An experience in the trenches of my motherland

Our job shadowing in Kenya kicked off with a meeting. We were taken through the activities that we were going to partake in throughout the month. We also discussed about our expectations and fears. I was so excited to do my job shadowing in my native land after having done one in Estonia since I was very eager to share some of the best practices I had acquired.

There are a lot of initiatives and organizations working day and night to help in reducing the menace of ESL. Resource Hub for Development organized for us a range of projects where we could see different initiatives that were underway to combat ESL. We started by visiting Manyatta Community Centre. The center hosts a “Right to be a girl” program under the stewardship of the Nyanza Initiative for Girls Education and Empowerment (NIGEE) that targeted girls between the ages of 10-16 years old. The girls are assigned to mentors who train them on various life skills including precautionary measures aimed at preventing them from dropping out of school. The center acts as a safe environment for the girls.

Nyanza Initiative for Girls’ Education and Empowerment (NIGEE) carries out a wide range of activities with adolescent girls and young mothers in the slums of Kisumu and also in rural areas of western Kenya. We spent most of our time with this organization interacting with the staff and the girls to share and learn some of the tools they use to combat ESL. I learnt that NIGEE has developed a program aimed at returning the young mothers and the drop outs back to school by paying for them there school fees. They are also offering vocational training courses such as hair dressing, tailoring, computer training all these with an aim of eradicating Early School Leaving.

We also had a chance to spend one week at Ujima Foundation which offers skills set training for young orphans and vulnerable youth (mostly girls). My colleagues Luìs and Kelly had an opportunity of conducting a workshop on how to write a good résumé and employability competencies. The youths also got an opportunity to be trained by Google personnel on digital skills. Most of the projects we got involved in targeted girls since they are the most vulnerable.

As I end my article, I just want to share with the readers that in the midst of all our accomplishments, we should always find ways to give back to the society because the one thing I realized during my two job showing experiences both in the trenches of my motherland Kenya and in Estonia is that the society needs us just as much as we need it.

Yvonne

Job shadowing in Kenya