Counseling for the Girls

July 2019

We have been offering counseling and guidance in our Choice Club meetings to the girls we mentor. We have also extended the services to other girls who are not part of the Choice Club, but who are also facing challenges that need addressing.  Many students have different situations affecting them. They all deserve to be offered effective guidance and counseling, so they can develop the ability to cope with differing situations facing them both in and out of school. We realized once we gave these girls a platform to air their issues that many concerns were raised which would, otherwise, have been ignored.

Students feel the pressure to perform well because this is what their parents, and the teachers expect from them. When this doesn’t happen, the student ends up getting stressed and with time, depression can develop, and their world can become a very dark place.  The students feel they are not given the opportunity to express their inner conflicts and voice. Exams cause extreme stress, trauma, and anxiety. There are students who refuse to attend school during their last year of school because they fear failing; they will do everything possible, including organizing demonstrations in school and even burning the school dormitories, to avoid the exams. They tend to target the dormitories because they know that without accommodation facilities the students will be forced to leave school. They cause an inexpressible amount of inconvenience to the other students who are ready to sit for their exams. The time spent at home while the dormitories are rebuilt causes extreme anxiety for both the parents and the students.

With proper counseling and guidance, students learn how to overcome anxiety during exams. They are taught how-to live-in peace and harmony with others in the school community and how to appreciate their classmates.

The counselor can guide them within a ‘proper forum’ to air their grievances before the situation gets out of hand. Mentorship and counseling go hand in hand. We have realized that many students are struggling with challenges from home and school which need to be addressed urgently. It is important that parents not shy away from sharing the challenges their children are facing in order to help before the situation(s) get out of hand.

A counselor prepares the students for academic, career, and social challenges by relating their educational success to their success in life.  They help the students who are struggling in their studies understand there are students who do not succeed at school, but still succeed in life. Focus is mostly on those who do well in school, but those that don’t succeed in an academic environment, also need love and encouragement.

We have encountered students whose grades improved simple because they received positive support. They got a word of encouragement even when they were failing, and this gave them the motivation to do better; the words of encouragement bolstered their self-esteem. A counselor can directly work on building a student’s positive thinking and provide them with the skills to be resilient when faced with challenges. Negative thoughts are not abnormal; everyone has them from time to time, but we can learn to replace cruel inner words towards self- with words of kindness to self.  By so doing, we learn to appreciate and love ourselves. Once this process is ignited, we become better able to love both ourselves and others. By judging ourselves less harshly, we automatically begin to do the same for others. Learning skills to challenge negative thoughts is key to having a manageable, positive life in and out of school. 

Class in Session

The Kenya Director took her son to speak to the girls about how to manage stress and follow their passion in life. He suffers from dyslexia and though he struggled academically, he found his passion in art and graduated top in his class at A levels. His art was so impressive that he earned a scholarship to join Savanah College of Art and Design in Georgia. The Choice Club members were motivated by his struggle and happy to have him encourage them. His motto in life is: “tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

 

 

 

 

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