Suswa Girls finally happened this past Sunday and it was loads of fun. It had taken a minute for calendars to make sense but we finally made it. Now, Moulding Beauty is my mentoring project for teens, both boys and girls. And it has been eating at me for a while and so when my friend asked if I’d be interested in being a mentor to the girls, I was beyond thrilled!!!
Suswa Girls is the first and only girl school in Narok East and it opened its doors last year. The Pioneer class has 35 girls and the ‘second generation’are about 90. It currently has 7 teachers I believe and the principal. That’s it for now.
At least some good of CDF. Kuddos…
A few more photos of the school.
Very encouraging words, right?
The Journey and Team
On this maiden trip, there were 5 of us. And the good thing about travelling with a photographer is you get to capture the moments. This was us at the view point near mai mahiu rd, I think…
Arrival at the school
Suswa Girls is 1.5 hours away from the city and so we got there at around 11:00 a.m. and managed to get a photo with the awesome photographer…
This school though has a lot of land and Cyprian, the environmentalist and the one who introduced me to Suswa Girls, is on a mission to plant a number of trees here. So in case you wanna support that…
The teacher on duty received is quite well while the students were informed of our arrival and were settling down in the hall. We took that time to run through our program of the day and we all agreed we would like to hear from the students more. Once they were settled we went in and sat in front of the students who looked quite eager and warm. The head girl did the official introduction to the school. We then introduced ourselves and asked them to write down what they’d like us to discuss before they departed for lunch. Which they did and broke for lunch. We were left to go through the questions and sort them out and come up with the best way to answer them.
The questions ranged from career choices, subjects, peer pressure/influence and how to stand your ground, relationship issues, sexual activity, early marriage. Did I mention Narok is in Maasai land and this is one community that has a few people who still believe in early marriages.
Once the girls came back from lunch, we decided to liven things a bit before getting into the serious matters that had brought us here.
They cat walked, then danced, then one sang, then we were put to task to also shake out bodies a bit, and there was a Maasai song performed as well. I am quite the shy person but I think this is how you know you’re doing what you’re meant to be, when you are afraid but still go ahead and do it. We tried to do a jig… well, I tried, Vivianne did her thing.
After letting loose, it was time to get to answer the questions raised. Some of course need professionals to give more detailed explanations but we did our best to answer them. The bottom line was, right now, what needed to be stressing them were books and not boys. We told them that we do understand that their hormones are all over but that doesn’t mean they have to give in and anyways, those boys will not be in a position to take care of them in case they say fall pregnant or even contract a disease.
Some of the alarming things is that some of these girls are seeing men in University! Some asked if having an abortion is wrong. And I know these things are there but you just get this feeling that you wanna shelter them from all the ills of society and ensure that they all get to achieve their dreams without the distractions that come with growing up. And because of the exposure that this generation is growing up with, burying your head under the sand won’t cut it. You need to get to their level and understand how they think and figure out how to reach them. A good challenge.
After addressing the questions, it was time for the group photo and selfie tings of course…
We then proceeded to give them the box of sanitary pads that we were able to get through friends who donated… Appreciate you guys as this is one of the challenges some of the girls face. Inability to afford sanitary pads, meaning that when their period comes, it’s not such a good time… That’s one of the things we are trying to sort out for them with the #keepourgirlsinschool. Feel free to chip in. We are actually looking for a sustainable way to do this, so ideas are welcome.
After all that, the environmental club met for a bit to discuss environmental things. We then enjoyed the meal they had prepared for us and were on our way back to the city.
I got home rejuvenated more than anything. The first step has been taken, now it’s to keep the momentum as I would like to be doing a monthly visit. Yes, you are welcome to tag along and share your expertise or life with these girls and let them know that they are possible. The birth Moulding Beauty, finally…