CINQ Blog Post #3: Youth Center Case Study

During our previous CINQ class, we looked at a case study as a team that involved an American volunteering at a youth center in Kenya. After reading through and understanding the case, we were tasked with coming up with a solution to take for the American boy stuck in a dilemma surrounding gifts that were presented to the children at the youth center. Here is the seven step process our team came up with to resolve the issue Jack, the American volunteer, had faced.

1: Facts of the Situation

In the case study, Jack is an American working at a youth center in Kenya for a five month period. During his time at the center, a shipment of presents arrives for the children, and a ceremony is planned to present the children with the gifts. During the gift giving presentation, all of the children were ceremoniously presented gifts except for four children, as presents could not be found for them. After the ceremony had concluded, four black hats were found at the bottom of the box and given to the kids. Although the children received hats, it was done so unceremoniously and the gifts were not as good as what other children had received. Although the children did not call out Jack for their presents and the situation, it was clear they were unhappy and Jack felt guilty. However, the staff at the center were unconcerned with the situation and actually seemed upset at Jack for caring about the situation.

2: Problem and Stakeholders


The four kids who received hats afterwards are upset and feel like they weren’t given the same treatment as the children who received hats ceremoniously.

Jack is afraid that this situation will hurt his reputation with the children, which could make his 5 months a lot more difficult.

The youth center workers do not believe that the four kids receiving hats afterwards isn’t a problem, and think Jack is creating a problem by caring about the situation.


-Jack: he is at the center of the controversy since the children blame him for the bad presents and the youth center workers think he is causing an issue.

-Youth Center Workers: They are working with Jack during this time, and are receiving requests from Jack to deal with the issue, who they think is making a problem out of a non-issue.

-The children: Specifically the four children who didn’t receive hats are stakeholders in this situation, although they are not as much of a stakeholder as Jack or the workers.

3: Motivations of the Stakeholders:

Jack: Wants to help the children as who he believes were mistreated. He wants the children to see him as a good person, which will help his time during his volunteer work. He also wants to maintain a good relationship with the health workers, who also can heavily influence his five months at the center.

Youth Center Workers: The youth center employees don’t see the situation as a huge issue, so they may not want to be bothered by making an effort to make everyone happy and may think there are bigger issues within the center that should be focused on instead. Professionally, they may not want to have their work criticized by an outside helper (Jack), which may influence them to dismiss his call for action to help the kids.

The children who received the hats:  The children who were left out of the gift giving ceremony probably see themselves as left out from the rest of the children and just want to be seen as equal from the perspective of the workers and Jack as well as the fellow children.

4: Alternative Solutions

1: Get the same gifts that were given to the other kids and give them to the four kids who received hats in some sort of public event.

This situation would make the four children feel equal to the other children, since they are receiving the same gifts that were given out and it is being done in a public setting. However the other children may get mad that these four kids received a hat and other presents. The relationships between Jack with the children could possibly be fixed, as they would understand that Jack cares about them, and the youth workers may appreciate that Jack is sorting things out on his own.

2: Give the four kids some sort of leadership role in an upcoming event in order to make them feel like they are on the same social level as the other children.

This situation could make the left out children feel equal through a small action that won’t make the workers upset at Jack.

3: Work in collaboration with the youth workers to help them understand what was wrong in the situation and work to plan something small but nice for the four left out children.

This situation won’t backdoor the workers, which they may appreciate, and also teaches the workers how to deal with situations like this that could arise in the future. This also provides the four children with an event that could make them feel equal, but may upset the other children.

5: Additional assistance

In general, people usually care more about the social standing and how others perceive them than the material objects that they may receive that have little monetary value. Therefore doing something that helps the four children be seen as equal to their peers would be effective. This could also be applied to the health workers, who would most likely benefit by having the kids view them in a more positive light.

6: Selecting the best course of action:

During the course, I believed that our third course of action, where Jack works with the youth center workers to come up with a solution, was the best course of action. I believed this situation would help the workers understand how to deal with situations like this in the future, while also repairing the situation that is currently presented in the case study.

7: Sequence of actions to take:

1: Meet with the youth center workers to try and help them understand the situation better, and how issues like this could be resolved in the future.

2: Work with the youth center workers to plan an event that is small enough so the other kids don’t get upset but the children who received hats feel like they are appreciated by Jack and the youth workers.

3: Implement the plan for the four kids.

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