Classes Resume

January 2020

January is here, and the year is starting off well. Schools officially opened yesterday, and there is a beehive of activity all over the country. Being a new year means that all the children are transitioning to a new class, so there is a lot of expenditure for the parents who will need to buy new sets of books, uniforms, and school supplies to mention but a few. Those that were in Class 8 are now joining Form 1. Transitioning to Form 1 is very important; it shows maturity, but it comes with its challenges, too. The children will be leaving the comfort of their homes and joining a boarding school for the first time. It is exciting in the beginning but with time~ homesickness sets in. Most of these children do not fit in as well as they would have expected; they start having challenges at school, and they need a lot of guidance and counselling.

The Choice Club mentorship program helps these students settle in and relax. The schools where we offer the mentorship programs have called asking that we continue to assist them with the new students. Being in Secondary School is a big deal for these children, and they have a lot of expectations. Some of these expectations will not be met, so they get very frustrated. The diet is also very different from the diet at home; most students don’t like the food offered at school. Most of the schools don’t have showers and the students use buckets to bath. The water is also cold! and this is one of the greatest challenges to students joining boarding school. Waking up early in the morning to have a cold bath is not exciting in the least. The subjects offered in the curriculum are also more than the ones in primary school; they are also more difficult. Unless a student is determined to stay in a certain school, many will change schools, but this does not mean that they will be happier in the school they join, and changing schools is also an expensive exercise.

As we resume the Choice Club activities in the schools, we will be registering new club members. We will also ensure that the new students are well-supported,so they will settle in well. We try as much as we can to alleviate the anxieties they may be experiencing. If a student has challenges settling in, it generally will also affect their academic performance.

We hope this year to start a similar program of the Choice Club in Mombasa to help the students there because of the drug menace. Mombasa is one of the counties in Kenya that has been hard hit by drugs. We hope to educate the students on the dangers of substance abuse, so as they leave school, they are aware of what could well be waiting for them beyond the bounds of school. When one has been educated, they will be at a better place to make choices in life.

Our Pokot girls will continue teaching in the schools in their village as we wait for the ministry of Education to post them to other schools.

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