Harambee has gone well; certainly a better targeted dollar. I admire
Cheryl and Norm and Rebecca (Kenyan office manager); we work well
together. So it is not impossible for me to get along and work with
others – just depends on who I get to work with and whether we actually accomplish something. But there is only so much I can help with and it is about to end (I don’t want it to). I’ve been here a month. Today and tomorrow the girls we have been able to offer scholarships to are coming to find out what schools they will go
to. They’ll write autobiographies and letters to sponsors; pick up gift bags with soap, shoe polish (very important in Africa), pens, note books, etc.; receive uniform chits for the local store; get their Form One school books from Beatrice in our library, and sign contracts with their parent or guardian and with Harambee. We will have stations about the yard for each step. Rebecca will give a talk on the obligations, responsibilities of the students and their parents to maintain their scholarships for the next four years. (The parents are not to view this opportunity as a way out of caring and involving themselves in their daughter’s lives. Harambee does not take over this responsibility.)
How will the lives of these girls improve once they finish school? Consider first the improvement over then next four years. They will have three meals a day, friendships, books, sports, and a tool or two to negotiate and change their world. They will be safe. They will be lighthearted. Four years later they will be more confident (huge), better able to defend themselves against sexual pressures (statistics apparently show most will have fewer children), and, if they do well academically, they may earn scholarships to college or university. Of course there are a lack of options post secondary school but for sixty girls out of hundreds of thousands, the next four years offer a an opportunity to blossom. Yesterday I had to tell youngsters they did not get one of these sixty scholarships when they came to the gate to enquire. “But what will I do?” “What am I going to do?” “Will you help me?” No comfort.