Chung Malo! This means “GET UP” in Dhuluo, the local language in Maseno Division in western Kenya. On Saturday, November 10, 2012, we held a GET UP club meeting for middle school girls from three different schools. This was the final meeting for these girls for the school year, and it was a great conclusion. A local nurse was the guest speaker, and she was a wonderful role model to the girls for what can be achieved if they work hard and stay focused in school. The nurse spoke to the girls about the importance of setting, maintaining, and achieving goals. Many of these young girls are orphans living with elderly grandparents, and receiving positive reinforcement from a woman professional is important as the girls begin to make choices about their futures. As the students listened to the nurse speak, you could see on their faces the dreams that were forming in their minds.
In addition to the guest speaker, each GET UP meeting also includes a specific topic centered on relationships, life skills, or health education. The theme for this meeting was “Life Skills: Good Communication Practices.” Given how vulnerable these young girls’ lives are, it is imperative for them to learn how to communicate about what they want or do not want so that men and boys do not take advantage of them. Specifically, the girls learned about being assertive rather than passive, and how to recognize aggressive attitudes in others. At the end of the day, each girl practiced what she had learned by acting out their response to situations in which someone treated them in a disrespectful or harmful way. The meeting closed with the girls linking shoulder to shoulder, shouting, “We will GET UP, not give up!”
Looking ahead, in December high school girls will meet over their holiday break for GET UP: Leadership Development. Mentors will meet with the girls individually and as a group to encourage, support, and empower the girls.
We are very hopeful that we can be one of the organizations winning the Girl Effect Challenge which will give us the funds needed to fully implement the GET UP program for all age groups. It is the number of donations, not the amount raised, which will take us to the top, so even a $10 donation can have a big impact on our girls.
Please help us get the word out! Donations can be received through November 30 at www.goto.gg/11966. Join us in our cause to help these bright young girls achieve great things as they GET UP! Thank you!
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