One hundred and six girls and young women gathered at Sadili Oval in Nairobi on 11th March 2017 to join thousands of women around the world in the Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk. Similar Mentoring Walks took place in 61 countries across nearly every region of the world, in commemoration of International Women’s Day.
The hot and sunny weather in Nairobi was no match for the girls’ determination to participate in the Walk, be inspired and make their voices heard. The huge crowd of girls and young women drew everyone’s attention as they marched bringing the usually busy Lang’ata area to a standstill. Most of these girls (mentees) were student leaders in secondary and upper primary schools.
After the Walk, the girls were divided into small groups where they had a chance to talk to their mentors and be inspired. They freely talked about the challenges they face in their pursuit of leadership roles in a male-dominated society, shared experiences and many ideas on ways through which they can stand for themselves and boldly make their voices heard.
“This is the first time I have participated in such an event, and I am so glad I came. I have learnt much more than I thought I would both from the mentors and other girl leaders [mentees] from other schools,” remarked Grace Munini, a student at St. Christine Secondary School. “I am leaving this place more motivated to take up leadership roles now and in future. Thank you Girl Power Clubs for organizing such an event and for inviting my school.”
Ms. Peris Kabiru, a high school teacher and also one of the mentors, was equally challenged after her interaction with the girls. “It’s been a pleasure chatting with the girls and I would like to do this more often. Next time there is chance to mentor young leaders please let me know, I will be more than thrilled to participate!” She said.
The Mentoring Walk is organized annually as part of a global movement to inspire a rising generation through mentorship. This particular Walk in Nairobi was made possible by Girl Power Clubs Africa movement with kind support from Dr. Liz Odera, founder of the movement, mentor and also a Vital Voices fellow.
We as Girl Power Clubs Africa are extremely grateful to everyone who made the Walk possible in Nairobi, especially our mentors and mentees who came along and showed their support for the initiative. After this year’s success we are already thinking how we can make it even better next year and hope that more women and girls will find time to participate, and see it as an excellent opportunity to “raise a vital voice” by mentoring an aspiring woman leader.