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Friday, March 23, 2012

Goal Setting at Ruchu Girls.

Cross-Section of Form 2's at Ruchu.
“Our Goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”-Vincent Van Gogh.
On Saturday 10th March, Sisterhood set out to Ruchu Girls High School once more. This was to be our last time with the jovial form two’s this term. Our agenda for the day was to set goals!!

The educational system in Kenya is one of the toughest systems that currently exist. The 8-4-4 system has been criticized for focusing solely on examination only, as opposed to actually enlightening students. The recently released O levels results would suggest that most schools have set goals to be the best in the country by producing the best students with the highest possible scores. This is not a bad thing in itself, however other than the holistic goal for the school, and getting that A you might wonder what our student’s personal goals are if any…

As a student in this rigorous system, you might leave your 16years of ‘educated life’ without having made a single goal for yourself! The institutions in which we learn in make timetables and daily rosters and literally plan your initial 12 years of formal education for you technically!  With such tough structures, you might not see the need of setting personal goals as you have them spelt out already however not built to suite your explicit requirements.

If you ask many young Kenyans what they are doing on October 1 2012,most will say….I don’t know?Ngai that is so far?blah..blah..blah…A student in Primary or Secondary school will actually tell you that they’ll be revising for their finals but once that is out of the way they will give you that I don’t know auto-reply.

Ms Catherine Matheri,a life coach recognized this grave problem and has embarked on a Reach-Out-Goal Setting programe to get young people to set their own personal goals; both short term goals(while in school or for this academic term)and long term goals(after school and when the ‘real life starts’).At exactly 11 am on the day, the girls under the watchful eye of Ms Matheri got right to business. The session begun with a series of exercises to brain-storm and take stock of each person’s individual current situation. It is obviously logical to review where you are at to know where you want to be, and how to get that end result a reality.

Some of the exercises may not have made much sense to the girls but they helped them visualize what they want to be in 10-20 years’ time. Not only what profession they would like to be in, but what type of studies they would like to have accomplished or be pursuing, what finances and investments they would like to have, personal development,relationships,giving back to the community among others. Visualizing is not enough. The girls had to write down all their goals starting with the easier long-term goals and wound-up with the short term goals. Ms Matheri  finally taught the girls how to make those goals SMART(Specific,Measurable,Action-Oriented,Realistic and Attainable, Time Bound)and the need to constantly review them and share them with people they trust. The sharing of the goals, she insisted was for accountability and for moral support.

Making Goals is a continuous process, the often you do it, the easier it gets. Norman Vincent Peale once said that all successful people have goals. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do…
Ms Matheri and Carol a student.

The girls at Ruchu Girls recently surprised us, they meet every Sunday in small groups which they formed to encourage each other, share their goals for the week and celebrate each other’s victorious for achievements accomplished. Now here’s to a goal setting generation!

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