Girls for girls: another view

07 April 2014

We’ve given you the Friends of Londiani perspective on the Girls for Girls seminar in Londiani of a few weeks ago. However, a team from Girls for Girls USA was also in Kenya with Friends of Londiani and two of the G4G USA representatives, Marnye Hall and Joey Rosenberg, sent us a lively description of the event. Today, therefore, we’re turning our blog over to Girls for Girls USA and some of their highlights from the seminar. If you want to read more about the history and work of Girls for Girls USA please do have a look at Monday March 18, 2014 We speak with the Girls for Girls students to learn more about the girl perspective. It is fantastic to hear about the successes of the Girls for Girls program and also to learn how we can help make it better. Maria, of Friends of Londiani, also speaks with the girls about the sustainability of the program and what they feel would be a reasonable price to pay for a one-year supply of reusable sanitary pads. The feedback from the girls on this topic is very informative. A solution for a sustainable and cost-effective way for girls to get the pads will be discussed with the teachers during the course in the coming days. This is the key to long-term success. Tuesday, March 18 Today we visit Sacred Hill Girls High School, one of the four pilot schools in the Girls for Girls Program. The pilot schools are unique because they began the Girls for Girls journey a year before the others. At the end of the educational program, 50 girls at each pilot school received a one-year supply of reusable sanitary towels. The difference is incredible. Perhaps the best news is that some of the girls who were part of the pilot program are no longer around because they have graduated from secondary school and are at university! In addition to the educational program update, we also learn that Sacred Hills is already thinking about sustainability and is in the early stages of an income generation project. Before we leave, we are lucky enough to be invited to participate in the commissioning (official opening) of the new shower room for girls. The shower room is a project in partnership with Friends of Londiani and offers the girls showers that pump in water through a showerhead, much like we use at home. Wednesday, March 19 – Friday March 21 the highlight of the day is dramas performed by workshop participants on different ways to access funding. The group shares performances on micro-finance, grants, table banking, trading and bartering, and income generation. The teams do a great job! It is fun and informative. Our second day focuses on building business skills. We challenge the participants with a market research game, which is a fun new element devised by the team. Finally, we end the day with ‘Run my Business’, a mock economy game that is a fun and challenging crowd pleaser. After returning from a beautiful sunrise walk in Londiani, the training team arrives on the third day to find something inspirational: some math on the board where someone was trying to figure out price and depreciation the night before. The teachers and principals seem enthusiastic about their ability to generate funding for the program and are eager to support their girls. Our team looks forward to returning to Londiani to learn which action plans become realities. We feel a ton of potential and excitement brewing in the community.