Uncertainties And Scholarship Update

June 8, 2020

We are planning to visit our girls in Pokot, so we can give them moral support. We cannot help but pray they will remain calm amid the uncertainties we are experiencing in Kenya and, in Africa, in general. The current updates are that schools will remain closed until September. The children will lose a whole school term, and the teachers will remain home, most of them without an income. The balance of life will be affected; the uncertainty that Covid-19 will have on the populace is, most likely, going to be felt for a very long time. Other than the candidate classes, all other students will have to repeat a class. The loss of an academic year will place an extra burden on the families and donors who sponsor some of these students. Intake of new classes from the nursery level all the way through to the University level, will be impacted.

Psychological balance among the children is at greater risk right now. Staying at home for prolonged periods of time has significant challenges, even causing mental health issues to rise. Keeping the children occupied in productive ways is a considerable challenge for most parents, who often relent to the children’s use of the Internet and social media as a means of keeping them occupied, regardless of the consequences. Boarding school is traditionally, a secure place especially for the girl child, creating a safe haven away from the community where she is protected from the practice of FGM and early-child marriage. Now that the schools are closed, FGM and early marriages will be on the rise, especially in marginalized areas. Unfortunately, the young girls, home from school, will be unprotected and considered an easy means to produce some income. One shudders to think what will happen to the girls who are cut and, as a result, require urgent medical care.

The families, as a general rule, are going to need extra support; times are difficult as is, but with the loss of jobs resulting from the influence of Covid19, ‘difficult’ quickly turns into ‘desperation.’ Those with terminal illnesses are suffering a great deal. One of the students we will be visiting in Narok has a very sick father. He has cancer and because the hospitals are giving priority to the Covid-19 cases, he, like many others with terminal illness, will not receive medication and psychological support.

We are hoping to take some food supplies, medication and beddings for this particular student’s family. To make a bad situation worse, their house was torched down by arsonists due to cattle rustling, and they are, literally, out in the cold.

Over the years, we have put a lot of effort into safeguarding the welfare of the girls, both in our Scholarship Program and through the Choice Clubs. Their safe area, the schools, have, for now, been taken away as a reaction to Covid-19, and we feel a strong need to protect all the gains we have achieved, so far.

Many of our girls live in very remote areas of our country; they do not have access to basic needs like food, water and shelter. They have learned to cope with the situation they live in but reaching out to them gives them a sense of renewal and hope. We strive to empower the girls under our care, so they can take care of themselves and also help those in their communities. Following up with them during hard times, such as this, shows we care and are pointing them in the right direction.

We will be working with and supporting other groups of women and young girls during this time. We will share both information and pictures as we go along.

Comments are closed.

Go Back
WordPress Image Lightbox Plugin