Global Education Fund Kenya Scholars from schools around Kayole, Nairobi have been meeting every month to support one another, grow as a community and have a safe space where they can learn together from expert facilitators. The most recent meeting came on May 12th, and it was an exciting meeting, which began with entertaining icebreaker games led by one of the facilitators. The scholars then went into boys and girls separate groups.
The girls had a facilitator from an NGO that encourages youth participation in the social, political, economic affairs of nation building. After introductions, the facilitator took the girls through a COMMUNITY MAPPPING TOOL in reference to the book “GIRL Centered Program Design” from Population Council Kenya. The community mapping tool has a ranking system that helps gather information from a group, such as what is most common vs. least common to the group, most important vs. least important, most acceptable vs. least acceptable. In this case the girls were asked to identify the safest places vs. the least safe places around their community for meeting outside the GEF Kenya office. This exercise helped the girls understand more about the community where they live. Schools, churches and salons were some of the places they mentioned as safe places with bars/clubs being the least safe place.
Of course, if girls are working towards empowerment, boys need to buy-in and be aware of the need for identity and gender equality. The boys also had an interactive session with their facilitator who is a motivational speaker/youth leader in the community. They discussion centered on IDENTITY:
Who am I?
What defines me?
Do I like me? and if not, what should I do to make corrections?
What does a real man stand for?
What guides his life?
What forms boundaries of behavior?
The students have expressed that they are appreciative to have people talk to them about life skills, reproductive health and entrepreneurship because no one does this in school. The scholars were excited about the meeting and requested to have more time for such discussions.
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