Monday, July 29, 2013

Naria's Words

“I am 17 years old and in form two.  I still have two more years of school.  My favourite subject is biology.  I want to become a nurse when I finished school” Naria starts her interview.  “Somehow I am always caring and loving for people.  Sometimes they get an injury and I can be able to help them, so I just tell myself that I can be a nurse in future. Me, I am learning to get myself in university”.

“Girl Power are proud when they see the girls go to university. I consider myself to be a very brave person in the community.  I know that in my house, I will be the only person who has gone to University. I live with both of my parents and I have brothers and sisters (points to sister nearby). We are passing through different situations in Kibera, so me, I always feel proud when I be myself. I will be a clean person and go forward in my future”.

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

Sharon's Story

Sharon is 19 and the head girl at St Michael’s Holy Unity school.  “Form four is next year.  My favourite subject is English, I love it. When I finish school I want to be a manager. Any company, any business, organization - provided I am a manager” she says. With such set career ambitions, does Sharon think Girl Power have helped her prepare to leave school? “Yeah sure, they help prepare girls for the challenges girls face after school and they encourage them and they talk about everything. Girl Power is still new in this school of ours, but we will learn more”.

“Girl Power is really a nice organization. Since Girl Power has been around they have really helped girls, it’s been talking about girls’ issues, enlightening them and making girls identify their talents also. They enroll girls in various activities, like sports, knowing about health and knowing about everything that concerns themselves.  It helps them appreciate themselves, take themselves as they are and love themselves more than anyone can think of”.

“I live in Kibera with my Aunt.  I was born here.  I don’t like the situation and that is why I work hard so that I can change the situation in the nearby future.  I want to go to university. I would like to prosper, I hope to pass my examination next year, go to the university of Nairobi, pursue my further studies. I would like our school to perform better as well.  I love my aunt, she is there for me.  I would like to congratulate Girl Power and also thank them for what they are doing.  Reaching out for girls, talking to them, teaching them, it is very hard to find such an organization talking about girls’ issues.  I would like them to continue with the same spirit”.  

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ephy's Story

Ephy is 10 years old and goes to St Michael’s Holy Unity school. “I live with my mum and dad.  I have three brothers.  One who is 8, and there is another one 6 years old and another one six months old.  I’ve been in Girl Power since January. I like it.  We have learnt that you should always respect yourself”.
She goes on to talk about the sports that Girl Power promotes. “Yes I like the sports.  Volleyball is my favourite. Swahili is my favourite subject at school because I always pass” she laughs. Anything more you want to say Ephy? “Yes, I would like to talk about Girl Power.  We always practice how to play and work.  We play with other schools and we win.  It makes me feel happy”.  Great!
Written by Hannah Collins, volunteer at Girl Power
Approved by Dr. Liz Odera, Director at Sadili Oval Sports Academy

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

St Michael Holy Unity Girls

I am seated with five girls from St Michael’s Holy Unity School. Elizabeth is 11 and in class 6. Viola and Sharon are also in class 6 but are 12 years old.  Pauline is 15 and in class 5 and Cynthia is 13 and in class 7. Sport is definitely a favourite part of their Girl Power classes. “My favourite thing about Girl Power is sport, just like playing football.  Not netball, just football” says Elizabeth. The other girls say they like football too, and netball and Cynthia says her favourite sport is volleyball.  All the girls live in Kibera, some with the mums and dads and others with guardians or other family members.
Viola says the best thing she has learnt from Girl Power is how to prevent rape and what to do about it.  The other girls say they have learnt about “peer pressure, how to be yourself, menstruation and confidence”.  It’s almost like a mantra with this group!
Brenda then joins the group from the soccer field.  “I have learnt to be confident and to be proud of yourself and not to be shy” she says of Girl Power.  I ask her if she finds it hard to go to school sometimes. “Yeah, sometimes it is hard to go to school, especially if my dad is sick, I feel uncomfortable because he is home alone.  But I like going to school because I learn more about the things I don’t know. Sometimes even I learn about the skills that I have.  The school might make me to know my talents, especially from my friends.  When I see them playing football I think “let me join that” and I will find my talent there”.
How about the other girls’ talents? “Football” says Elizabeth.  “Dancing” offers Viola.  Sharon says her talent is singing and Cynthia says she likes to dance and act.  Cynthia is lucky, she has recognized three talents that she has – “dancing and acting and volleyball”.  A creative bunch!
 Written by Hannah Collins, volunteer at Girl Power
Approved by Dr Liz Odera, Director at Sadili Oval Sports Academy

