Outdoor Adventure

August 10, 2021

Being outdoors is fun, but even more importantly, it is good for the brain, body, and soul. Sometimes an outdoor adventure is what we need to relax and reflect on our lives. It also gives our bodies much-needed vitamin D.

A group of teenage girls from Kasarini school enjoyed a day outdoors sponsored by Valvisions Foundation. We took a marked 10KM trail walk into the cool and peaceful Karura Forest with a group of teenage girls and were surprised by the beauty and quiet of the forest. The serenity gave us the chance to explore the amazing natural resources from different types of indigenous trees, the rivers, waterfalls, caves, and different species of monkeys and types of birds. Being outdoors boosted our energy; it was definitely good for the girls.

The diversity of the reserve gave the girls an opportunity to feel like they were back in class because there was so much to learn. The girls easily identified the named trees, which made it easier to relate with their schoolwork, especially for those who are in their final year. There is something truly magical about being outdoors; we found it so much easier to talk to the girls unhindered by the bounds of walls and freely walking in the world of nature. As we walked, we spoke about life in general. The laughter and openness made the conversations flow so easily, opening up was as natural as our environment.


The girls have their temperature taken as a measure against Covid 19 before going into the park.

After the adventure, we sat down and shared a meal together. We had an opportunity to talk about the long holiday the girls are having because of Covid 19. They had a lot to say on the challenges they are facing. Most of the teenage girls are now mothers; they got pregnant while in school and had to drop out because of shame and to nurse the babies, since their parents refused to care for the infants. They narrated how much they regretted being sexually active at a young age. We encouraged them that not all hope is lost. They can still make a life for themselves by going back to school and getting an education by which to develop a future. Yes, they fell, but they can get back up, dust themselves and move on. They have learned a harsh lesson, but they need not remain on the ground.  After all, God works ‘all’ things out for good.

A sumptuous meal of fries, chicken, boiled eggs, yams, boiled corn all mixed together. This is a local delicacy to be shared between 2 or 3 people.

The girls enjoyed their meal; some came with their children.

Lack of sanitary towels was, once again, a challenge especially now as a result of the pandemic. The girls’ parents often lack the money to buy extra food and sanitary towels; the little money they get from manual work is only enough to barely feed the family. The girls are forced to use worn out pieces of clothes or cut pieces of mattress during their period contributing to poor hygiene that can lead to serious infections. This particular challenge makes the girls easy targets; men trick them by giving them money in exchange for sex. Due to desperation, they accept, putting themselves at risk for STDs and teen pregnancies. We were able to provide them with some sanitary towels, enough for the next two to three months, which was a big relief for them. We gave them a talk on good hygiene, taking care of themselves, and keeping good company.

The girls listen to a talk on good hygiene, taking care of themselves, and keeping good company. This was after we shared lunch.

Having enough food for three meals in a day is a big deal for most of the girls’ households. Their parents are primarily manual laborers; the pay is not enough to feed the whole household, pay rent, and buy basic needs, like clothing. The girls informed us that being in school is a safe haven for them because they are entitled to three meals per day. They easily get pads donated by the schools- being away at school also helps them stay away from the rough environment many face at home. Some said their parents are alcoholics, and they have a hard time dealing with them.

Teenagers are in a very difficult and sometimes dangerous stage of life, especially girls, who are crying out for help, but, too often, the people responding to their cries do not have good intentions. Predators often take advantage of their innocence and make the situation even worse. Our aim for the next two months is to take as many groups of teenagers on outdoor activities as possible. We are focusing on those in the slum and those in the middle-class neighborhoods, as well. Though their lifestyles and needs may vary, they are all teenagers, who need to be encouraged, cared for, and supported.

A walk in the beautiful forest full of indigenous trees. The trees provide a good shade for those enjoying the walk.

Monkeys are found in large numbers at the forest.

Interesting shaped roots.

Group photo in a beautiful environment.

The girls get ready to go home after the lunch; they also received sanitary towels donated by Valvisions Foundation.

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