The first class of Watch Me Go girls after completing their first successful workshop!
Story by: Steve Atsiaya, Kenya Program Coordinator
NAIROBI, KENYA — Watch Me Go hosted its first ever Enrichment Workshop for the 38 girls currently being sponsored for high school through the program. The four-day event featured an open exchange for the girls to share their experiences after completing their first trimester of school. In Kenya, students attend government boarding schools hundreds of miles away from home which is a difficult, but welcome change for the students. The girls were happy to report back to Nairobi, and to be with us for the workshop.
One of our wonderful mentors, Madame Megan, leads the girls in a bonding activity.
One of the main objectives of this first workshop was to create a welcoming environment where the girls could feel comfortable discussing this big transition and interacting freely with their new “family” for the next 4 years. Volunteer mentors, program staff, and a panel of second year girls helped facilitate as the girls shared experiences from their various schools and bonded over common challenges. The older girls answered questions about what to expect during the first year and provided advice and encouragement on finding your way in boarding school. Each girl also had one-on-one mentoring time with program staff and volunteer mentors to cover any additional concerns they were having.
A break-out group huddles close together to discuss important issues.
By day two, the girls were feeling at ease after reacquainting with one another and talking through any worries they had. They then turned their focus to identifying potential challenges that may interfere with their high school education. They talked specifically about challenges that girls face like low self-esteem, gossip, rape, and early pregnancy, and how to cope with these and avoid falling into difficult situations. Each discussion was followed by break-out groups to dig deeper into issues and give the girls a chance to practice their presentation skills by presenting their conclusions to the whole group. A volunteer mentor from their community did a mentoring session with them on “Secrets” which they really enjoyed.
The girls listen intently as mentor, Eunice, talks to them about secrets.
A guest speaker, Martin, gave an uplifting presentation focused around discipline, respect, and hard work. He encouraged the girls to choose their destiny through these three principles. “We all have a chance to decide what our future will be like. We must work hard continuously and use the opportunity we have in order to better our future,” said Martin.
Finally, the girls had a chance to voice what they thought we could do to better help and support them, and what they hoped to get out of future workshops. Great ideas were shared, and they expressed how much they enjoyed our first workshop. Before they left, each girl received a bracelet made by a group of elementary school kids in the US who are fundraising for one of our students, reinforcing the connection that Watch Me Go aims to facilitate between its donors and students. They left feeling loved, supported, and motivated for a strong second trimester promising to work even harder and bring good results.
A group of the girls showing off their new bracelets!
Do you support a Watch Me Go student? See updates from your student’s 1st trimester by logging in to your Watch Me Go account and visiting your Donor Dashboard.