“For the African girl, the door shuts just when they are about to enter.”
~ “A Small Act” documentary on Kenyan educational sponsorship.
Young girls in Obunga face many challenges in life. From early on, they are targets for abuse, rape, and neglect. If there are boys in their family, often times, daughters are overlooked and treated as second-class citizens, leaving them without as many opportunities as their brothers. This year, we felt it was time to take our female students aside and address some of their struggles without their Ndoto brothers around. So, we hosted an Ndoto girl’s conference while they were home on holiday in August. We had a Kenyan female pastor and a business woman come speak to them, but one of the most powerful moments came from one of their own.
During the Ndoto girls conference, Janet W., an Ndoto college student, opened up to the girls about her life story. She talked about getting pregnant at age 17 and being forced to drop out of school. Janet was blessed enough to have family to help take care of the baby and a new school willing to accept her. However, upon receiving the result of her first exam, she realized she had not performed well, and returning to school would be more of a challenge than she anticipated. Yet, even after being in and out of school, she performed better than a few people in her class, and it inspired her to keep going. She told herself that she could complete her education and do it well! Janet ended up getting a respectable grade on her KCSE (end of high school) exam and was accepted into a college and able to pursue her dream of nursing. Janet encouraged the girls that no matter the situation they are in they should move forward and not let it ruin their lives or crush their dreams.
During these trials, Janet told of how God met her in her time of need and taught her how to trust Him. She shared about her faith in Jesus, believing He has great things in store for her life. She encouraged the girls that if an unfortunate event has happened or does happen, they should accept it and move forward, knowing it is not the end of life. They must press on and pursue their dreams.
We have seen many girls encouraged to not only make better life choices after hearing Janet’s testimony, but we have seen many girls that are defeated regain strength and possess a renewed hope that they can achieve great things despite the difficulties they face in the slums.
Staff helping serve lunch to our ladies at the conference.