Virtual Mentorship

October 6, 2021

As students continue to enjoy their short break from school, we are getting many calls from some of them looking for emotional and psychological support. Most of the calls are from the Form Four students who have a few months before sitting their final exams. The other calls are from students who are finding it hard to cope at home for a variety of reasons. Those that completed the semester with outstanding tuition fee balances are worried they won’t be allowed back into school until the tuition fee balances are paid.

There are a lot of challenges in the homes due to the harsh economic times, but we encourage the students to keep hope alive. The girls from the Masai community are in danger of facing the cut, but thankfully we have taught them to say ‘NO’ and have shared information with them on what to do if they feel threatened. One Masai girl told us she threatened to report her parents who were preparing to have her cut. She told them she knows circumcision is against the law and that it is illegal for her parents to force her to undergo the cut. She told us via the phone that her parents were shocked to see her stand up for herself. She has an elder sister who never saw the inside of a secondary school classroom. Immediately after finishing her primary education, she was cut and married off to an old man who offered many cows and goats in exchange. Though this sister cried and begged her parents to let her join secondary school, she was told her parents needed the animals, instead. The Masai girl watched as her sister, barely 15, was carried away to the man’s home, barely recovered from her wounds. As schools went on break, she was one of the students who was worried for her safety. And true to their traditions, her parents were waiting to have her cut, and marriage would have followed. The parents did not care that this daughter was already in secondary school and performing well. (Her tuition fee is paid by a well-wisher, so her parents don’t have a financial investment in her education). We were happy to hear she followed our advice and stood up for herself. She told us she knew if she threatened to report her parents, they would be deterred from cutting her younger sister, too. It is sad that instead of enjoying a well-deserved rest, this Masai student is having to worry about her safety.

There are girls that have already fallen pregnant who are trying to stay as far away from their parents, especially their mothers, as possible. One girl told us she has hardly left here room since she got home. She is trying to hide her pregnancy by wearing big sweaters and avoiding mealtimes least she is unable to eaten certain foods and thereby, attracting attention. Our advice to her is to approach her mother and let her know what is happening. By hiding she is not helping herself, because the pregnancy will soon show. Once the school realizes she is pregnant, the parents will be called to school, and they will eventually know, anyway, so it is better she tells them now.

For those about to sit their exams, we encouraged them that hope is key to academic achievement. It is a skill students can develop over time. Cultivating hope is a difficult practice, but there are significant rewards for those who make the effort.

Students who are high in hope have greater academic success, stronger friendships, and demonstrate more creativity and better problem-solving, than those lacking hope. They also have lower levels of depression and anxiety and are less likely to drop out from school

There’s a lot of talk about how living in challenging times can help students develop resilience. But sometimes adults forget that it’s not just facing adversity that builds resilience—it’s facing adversity with support. We hope that parents will be able to offer their children all the support they need as they get ready to resume learning.

We are helping the students as much as we can, virtually, as we wait for schools to resume, so we can continue one-on-one mentorship.

Comments are closed.

Go Back
WordPress Image Lightbox Plugin