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Kenya: Getting involved

This month the focus in Ondati has been on increasing girls’ involvement in the school businesses. It is difficult to find more hours in a day packed by the Kenyan Curriculum but the staff here have designated time before and after school for both extra business classes and manual project work.

Girls are now on a rota system for weeding pineapples, watering and tending to nursery trees and helping in the dairy. A star system has been implemented, whereby the girls receive stars for attendance and other good work on the businesses. Those hardworking students will be recognised at the end of each half term and next term they will be taken on an educational trip to see comparable businesses in action!

Witnessing the growing enthusiasm, especially of certain girls who work beyond their assigned times, makes our work as project officers very rewarding. In a culture where seeing a woman milking is very rare, it is great to see girls enjoying an evening spent milking the cows and serving the customers. We can even forgive girls waking us up early on a Sunday morning as they go to weed the pineapples.

In a recent AGM parents were told of the importance in encouraging their girls to participate in school business activities. They were very supportive of their daughters receiving this extra education. One parent stood up to say that he had already seen the benefits at home. His daughter had been getting more involved in their farming activities and had even started milking the cows!

June, also saw the arrival of Reuben Omollo, Ondati’s new principal. It has been thanks to Reuben that a transformation has taken place in the girls’ attitude. He has worked tirelessly motivating staff, students and monitoring the practical work that takes place. He is also full of great business ideas for Ondati…so watch this space!

The next month will be about reinforcing the successes of the last month and ensuring that the girls’ involvement in the businesses becomes a routine…

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