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Storytelling, Debating and Saving for the Future

Jambo! It’s been quite a summer at The Girls Center with educational programs galore keeping our girls busy during their school vacation. During our June Enrichment Program students developed their leadership style through storytelling; opened up student savings accounts; and started vegetable gardens and composting at The Girls Center. TGFT collaborated with Resonate to host a 5-day ‘Storytelling for Leadership' workshop for 25 students including TGFT girls and students from other schools.

During this workshop students learned to speak confidently and publicly. The trainers helped students identify their own personal core values to inform their stories. They connected with the students with their coaching, encouragement, and fantastic music! After the workshop Hellen, a TGFT student remarked, “I am really glad to have learnt how to properly tell my story of self and adapt it depending on my audience. I realized that a good story is not enough by itself, but the inspiring part of it lies in how it is told.” An impressive observation from a 16-year-old!

Gertrude also enjoyed the workshop. She told me “When we were developing our stories of self, I looked back to my past challenges and how I overcame them, and really felt proud of myself. And also, I am a naturally outspoken person and tend to talk too much, but through this workshop I learned how to only tell the most important and relevant parts of my story.” Clearly Resonate’s workshop had a positive, empowering impact on our students, boosting their confidence and giving them skills as storytellers. TGFT also collaborated with ECHO East Africa. Their team helped us establish a compost pile--by layering branches, soil, manure, and ashes from our charcoal cooker—and a vegetable garden, using recycled tires and flour sacks. ECHO taught us about new plants, and the value of collecting and saving seeds.

Twelve of our students opened up student savings accounts at Meru Community Bank. TGFT families contribute $22 a term for their daughter’s required pocket money at boarding school. Ewaldina, our fiscal conservative, is saving her pocket money to buy a computer once she gets to university! Our morning at the bank was a valuable learning experience for all the girls—in particular the five who had never been to a bank!

We also held two debates: the first on whether all-girls schools are better than coed schools. The second debate was whether students entering high school should be tested for HIV. The girls love debating: even our quietest girls surprise us as they speak up passionately and fiercely. After each debate Estahappy, our Executive Director, provides accurate information to dismiss any myths the girls have used in their speeches.

We are so proud of our students who are learning how to articulate themselves in the world, inspiring others and making a difference in school, at home and in our community.

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