Keeping Busy During the Holidays

May 2019

They say an empty head is the devils’ workshop. Teenagers are expected to keep busy during the school holidays, so they do not get involved in unhealthy habits. In most of Africa, children are expected to help with chores around the house. In the villages, the children and teenagers are expected to fetch water, look for firewood, graze the animals so they can access water and food, prepare the family meals, and help in taking care of younger siblings. These are just a few of the chores they carry out while at home. This ensures that they remain busy; they don’t have time for idleness. By the end of the day, they are so tired, they eat dinner and promptly fall asleep. The cycle continues until the schools open once again.

Children in the urban areas, on the other hand, have a lot of free time on their hands. They hardly perform chores in their homes, most of the homesteads have helpers who have been employed to do the work. The parents are busy in their work places earning a living thus leaving their children open to all manner of vices. Social media has taken over the minds of the majority of these teenagers. While watching TV in moderation is not bad, if one has nothing better to do, an unhealthy amount of time can be spent on the screen. There is a lot of time wastage when one engages in the media, cyber bullying is also a major threat. Idleness encourages people, especially teenagers, to view inappropriate content. Idleness is the breeding ground of trouble. Prolonged idleness deteriorates a person, destroying his ambition and his creative ability.

We had our first meeting at AIC Ngong today, and it was refreshing to hear the girls tell tales of their holiday break. Many helped at home with house and garden chores; their parents kept them fully engaged, and they had no time for mischief. One girl told us her parents sent her to a seminar where she learned more about her culture and what is expected of her as a girl. She told us that her parents kept her, and her siblings fully occupied during the school holiday. The parents make them work, also; no one in the family is allowed to stay idle.

Teenagers who lack something constructive to do for very long periods of time tend to show symptoms of depression by being dull and joyless; others stay in a bad mood. Idleness is a strong contributing factor to depression.

It is nice to see the club members back at school again; we had very deep discussions regarding their academics. The second term of the year is usually the longest, and they all promised to fully engage with their books, so they can post good grades when schools close. They have promised to become fully engaged by doing a lot of revisions and reading novels in their free time in order to improve on their English language.

This Wednesday, May 8th, we will meet with the Kimuka Girls. Thursday, May 9th with the Njabini Girls, and on Friday, May 10th, we will converse with the girls at Shiners Girls School.

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