August-2015 Girls Empowerment Workshop

Girls Empowerment Workshop – August 2015

Fifty girls aged 12-17 from 5 primary and secondary schools in Samburu County attended a girls empowerment workshop.  The event was held at the Lorubae Primary School at Archer’s Post.

It was a delightful, happy and smart group of girls who took many notes.  

We’re certain the girls’ hands were quite tired at the end of the 3 day workshop after writing so much! We covered more topics than ever before and classes were very interactive.

We encouraged the girls to always ask questions and contribute their ideas and opinions.

Our youngest participant was Freda, 12 years old, and although it seemed at times she would fall behind during the fast-paced lessons, she kept up! We’re so proud of her and every single girl who attended. This was their school holiday and they chose to “go to school,” and for that, we offer our respect.

Subjects taught:

1.    Self-awareness & Self-Esteem
2.    Teen Pregnancy & Early Marriage
3.    Gender Equality & Human Rights
4.    FGM/C & Sexual Reproductive Health
5.    Beading of Young Girls
6.    Child Rights & Child Labour
7.    HIV/AIDS & Sexual Transmitted Diseases
8.    Sex Education, Love & Relationships
9.    Importance of Formal Education
10.     Moringa Tree Planting
11.     Save the Elephants Presentation

Our esteemed facilitator, Anastasia Leporporit reports encouraging feedback from girls,

“They’re telling us that they’re happy they attended our workshops. They now know that when they see a girl or woman who is experiencing pain during her periods or childbirth, it’s very likely due to the effects of FGM. Girls are more self-confident as well and are not afraid to discuss “taboo” subjects such as FGM and early marriage – 2 factors that prevent many girls from completing primary school. They are telling their parents/guardians that formal education is very important and are seeking their support to finish school.”

Our sponsored student, Asha, in Form 2 (grade 10) wrote us a very encouraging letter:

“First and foremost I would like to congratulate you for coming up with a good idea for organizing a workshop. These workshops have really changed the lives of many young girls in our community. Also, the rate of FGM/C is decreasing day by day and I no longer hear cases about FGM/C in my community. This is my third time attending the workshop. It has changed my life a lot and made me know how to socialize and know how to live with people in my society. Did you know that I was elected as the Deputy President of my school? I was re-elected by the students in my school and I now have top responsibilities on my hands, and probably all the students in my school are happy for me. I feel proud of myself because you are helping me to fulfill my dreams.”
We added 2 classes: planting Moringa seeds and a Save the Elephants presentation. The Moringa leaf is a highly nutritious food and the tree is easy to grow. Thanks to a donation of hundreds of seeds and instructional booklets from our friends at HOW Global, the girls planted the seeds in used water bottles and took them home to care for and watch grow into trees. The presentation by Save the Elephants educators, Daud and Jerenimo, was excellent. 

They showed a documentary film about the plight of the elephants due to poaching for ivory tusks, and the importance of elephant conservation.  We want our girls to care about their beautiful African wildlife and environment.

Our next workshop will be in December 2015 followed by an Alternative Rite of Passage for 200 girls.

We’re honored to serve the Samburu community where, for the most part, people are open-minded and welcoming. As difficult as it may be for some, they see the need for change in order to improve the status of girls which, ultimately improves their communities. The conversation is alive… girls are getting the support they need… they’re more optimistic and confident about their futures.

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