Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nazarene Girls' Stories

The girls of Nazarene Girl Power make an impressive bunch as they all line up in their matching uniforms ready to sing a welcome song to their visitors.  Afterwards the group gather around to talk about how Girl Power works in their schools. “There are about 36 girls in our Girl Power club” says chairlady of the Nazarene Girl Power group, Mildred.  Mildred is also the head girl at her school, a great achievement to be in both roles.  Girl Power has been active in this school for two years and the school has put aside time each week for the girls to undertake Girl Power activities once a week, based on the programs running which have been introduced by Jayoung and Hazel May.

When asked what are the most important things they have gotten out of Girl Power, there is a flurry of answers. “Being good at taking care of ourselves”, “how to know yourself as a woman”, “being empowered!” are just some of the answers thrown forward.  Mildred elaborates.  “Being empowered means that standing on your own position.  Like for example, if a boy wants you to have sex with him, when you say ‘no’, let your no be no.  This happens a lot to us.  You will find you are sitting together and one will have negative emotions and the other one positive.  We have found that a lot of boys want sex, but we know we can say no and feel OK”.  “It has taught us that if we see someone in trouble, we shall just offer advice and help.  For example, when it is the case of a friend, you should just advise her how to do it and how to protect herself” another girl ventures.

Through Girl Power they have learnt to play a lot of sports.  Netball, Football, Swimming, Tennis, and Golf are the favourites of the girls.  Sadili Oval Sports Academy has played a large role in giving these girls the opportunity to explore these sports as well as other skills.  “The Girl Power activity was last held on April 15th to 20th and we all went” says Mildred. “The best thing about that was that we learned how to be Goal Champions, and we leant the money savvy module. It’s very important to know how to look after your money”. These skills will definitely be needed as the girls grow up, with all of the girls having fantastic ambitions.  “I want to be a lawyer” ventures one girl shyly.  “A journalist, a surgeon, a marathon runner, a nurse, a gynecologist, a lawyer” are the other answers that come flooding. 

These girls certainly have a bright future if they can continue with their study at school.  You can help by donating at

Written by Hannah Collins, volunteer at Girl Power
Approved by Dr Liz Odera, Director at Sadili Oval Sports Academy

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Louise's Story

“My name is Louise and I am 17.  I am in Form Three” Louise starts.  “I want to play football when I finish school.  I want to be a professional football player. I want to play overseas. I already play sport at a high level here and get to travel for tournaments.  They have training here in the schools”.

“I have been part of Girl Power for two years.   I learnt how to take care of myself, about the importance of studying and how to overcome challenges. I feel more confident to overcome challenges now.  I would like to keep helping girls.

“I live with my parents, we our family has six children.  I am the eldest – it means I am in charge!” she laughs.  “Every weekend, I like to practice football and also do some homework”

Written by Hannah Collins, volunteer at Girl Power
Approved by Dr Liz, Director at Sadili Oval

Esther's Story

Esther is 16 and is in Form Three.  “I want to study Aviation and be a pilot, an international pilot. I need to get really good marks, an A or a B+, so that I can attend the Aviation School of Kenya. You must have geography as a subject if you want to be a pilot” she explains.

“I have been in Girl Power for three years.  I have learnt that being a lady means you are special and not looking down on yourself or other girls. There was a team of Girl Power girl leaders who came to talk to us regularly, and we planted trees one year, and then there was another year that we went to Sadili and participated in the Sisterhood World Cup, which is a Girls' Soccer League. I like Soccer but I don’t get to play much.  My favourite sports is actually baseball”.

“I live with both parents and my brother who is 19.  He is not going to go to university, he is already working. I am working hard so that I can reach my goals.  Girl Power helps me a lot, especially when I think about giving up.  I just know I can do it now”

Written by Hannah Collins, volunteer at Girl Power
Approved by Dr Liz Odera, Director at Sadili Oval Sports Academy

Sophia's Story

Sophia is 16 years old and has been at Karen C for one year.  Before that she was at St Andrews.  “I changed because of family problems.  I mostly like it at this school” she laughs.  “I started Girl Power in Form one and am still in it now.  I have learnt how important it is to be a part of your community and to give back. I would like to keep helping the community in the future”.

“I would like to be an architect.  I love buildings and design, I always have. My favourite subject at school is Physics and then English.  I would like to study architecture in Dubai and then live there”.

“I live with my guardian.  My parents passed away when I was a kid.   I have two brothers, we are triplets! One of my brothers is at St Christopher’s International School, while the other one is going to have an operation.  My brothers live with my guardians too, we all like it there.”

Sophia switches back to discuss Girl Power.  “I like that we get the chance to talk through Girl Power.  We play sports, mainly football, which isn’t my favourite but I am still good at it. I think Girl Power made a change in me, I feel more confident”.  Glad to hear it Sophia!

Written by Hannah Collins, volunteer at Girl Power
Approved by Dr Liz Odera, Director at Sadili Oval Sports Academy

Catherine's Story

Catherine is 17 and attends Karen C secondary school. “I still have this year and next year to go until I finish school.  When I am finished I would like to be a lawyer.  I have a mentor who works as a lawyer so this has helped my decision, but I just love everything to do with the law.  I would love to go to Kenyatta University and stay in Kenya for my schooling and career”.

“I have been part of Girl Power for five months so far. I learnt many things: how to protect myself, how to cope with friends if we have a fight and how to cope with trouble. I now know how to prepare a budget as well.  I have gone to Sadili to play football though Girl Power.  I would love to say that Girl Power is a very good organization.  It helps young girls achieve what they want to be and what they want do in the future”.

When ask about sports, Catherine really comes alive. “I love sport!” she says excitedly.  “I love football so much, I am a footballer.  I played even before joining Girl Power, since I was nine years old. I am good! I would like to keep playing after school” she explains.

“I live with both my parents, my father and mother.  They take good care of me and I am proud of them – I think they are proud of me too!” she laughs.  “I have a big brother, he is studying in Zetech College, and I have a sister who is in Form Four now.  I am the last born in our family”.

Written by Hannah Collins, volunteer at Girl Power
Approved by Dr Liz Odera, Director at Sadili Oval Sports Academy

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mary's Story

Mary Monari has been with Girl Power for three years.  Softly spoken and very polite, she is 14 years old and goes to Malezi School.  Girl Power has taught her many things over the three years, from basic health care to standing up for herself.

“I like it when we talk about girls and how to take care of ourselves, and when we talk about how to keep away from bad company and also how to stay away from boys!” she laughs. “But I think mostly I have enjoyed learning how to take care of myself”.

Girl Power has it roots in teaching girls how to feel confident through sports and this tradition is being carried on still.  Mary says she likes “football, basketball, swimming, tennis, and also golf” adding that she is actually quite good at golf!

“I feel Girl Power will help me realise my dreams because it has already helped me a lot.  It helped me know how to be strong, how to take care of myself, be encouraged and how to stand in front of people and talk and how to know what I want”.  And what is it that Mary wants from life? “I want to be a designer, designing perfumes and I want also to become a professional golfer”. Mary has already begun to achieve her dreams: she is one of Kenya's top junior golfers, mentored by Rose Naliaka, Kenya's best!

Written by Hannah Collins, volunteer at Girl Power
Approved by Dr Liz Odera, Director at Sadili Oval Sports Academy