part of the Shamiri toolkit to help reduce anxiety and depression symptoms among adolescents. We are planning to work with the Teacher Service to run workshops for teachers soon and we completed our pre-registered clinical trial; findings to be sent imminently.

When: September 2021
Where: Nairobi, Kenya
Institution: Shamiri Institute
Facilitator: Tom Osborn

Tom Osborn, our African director, has launched a Pre-Texts workshop with teenagers, after training facilitators and refreshing with them. They are doing day 2/5 then once a week for the whole of the next school semester.

One of the most surprising things was yesterday when we were asking the text questions and the group of freshmen hanged their questions and their English teacher was like freshmen can’t ask these questions, they are not that advanced.


When: June 2021
Where: Nairobi, Kenya
Institution: Shamiri Institute
Facilitator: Tom Osborn


Depression and anxiety are common worldwide, disproportionately among poor adolescents. Therefore, design and delivery of effective interventions is a global public health priority. By consensus, traditional psychotherapy presents structural barriers while advances in psychological sciences note that effective approaches support wellness. Our interdisciplinary research explores how a non-clinical art-based intervention can improve adolescents’ clinical profile of self-esteem to generate positive cascading effects on their mental health.

Sing Ngugi’s Birth of a Dream Weaver

When: May 10th, 2021
Where: Nairobi, Kenya
Institution: Shamiri Institute
Facilitator: Tom Osborn


On May 10th, we had the first session of the Pre-Texts Facilitator Training for 22 high school students (18 to 22 years old) in Kenya. After graduating, these students will facilitate Pre-Texts workshops in after-school programs in low-income schools in urban slums in Kenya. The project is led by our Africa Regional Director, Tom Osborn.





Pre-Texts Facilitator trainees




In preparation for the training workshop for our facilitators in January, we conducted a team building exercise in Kenya led by our Africa Director, Tom Osborn.