Kenya Cultural Week

June 11, 2018

The past week was full of cultural activities for most schools in Kenya. There were drama and music festival competitions and all schools were expected to participate. Kimuka School was very determined to do better than they did last year, and so the girls practiced very hard. Being a school that has a large community of the Masai tribe, they always shine with their traditional dances and beautiful attire. The cultural week also teaches the girls about their culture, the good and the bad. For the Masai, the emphasis is always on the dangers of FGM. The girls passionately speak out about the risks associated with FGM, and they all agree with one voice that it must be eradicated. They believe that education goes a long way in eradicating this centuries old life destroying practice.

Our lesson at Kimuka last week on the 6th was on relationships. We looked at our parents being a source of care and emotional support.  They give their children practical, financial and material help. They must be respected at all times. A parent is the most important support system for a teenager; friends are great, but they come and go. Family is always there. Relationships with parents suffer during adolescence but that phase will pass.

A teenager is going through physical changes, emotional ups and downs. They are trying to fit in and figure out who they are as individuals. Peer pressure and relationships can cause stress between a teen and the parents. I advised the girls against risky behavior like alcohol and substance abuse, premature sex, pornography, amongst other vices that affect them negatively even as they look forward to the mid-term break.

We will repeat the same message in Kanjeru School tomorrow and in Kasarini on the 15th. The schools encourage that this message is shared so that the girls are careful even as they go home for a break. Many are known to engage in very risky behavior at this time and end up deeply regretting their actions. I taught them to adhere to the 3 C’s of life: Choices, Chances and Changes. We encouraged those that have made mistakes in the past; their mistakes do not define them, what defines them is how well they rise after falling. The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.

All schools will have a one-week mid-term break this week starting on the 16th and resume on the 23rd. During the break, we intend to work on the Holiday Program we will carry out in Meru with the Catholic priest during the December school holidays.

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