My future is brighter than my past: Daraja’s newest students learn that their unrelenting faith in their future gained them admittance into Daraja Academy
Last week, the Form 1s filed into the lounge, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder around the wooden conference-like tables. After a couple minutes of whispering and giggling amongst themselves, their attentions focused in on Teacher Victoria, who stood at the head of the table, smiling right back at them.
“What does it mean to have hope?” she asked the Form 1s.
At first, no one responded. One-by-one, hands around the table shot up.
“Hope is a longing for something in your heart, like a successful life,” Asuza said.
“Hope,” Bilha added, “is the trust in something, that something can and will happen.”
After further discussion about hope and how strong, independent young women need to maintain it, the girls said in unison, “My future is brighter than my past, and I have the ability to have others see the same.”
The Form 1s discussed what set them apart from typical girls their age, and discovered a similarity they all shared: determination to make their hopes come true. “Some girls, when asked what they would do if not admitted to Daraja, said they would get married, or stay at home,” Teacher Victoria said. She looked around the room. Attentive faces met her eyes. “Raise your hand if you said the same thing.”
Silence filled the room. No one raised her hand. “Raise your hand if when asked what you would do if you did not get admitted to Daraja, you said you would try again,” Teacher Victoria said. Several hands went up. “Raise your hand if you said you would start a small business to raise money to go to Daraja,” she said. More hands went up. “Raise your hand if you said in your interview that you would never give up hope so that you could continue your education,” Teacher Victoria said. Every hand shot up.
“It is a process,” Teacher Victoria taught the Form 1s. “You become better every day. Stronger.”
When asked what the lesson about hope meant to her, Yvonne spoke about faith and the ability to make her hopes become her reality. “Today, we realized that the hope we need to make us strong women is already inside of us. We need to focus on working hard and making specific goals to complete in order to make them possible.”