The volunteers on campus have been working with the girls in their clubs and special art classes. Next week we’ll see some of these projects with volunteers from ARCC come to fruition!
Art workshop on print-making – The Form 1 students got a special lesson on print-making with Esme Culver and Julie Romberg from Grace Institute in Oregon. They learned how to carve out their prints, roll them and transfer them on to paper. Esme and Julie also brought art and jewelry made by the young people at Grace Art Camp for the girls.
WISH – In this week’s Women of Integrity, Strength and Hope class, the Form 3s continued on the theme of leadership. They were put into groups and came up with a problem on the Daraja campus – for example, missing school books or a water shortage – then worked together to find a solution.
The second-year students heard stories from their teachers about how career plans can change from high school to post-secondary because of grades, finances or interests. They talked about knowing what your interests are, remaining flexible to change, and knowing that if you end up doing a job that’s not your first choice, you may always be able to return to it later in life. But, as Teacher Peris said, “It’s important to always have a plan.”
The Form 1 girls talked about how their confidence has developed over their first year at Daraja. Mary, who teaches music, talked about how as a performer she had to develop her confidence and continues to do so today. Some of the ways the girls said their confidence has grown are in speaking, maintaining eye contact in conversation, walking proudly, and not being shy when they eat spaghetti (which many of them had never had before Daraja).
Mercy, Marylene, Euphrasia and Katie in media club
Clubs – This week, along with volunteers from ARCC (Adventures Cross Country), the campus clubs got to work on some pretty big projects. The Grassroots Girls went across to our nearest neighbors to help them build a new chicken house; the environmental club did a lot of work in the garden – planting seeds and trees and taking care of the weeds; art club gave the campus gate a fresh coat of paint to get ready for mural painting; media club did some work on photography for the next newsletter; and drama club rehearsed a song they’ll perform for the school next week.
When the girls graduate from Daraja, we expect some will go on to university while others will go back to their communities to find work or start a business. Going home will reunite them with their families and friends, but also return them to some of the same challenges they faced before starting high school – pressure to marry and start families, unemployment, and family problems.
Fatuma I., Rebecca Lenkupae and Carla
To help the girls make a positive transition back to life at home, Daraja is partnering with community women’s organizations to provide mentorship and opportunities to the girls after graduation.
One such organization is the Samburu East Women’s Empowerment Forum in Wamba. Led by Rebecca Lenkupae, the forum includes 98 individual groups that work to empower women and girls in an area where very few people have a secondary education. In Samburu, it’s estimated that 78% of girls finish primary school and only 3% finish high school, according to the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey.
The organization works to improve women’s participation in local politics and community work and to improve their access to land rights. They run income-generating activities – a market and small shop, a cultural village that’s open to tourists, beadwork, farming and selling livestock and poultry – so women can earn their own money and spend it how they like. And they organize woman-to-woman loans to support each other in new ventures.
Carla and Fatuma I., Form 1 students from Wamba, knew Rebecca before they came to Daraja; both girls have family members who work in one of her organization’s projects. When asked if she would ever work for a group like Rebecca’s, Carla lit up with a big smile and said, “Yes, for sure!” She said the collectives offer incredible leadership opportunities for women in her community and if she decides to return to Wamba after graduation, she would definitely get involved.
The girls are getting excited about being involved in a global campaign for girls, plus enjoying time with new volunteers and relaxing after their midterms.
Esther C., Jemimah, Fatuma I., Hadija and Irene with the Girl Effect Challenge status board
Girl Effect fever hits Daraja! – The girls have been following the Girl Effect Challenge with a poster in the dining hall that gets updated daily. They love following Daraja’s position and learning more about the other girls’ organizations that we’re competing against, especially where they are geographically, and it’s led to many conversations about girls’ issues across the globe.
Lights, camera, action – Leila and Grace from the Grassroots Girls club had a special visit from GROOTS Kenya. They’re working on a series of videos about what’s going on across Kenya in their leadership series and stopped into Daraja to meet some of the girls and film some shots. We’ll let you know when the video is online to view.
- The Grassroots Girls are making their film debut
Midterms are done – After three days (and evenings!) of midterms, the girls are enjoying a few days off – playing sports, doing workshops and watching movies – before classes resume on Monday. The mood among the Form 3s was a little different this term, as many of them acknowledged that at this time next year they’ll be writing the KCSE exam, a massive cumulative exam that marks the end of high school and determines a student’s post-secondary prospects.
Welcome new volunteers – Five students and one leader from ARCC (Adventures Cross Country) arrived on campus last weekend. They’ll be here for three weeks, working with the girls in clubs, sports, workshops and as tutors. It’s great to have a group of volunteers on campus again!
ARCC volunteers playing a game with the Form 1s
We are in second place, and we’re trailing behind only by nine vonates– we are so close! Check out our Vonate Wall of Fame for a daily update of every person that has vonated! If you haven’t vonated, we need you! And if you don’t see your friends, family, co-workers or PETS on here, then please get them to vonate! A small vonation of $10 will help us become part of Nike’s Girl Effect, a movement backed by the United Nations Foundation that encourages the investment in girls. This a HUGE opportunity that will help Daraja reach a global audience! Every vonate counts, and the key is to spread the word!
Become a vonate rockstar! Vonate Rockstars are those that have gotten 5 people or more to vonate. Can you imagine if 2 people became Vonate Rockstars? That’s 10 vonates! So become a Vonate Rockstar and we will send you one of our exclusive (and awesome!) Daraja stickers pictured on the right, AND a chance to win a dinner for 2 at Garcon’s in San Francisco. Garcon’s chef recently won 7×7′s best chef in the city and he wants to use his new-found fame to help the Daraja family! We got the support…now let’s win this!
Imagine the world learning about Teddy, Alice, and Leila….!
We’re off to an awesome start but we need your help!
Visit our page on globalgiving.org to VONATE (vote + donate) for Daraja!
If we are among the top six groups that receive the most vonations, we will be a part of Nike’s Girl Effect, an amazing movement that brings global attention to girls’ education, health and safety. It’s an amazing opportunity for Daraja to get some worldwide attention, and raise more money for the girls!
Vonate as little as $10, tell your friends, and watch Daraja climb higher and higher in the Girl Effect Challenge! With your help, we can do this!
Confidence building to help achieve their goals, discussing issues faced by girls in the developing world every day, and expanding their horizons in science and research, the Daraja girls took strides towards becoming leaders in their communities this week.
Self worth and beauty – In their WISH (Women of Integrity, Strength and Hope) class this week, the Form 1 girls talked about their value and beauty. Teacher Victoria shared a poem with the class and had the girls read aloud together. She talked about how we need to believe in ourselves and our own inner beauty to become confident. Click here to read some of the girls’ poems about beauty.
Some of the girls watching "The Clock is Ticking"
The girls react to the Girl Effect video, The Clock is Ticking – With Daraja competing in Nike’s Girl Effect Challenge, the girls watched the video below and had a chance to chat about its message. Some of the girls are writing their thoughts, which we’ll share with you shortly!
Trip to Mpala Research Center – Last weekend, the girls in the science and conservation club, and a few representatives from the media club, had a field trip to a nearby research center. They were split into groups to spend time with individual researchers at the center. The researchers specialized in zebras, elephants, camels and tracking and navigation. The girls were really excited to get some experience with the technology used at the center, especially the GPSs.
Visit from the district commissioner – The girls had a special visit last Wednesday afternoon from the district commissioner of Laikipia East, (a position similar to governor). He spoke with them about the importance of getting an education in Kenya and encouraged them to work hard in their studies.