My future is brighter than my past: Daraja’s newest students learn that their unrelenting faith in their future gained them admittance into Daraja Academy
Last week, the Form 1s filed into the lounge, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder around the wooden conference-like tables. After a couple minutes of whispering and giggling amongst themselves, their attentions focused in on Teacher Victoria, who stood at the head of the table, smiling right back at them.“What does it mean to have hope?” she asked the Form 1s.
At first, no one responded. One-by-one, hands around the table shot up.
“Hope is a longing for something in your heart, like a successful life,” Asuza said.
“Hope,” Bilha added, “is the trust in something, that something can and will happen.”
After further discussion about hope and how strong, independent young women need to maintain it, the girls said in unison, “My future is brighter than my past, and I have the ability to have others see the same.”
The Form 1s discussed what set them apart from typical girls their age, and discovered a similarity they all shared: determination to make their hopes come true. “Some girls, when asked what they would do if not admitted to Daraja, said they would get married, or stay at home,” Teacher Victoria said. She looked around the room. Attentive faces met her eyes. “Raise your hand if you said the same thing.”
Silence filled the room. No one raised her hand. “Raise your hand if when asked what you would do if you did not get admitted to Daraja, you said you would try again,” Teacher Victoria said. Several hands went up. “Raise your hand if you said you would start a small business to raise money to go to Daraja,” she said. More hands went up. “Raise your hand if you said in your interview that you would never give up hope so that you could continue your education,” Teacher Victoria said. Every hand shot up.
“It is a process,” Teacher Victoria taught the Form 1s. “You become better every day. Stronger.”
When asked what the lesson about hope meant to her, Yvonne spoke about faith and the ability to make her hopes become her reality. “Today, we realized that the hope we need to make us strong women is already inside of us. We need to focus on working hard and making specific goals to complete in order to make them possible.”
As of this month, Daraja Academy has officially became part of Nike's Girl Effect. In addition to the funding and exposure we are receiving, the honor and importance of becoming part of the Girl Effect has left a big impression on Daraja's students. If you missed it, here's what Maureen wrote in a recently published article about the being part of this organization....
The morning the Nike Girl Effect Challenge ended, I came out of my exam at 10 a.m. Shouts and screams filled the air and I knew that we had won.
I went to the dining hall where the results were posted. From a distance I saw a huge poster with the words: “We Are The Girl Effect” – and I learned that our school, Daraja Academy, was in second place. I jumped up and screamed and all the other girls did the same. Even though it was tea break, I was too excited to have my tea.
I was happy to win because I know that the dreams of many girls will come true from the support of the Nike Girl Effect. I believe in girls and know that they can change the world; with a little support, they can do a lot.
Being part of the Girl Effect Challenge will make me always dream big. It is a competition for yearly funding from the Nike GlobalGiving Project.
My dream is to become a journalist or a tour guide. To achieve this, I will work hard at school, get good grades and get advice from people in the field. I also want to join a university, where I will learn all about how to become a good journalist or tour guide. When I saw how people volunteered and donated money to support girls through the Girl Effect Challenge, it motivated me to work harder. It also made me want to help more people in return, because there are so many who want help but can’t find it.
Since the first time I heard about the Nike Girl Effect Challenge and what it does, it reminded me of this quote from Janie Jasin: “To enjoy the journey is to leap into people’s lives. To enjoy the journey is to give until the stretch is a sacrifice. The question always is: what is it in life that will pulls you out of your seat to be brave, to risk and to serve?” The Girl Effect makes me feel empowered by giving me my heart to help many.
This is the first time I have participated in a worldwide competition. It was a great pleasure to be in that position. It makes me feel like an important person; it makes me feel secure. Being part of the challenge made me strong in my belief in girls all over the world. It affects my country Kenya too, because it will improve many girls’ lives.
As a female I face many challenges – when I go out of school during vacation I’m considered weak, and boys are always given first priority; it is easier for men to get jobs than women. But my country is trying to correct that, making sure that everyone is equal. Sometimes I see that when women do not succeed in life or achieve their goals they experience more challenges than men do. It is true that many girls all over the world experience the same challenges. This makes me feel that we are equal and there is not much difference between me and any other girl. I believe that we can make a big difference from the support of the Nike Girl Effect.
I give thanks to the Girl Effect for what they have offered, it really means a lot and it will help many.
We have the most caring and dedicated supporters in the world! Within 4 short weeks, nearly 900 of you rallied together to help the Daraja girls win this opportunity. Because of you, Daraja Academy will officially be part of the Girl Effect in 2012!
After finishing their finals, the girls walked to the dining hall to get some breakfast. They were welcomed with a sign that announced their official win....Check out the video and see the happiness in their reactions. Thank YOU for making this happen. The girls feel your love and support!
Winning the Girl Effect Challenge will expose Daraja Academy to a global audience. We couldn't have done this without you.
If you'd like to stay connected with campus updates, email email@example.com!
With only 9 hours left, Daraja has gone from 2nd place to being a few vonates from last! We'd be so grateful if you could get one or two more people to join you in vonating. It has been an incredible adventure so far and we are ALMOST at the finish line! We are so close to winning this!
You can Text GIVE 8946 to 80088 to vonate $10 or click here to vonate. Be sure to follow Daraja's position on the leadership board!
Thank you all for the love and support you are showing the Daraja girls. We are lucky to have you on our team!
“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
We have less than a week to protect our spot! It's the last week and competition is heating up...fast! We have less than 7 days to secure our position and the other organizations are sneaking up quickly! If you can help spread the word and get just a few more people to join you in vonating, then we will certainly win the competition. The cool part? Vonating just got EASIER- people can now simply text GIVE 8946 to 80088 to donate $10! You can see a list of everyone that has vonated here. Make sure your friends and family are on that list!
The Girl Effect Challenge is taking over the Daraja campus! The students have been following Daraja's ranking each day thanks to a poster in the dining hall....as we get closer to the end, the excitement is growing. The girls have watched the Girl Effect videos, learned about the other organizations in the competition, and they feel thrilled to be a part of something so big. Even the staff has gotten in on the fun! Click on the link below to see pictures, and then please help us get those extra vonates!
Thank you, family! We are almost at the finish line!
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