Monday, July 22, 2013

Veronica's Story

Veronica is 14 and goes to St Michael’s Holy Unity school.  She is attending Sadili for the Coaches Across Continents soccer clinic. “I have been in Girl Power almost one year.  I have learnt how girls should stay in Kibera and the way a girl can be clean, to know herself and to appreciate how she is.  I have learnt how if I go outside of the school I can teach other girls, my friends.  Even in school I have been teaching them.  There are some girls in the school who are not in Girl Power but they are here today, they are playing. It is good”.
School plays a big part in Veronica’s life. “It’s not hard to go to school, I love school.  My favourite subject is maths.  I like it because with maths you will use it with every  work you will do in the future”.  Very true!
 “My family are just good.  Girl Power is good.  They have teach me a lot. I and my sister in this school, when we joined this school, the teacher told us to join this group so we joined it and now we know a lot.  Even people will join us when we are discussing at school”.  Keep up the great work Veronica!
Written by Hannah Collins, volunteer at Girl Power
Approved by Dr Liz Odera, Director at Sadili Oval Sports Academy

Friday, July 19, 2013

Coaches Across Continents Create Change At Sadili & Kibera

From 15 - 18 July 2013, Girl Power Clubs Africa and Sadili Oval Sports Academy, jointly hosted three professionals from Coaches Across Continents, an international non-profit that gives technical football support to organizations that seek to make social change in their communities. Boys and Coaches of Football trained in the morning and girls each afternoon. 67 members of Girl Power Clubs Africa from Malezi Primary, Malezi High, St Michael's Holy Unity, Nazarene Primary, and Olympic High - a great mix!
Girls learnt some good drills to warm up for soccer, and valuable technical skills to improve their game.  They covered really interesting life skills through football, such as how to save money, cleanliness and how to prevent getting infected with HIV and Goal Program insets. Training sessions were followed up with a regular Girl Power session so that the girls could learn some extra facts and have a chance to ask any questions they have, in a "safe space".
Sessions on Monday to Wednesday were held at Sadili Oval, with the Thursday afternoon session held at the oval at Olympic High in Kibera. To see some more of the pictures, visit out facebook

A great time was had by all and we give a big thank you to the Coaches Across Continents volunteers, AJ, Charlie and Megan! Thanks guys!

Written by Hannah Collins (Australia), Volunteer at Girl Power
Clubs, and approved by Dr Liz Odera, Director Sadili Oval Sports Academy and Girl Power Clubs Africa

Friday, July 12, 2013

Girls from Olympic High School

Dorcas, Zulea and Peris elect to be interviewed at the start of the session so that they can be involved in the rest of the session - a session which includes some very heated but fun debates!

Dorcas is 16 and in form two, Zulea is 16 and in form 1 while Peris is 17 and in her final year, form 4.

"I want to be an air hostess" says Dorcas, "because I am a clean girl and I can do it". "I want to work in the flying doctors because I have been dreaming each and every day that I can do it" says Zulea. Peris career ambitions stay close to home - " I want to be a lawyer because my mother is a lawyer". Zulea and Peris would like to stay in Kenya to live and work but Dorcas would like to move overseas - understandable with a career ambition of an air hostess!

Peris is the Girl Power veteran with three years under her belt, Dorcas has been with the group for one year and Zulea is a new addition, being a part of Girl Power for three months. "I've learnt to be a strong girl as I get older and I've learnt how I can help my fellow girls who may have problems" Dorcas says of the experience. "Through Girl Power I have learnt how girls can drop out of school early and how that can be prevented, as well as how to prevent being affected by bad company" Zulea elaborates. Peris is the last to comment, saying "through Girl Power I've learnt many things, such as how to conduct ourselves as girls, the challenges we experience. Another thing is the challenge of HIV / AIDS. When somebody is infected with HIV there are ways you can give advice to punt girls in schools so that they can prevent HIV".

This school is football mad, with Dorcas even playing for the Nairobi team. Peris's favourite sport is different though, she said swimming was her favourite, while the other two opted for the popular football.

