Keeping Busy During the Holidays

They say an empty head is the devils’ workshop. Teenagers are expected to keep busy during the school holidays, so they do not get involved in unhealthy habits. In most of Africa, children are expected to help with chores around the house. In the villages, the children and teenagers are expected to fetch water, look for firewood, graze the animals so they can access water and food, prepare the family meals, and help in taking care of younger siblings. These are just a few of the chores they carry out while at home. This ensures that they remain busy; they don’t have time for idleness. By the end of the day, they are so tired, they eat dinner and promptly fall asleep. The cycle continues until the schools open once again. Children in the urban areas, on the other hand, have a lot of free time on their hands. They hardly perform chores in their homes, most of the homesteads have helpers who have been employed to do the work. The parents are busy in their work places earning a living thus leaving their children open to all manner of vices. Social media has taken over the minds of the majority of these teenagers. While watching TV in moderation is not bad, if one has nothing better to do, an unhealthy amount of time can be spent on the screen. There is a lot of time wastage when one engages in the media, cyber bullying is also a major threat. Idleness encourages people, especially teenagers, to view inappropriate content. Idleness is the breeding ground of trouble. Prolonged idleness deteriorates a person, destroying his ambition and his creative ability. We had our first meeting at AIC Ngong today, and it was refreshing to hear the girls tell tales of their holiday break. Many helped at home with house and garden chores; their parents kept them fully engaged, and they had no time for mischief. One girl told us her parents sent her to a seminar where she learned more about her culture and what is expected of her as a girl. She told us that her parents kept her, and her siblings fully occupied during the school holiday. The parents make them work, also; no one in the family is allowed to stay idle. Teenagers who lack something constructive to do for very long periods of time tend to show...

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Visit to Cara Rescue Centre

Cara Rescue Centre takes care of girls that are at risk of FGM, early marriages, girls that have been defiled, and also those that have court cases pending, amongst others. During one of the club meetings at AIC Ngong School, we were discussing rape in families. One girl sent me a note saying she was a victim of rape. She was raped by her father and when she reported what was happening to her, the father was arrested. She was placed in a rescue Centre by the children’s court. She narrated to us her hallowing story, a story that a child should never have to tell, a story that made us sick to our stomach. She cried as she told her story, and after a lot of counselling and a lot of hugging, we left the school promising to visit her at the Centre during the school holiday. The Centre is not too far from her school, and so today we went to visit her. The home has approximately 28 girls though it has a capacity for holding 40. There was a young girl breastfeeding her baby; she is not more than 16 years of age. Her case is still pending in court, so she silently suckles her baby with a look of total despair in her eyes. The Centre does not keep the girls at the home for long. As soon as their cases are resolved, they are sent back to their communities to live with their relatives. Those that cannot be sent back home are funded, and they attend boarding schools; they stay at the Centre during the school holidays. After visiting the Centre, we decided to make it part of our CSR project for this term with the club members at AIC Ngong. We shall set some funds aside from our snack budget and visit the home one of the weekends. The aim here is to help the club members understand the need to reach out to the less fortunate members of their communities- to be a shoulder that the rest of the girls in their communities can find comfort in, to be responsible members of society. We hope that they will learn that there is help out there, and they should not keep quiet when they need help. There ‘are’ Centres that can offer them refuge when need be. Most of the girls at AIC...

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Valvisions Scholars to Speak at Shiners Choice Club

One of the Valvisions’ scholars finished her exams and went back home last Friday. She came ahead of the rest because her exams started earlier. She is studying for the Early Childhood Certificate Program. She arrived home safely and was considerate enough to call and let us know of the same. The other Valvisions’ scholars who are both studying for the Primary 1 Program are still in school for another two weeks. After which they will sit their exams, and then return home. They will all come back to Nakuru in the second week of May, so they can attend the Choice Club meeting at Shiners School. They will be given an opportunity to speak to the entire school as a way of motivating the girls there. They truly are a success story, and even as they near the completion of their college education, our hope is that they will be responsible citizens who will show passion, compassion, responsibility, integrity, and positively impact their communities with the skills and knowledge they have acquired both at Secondary school and in college. Our belief is that by sharing our own unique experiences, we can help shape the life of others. Our girls have come a long way, endured much to get to where they are- as we can attest, a little progress each day adds up to big...

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Valvisions Scholarship Girls

Two of our scholarship girls are back in college now. They will be in school for the next three weeks. It was very nice to see them; we have not met since December when they last came to college. They both look happy and healthy despite the current drought situation back home. They have been in touch with the rest of the girls in the Scholarship Program, and they say they are all well. One of the girls has opted to get admission at Moi Teachers’ training college where Cecilia is currently enrolled. She realized that waiting for Thogoto Teachers college to re-admit her in August would take too long. She is at home doing nothing much; her child has now been weaned, so she can comfortably leave her with the mother as she rejoins college. These girls have found purpose and meaning in their lives because of the opportunity they were offered to attend school. They have proved that hard work pays off by remaining focused in school and in college, as well. Most of their peers were not as fortunate to get a secondary education leave alone having the opportunity to attend college. The two years that they needed in college are almost over, and they want to pursue their college education further with time. They are stars in their village.They have overcome a lot of odds to get where they are in life. We salute them and wish them all the best in their upcoming examinations in May.    ...

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Valvisions Foundation Girls

Our girls will be coming to college this week as they near the end of their two years in college. One of the girls resumed earlier because she is training as a nursery school teacher. She came on the 31st of March and on the 1st we prepared her for returning to school. Her tuition fee is paid, and she has all the supplies she needs for the next three weeks while at college. She has remained very focused on her studies. Like the other girls in the program, she comes to school on time, consults a lot with her teachers, and keeps in touch even while at home. She always brings a jar of honey from home that she has carefully harvested from their beehive as a gift to us. Pokot has the purest and sweetest honey in the country. Despite the harsh climate that they endure most of the year, they are blessed with a lot of honey which they harvest and sell. They use the money from the proceeds to buy food that they do not grow there like kales, corn and beans. Despite the current biting drought in Pokot, our scholar looks radiant and happy. She is very positive about life. We learn a lot from her resilience. She is one of our success stories. Her mother was very keen to see her, and her sisters face the knife, so they could get married and bring the much sought-after camels and other livestock. Her mother, has, however, relented after seeing her daughter’s success. Her younger sister has also joined Secondary school due to Sandra’s influence. The mother now values education and does not want her daughters to be cut. Our other 2 girls will resume on the 7th of this month, so we are expecting them over the...

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