Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout the month of March and DOT Kenya was not left out. This year, DOT Kenya staff spent time connecting, sharing, and inspiring girls at Kibonoki Secondary School in Malindi.
Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout the month of March and DOT Kenya was not left out.
"Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures" was this year's theme for IWD. A team of DOT Kenya staff spent their time connecting and sharing with girls at Kibokoni Secondary School in Malindi. Irene Mlanga - Program Assistant Coast region, Christine Sayo - Communications Assistant, Ayshah Maende - Field Officer, and Caroline Boraya and Nasma Malik - Field Facilitators attended the insightful and inspiring event. Also in attendance was Madam Anisa Menza, a renowned motivational speaker and women's rights activist.
The main objective of the day was to encourage the young girls at Kibokoni Secondary School to work towards bettering their future. The program begun at 10:00am when Madam Riziki, Kibokoni Secondary School's Guiding and Counseling Patron, introduced the guests and gave a summary of the school's mission, vision, and goals. DOT Kenya's Irene Mlanga gave a brief talk about DOT and it's activities. Field Facilitators Nasma Maalik and Caroline Boraya made a presentation about International Women's Day focused on what it is and the importance of marking the day.
The next session involved the girls sharing stories about their experiences, challenges they face in their day to day lives, and ways to address these challenges. For this activity, the girls were divided into groups and each group assigned a lead facilitator who guided them through the discussion. It was a lively session as the girls opened up and shared on issues affecting them both in their personal and academic lives and proposed ways to counter these challenges. Meanwhile, the boys were busy digging holes in preparation for the tree planting session. The girls later joined the boys in planting trees on the school grounds in remembrance of Nobel Laureate Wangari Mathai.
The afternoon session was a girls-only affair. Each group presented their findings from the discussions. Cheers filled the room whenever an issue that touched the girl's personal lives was mentioned. It was also an opportunity for the girls to practise their presentation and confidence skills as each presenter had to stand before the crowd and make her presentation. Next was a slideshow presentation by DOT Kenya's Aysha Maende. The slideshow featured various prominent Kenyan women such as Martha Karua, Njoki Ndung'u, Susan Mboya, Caroline Mutoko among others. Communications Assistant Christine Sayo then took the girls through a discussion of the sideshow, emphasizing that if the girls wanted to be like the prominent women they had to not only work hard at school work but also pursue their strengths and passions.
To end the day's activities Madam Anisa gave a talk on gender based violence. She advised the girls on how to take care of themselves now that they were growing up into mature women. Madam Anisa also talked about rape, and advising the girls about what to do in case of rape and ways to avoid such scenarios. This a was more than welcome talk for the girls as gender based violence has become rampant in the Coast Region. Madam Anisa also proposed some solutions to some of the problems raised by the girls earlier in the day.
We then organized a photo session, then socialized with the girls before leaving.
Our sincere gratitude goes to Madam Riziki and the rest of Kibokoni fraternity for allowing us time to talk to their students. We are also thankful to the DOT Women's Network Team led by Kathy Durand for giving us moral support and encouraging us to pursue this initiative.