All the girls are borders, but their experiences all differ outside of the high school. "For I, I stay with my grandmother. I don't have any brothers or sisters. On the weekends I like swimming and sometimes chatting with my friends" Dorcas states. "I stay with my father and we are three children. I am the last born. On the weekends, on Sunday, I usually go to church. After church I would read a story" Zulea says. Peris says she is one of six children, "I am staying with my mother and my young brother and sister. In total we are six but we are two girls and four boys. Three boys do not live at home because they are older and working. So I stay with my young brother and sister. On the weekends, especially on Saturdays, I like to visit friends for leisure and have fun with them. During Sunday I am going to church. After church i come back and sleep!"

"For me, I would like to thank Girl Power because they have made me to know many things I did not know before. For now, I think through Girl Power I can tell my fellow girl 'this is right and this is wrong' and I can stand in front of people and say something because they have made me not shy. I love them and won't forget about them. When I grow up, when I be an air hostess, I would also like to be in Girl Power so that I can empower my fellow girls" Dorcas says as her final piece. "Through Girl Power for the few months I have learnt with them I can respect myself and I can know I can be able to achieve my goals and it is possible to advise other girls" Zulea says. Peris finishes for the girls. "Through Girl Power for those three years I can now stand in front of the people to give them advice, to be aggressive to remove their shyness. In fact, if it were not for Girl Power I don't think I could stand in front of people and speak. I thank them so much. Even, I know I can teach many girls, I can guide them and counsel them on how to conduct themselves, how to behave and how to respect themselves". Well done girls, good luck with your futures!

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

Belinda and Linda talk to us

Belinda and Linda choose to be interviewed together – being the only ones to say yes to an interview of out a class 30, they are very brave! Belinda is 17 and Linda is 18 and they are both in form three.  “If I finish school, I want to be a doctor, in particular I want to be a surgeon” says Belinda.  “With me, I would love to be a business woman” says Linda.  “I would like to work in a restaurant, maybe own them.  I can cook a very nice meal!” she laughs. Both share favourite subjects of English and Swahili, with Belinda also liking Biology and Linda Geography.  Both girls like to read.

Both girls have been in Girl Power for two years.  “As for me, I have been here for now two years.  I went for the goal training and what I learnt was how to be myself and be proud of myself and know that I am beautiful the way I am” says Belinda. “It is the same for me, I have been here for two years.  I also went to the goal training, and I learnt to just carry on, keep pressing on” Linda adds. ”In Girl Power we have leant how to be ourselves, how to be healthy, how to be money savvy and how to nurture our talents” explains Belinda. Linda agrees. “I have learnt how to make use of my talent, and how to help others with their talent making their life better and I have learnt that I am special the way I am ad I should take myself how god created me”.

All this talk of talent leads one to ask what the girls’ talents are?  “My talent is playing football and reading” Belinda says, “mine is singing” Linda beams.

“Yes, we live here in Kibera, I live with my aunt and cousins – I have many cousins! I am an only child” says Belinda of their living situations. Life is hard.  For example sometimes you don’t have water and you don’t have that money to buy that water.  The same with food”. “I also live in Kibera, I have sisters and also cousins” says Linda. “Sometimes it becomes hard when you are living with an aunt or a relative and that aunt also has her kids and there is no money for school fees” she elaborates.

“For me, I would love to say that since my mother died in 2004, I was taken into an orphanage school.  I learnt there for a couple of years, like seven years, and when I was out of there, that is when I came here, my aunt brought me to this school.  Before this, I can say that school has helped me.  My old school taught me god’s word and I can say that I have been saved” Linda finishes up.

Belinda’s story is also sad. “As for me, I can say that my father died in 2004 when I was in class three.  He was shot with six bullets and died on the spot.  With the help of my mother and some well wishers, I have been able to continue with my education.  With the help of God I know that anything is possible”.

Mercline's Story

“My name is Mercline and I am in grade 8.  I am 13 years old.  I would like to say about my story. According to my family it is hard to get school fees and since I started my school I just started by learning. I also chose to play tennis because I play tennis in order for it to improve my future so that I can help my parents and if for example if I don’t have anything, they (Sadili / Girl Power) can help me so I can get what I need”.

“My dad does juakali, my dad used to work with those iron sheets.  If he sells them, he gets money in order for him to help us.  My mum makes stones for cooking.  I would like to be in secondary next year, form one, so that I can remove some stress related to my parents.  When we all sit at home we are not happy because they are just quarrelling or they not talking to one another”.

“I would like to say that in our home it is hard to get some things.  It is hard to get school fees to pay for school.  It is hard to get food.  It is hard for my parents to get money, for them to provide us with what we need.  I would like to tell you so that you may help me so that I can get education and learn how to protect myself and my family”.

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