The mind is made up of 7 core cognitive skills that are put to use in any activity that a human being does. All these are broken down to daily tasks that we all do. However, when we face struggles with our memory, academics, focus, concentration levels, all these impair productivity.
“I would like to talk about what the brain is capable of. At times because of self-esteem and insecurities, we rarely get to tap into our potential to the fullest,” shares Sakina Hussain, Director of Training at Brainnovation.
Now there are ways in which we can get back to being a more focused and productive mental environment. One of them is through brain training. A relatively unknown but great investment to make in order to live a more fulfilled and fruitful life.
Brainnovation is a brain training center based in Kenya that works with children and adults of all ages, training the cognitive skills the brain uses to think, read, learn, remember and pay attention. The organisation seeks to strengthen any weak skills in the mind so as to ensure that all that their clients are functioning in optimum levels.
“The brain is a wonder muscle, when you nurture it- give it the right of influence, right kind of exercise, with a healthy diet and lifestyle, each person is capable of contributing and creating a whole idea generation box in the brain,” shares Sakina Hussain, Director of Training at Brainnovation,” explains Sakina.
Brainnovation steps in to help people get past these struggles by helping people concentrate for longer, helping them retain better & be sharper. The programs are suitable for all age groups starting from 4 years old all the way to 99. There is no limit to who can receive the training.
“It is about tapping into it at the right time and enhancing your skills throughout your life. In order to enhance creativity, it is important to be consistent with your practice and the optimal performance of your brain,” says Sakina.
The first step is organising a one-hour cognitive skills assessment for all their clients with a trainer. It is KSh 10,000/= (USD$100) which includes the test and a one-hour consultation with the trainer. This helps them to understand the initial status of their clients such as their logic, attention span among other things.
As soon as the test is done, the trainer develops an individual’s profile that will enable them to customise a specific program for the particular client based on their needs. The training consists of mental exercises, it is not therapy, counselling or a medicated approach. It is done through the natural process of neuroplasticity in the brain.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of neural networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganisation. These changes range from individual neural pathways making new connections, to systematic adjustments like cortical remapping.
The science behind is that when you induce a certain level of practice, or doing a certain level of intense exercises with the brain you can achieve all the positive changes like shifting the attention, increasing memory capacity by exercising the muscles in the mind.
All their clients have reached a high level of satisfaction with the one-off program which is conducted for about 3.5 months. Some clients have gone to up to 6 months of training depending on the severity of their case for children who have symptoms of autism and dyslexia.
There is still some solution and hope for those who are struggling with these problems although they take a longer time to solve. Fortunately, the skills all the clients acquire are able to be applied even after they are done with the program.
Anything that is associated with the mind tends to get a lot of misconceptions & myths attached to it, especially in the African societies. This concept is not popular in the Kenyan market, at the moment Brainnovation is the only private entity offering this solution.
The process of creating awareness has been an uphill task for the organisation however they have managed to communicate the value that it brings which has made it easier for them to convince their customers about how the program can change their life. Many times, the clients don’t understand exactly what they do hence during the first meetings they offer them a hands-on demo of what the program is about.
The organisation leverages on the different communities that have been built on Facebook by joining groups that are relevant to their bottom-line. Social media has been a great platform where they create good quality content that offers value to their target market and helps them resonate with the company offering. Over time they have participated in fairs for schools and events to spread more awareness about who they are and what they do.
Brainnovation recently joined our co-working space at Spring Valley. We asked Sakina how this has worked for them so far. She said, “Nairobi Garage has been very helpful and useful. There is always somebody that I can bank on when I need any assistance. Our training is sometimes very ad hoc and at times I need to access the premises early, get guest passes and they have always been very accommodating. We are very happy with the services so far.”
We’re looking forward to working with Sakina and her team to make cognitive training part and parcel of the innovation space in Africa.