On October 23-24, we held our last health and leadership training of the year for 275 boys and girls. Our Health and Leadership training for 4th-7th grade students was hosted by the Olereko Primary School and attended by students from Mapashi Primary school, Enolkipelia Primary School and Erishata Learning Centre. Our training teams included the I am Worth Defending Team from Nairobi and the Centre for Adolescent Studies and Wezesha Foundation from Kilgoris.
Our weekend training included two days of hands-on learning. We were thrilled that both male and female teachers were not only present for the trainings, but fully engaged throughout the weekend as well. In the weeks following the training, the support and knowledge from the participating teachers will strengthen and reinforce our message for youth.
As we do in every session, we asked the teens directly about the issues they felt were most pressing in their lives and what topics they would like covered during our weekend training. Overwhelmingly, the girls asked us to focus on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), HIV/AIDS, self-esteem, leadership and peer pressure. The boys requested information on leadership, sexuality and peer pressure. Additional topics include team building, self defense and children’s rights.
Our trainers facilitated an open and frank dialogue where teens felt respected and understood, which remains a strong tenet of our program. I’m pleased to share a few quotes from our girls:
- “Our teachers were Ann and Caro. I particularly enjoyed that I learned how to prevent contracting HIV/AIDS, and how to take care of myself as a girl.” – Mapashi
- “I feel we should have such a seminar every month!” – Olereko
- "Our teachers taught us to be obedient to our parents and teachers and remain focused to attain our goals." – Enolkipelia
We are now diligently working on more thorough evaluation measurements to ensure effective programming that resonates powerfully with teens in 2016.