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Tuesday, March 13, 2012


4TH February 2012 was our first date with Ruchu Girls High School this year. Located around 90 kms from Nairobi and with the newly refurbished Nairobi-Thika Highway, we were there within no time. Our session with the bubbly form twos who number are close to 200 students was to commence promptly at 10:30 am.

Of course I was excited to be back a year later with the mentorship program (Sisterhood) and with a new class. The day’s session was to be like no other we had previously had. The day’s speaker was Ms Catherine Matheri a life coach and a French lecturer. We were elated that she could facilitate the day’s activities and be our first guest speaker to return to Ruchu Girls.

A session of 200 students really cannot be easy; but thankfully Ms Matheri has extensive experience in handling students. The session was for team-building and therefore we divided the girls into smaller groups of around ten-fifteen each. Now when you think team building, you probably imagine a field with crazy stunts such as those you might see in ‘fear factor’…..The stunts that Ms Matheri had in mind however did not entail leaving the comfort of the girls’ seats but still proved quite entertaining and more notably worth their while.

Each Group was provided with lots of plain paper, colourful markers, manila papers, pins and a list of instructions. Each Group was to decide on a hype town name, and true to that, some very interesting towns were created. Each town had to have a mayor and the girls were encouraged to create other jobs which they felt their town needed. Each Member of the group had to have a different profession. The interesting thing was that no-one person chose her profession! The group members would decide and allocate jobs to whomever they felt most befitting of a certain role and provide reasons for the same.

Next the town was to come up with a mission and a vision statement. The Town had to further come up with a list of things it expected to achieve and those virtues that it felt were most important to it.It was quite exciting to walk around the hall and seat in different towns. Different personalities in a town made each little group so different! It was very intriguing to listen to how town names were created which I felt was largely contributed to things teenage girls might fancy! As there was going to be group presentations, each town tried to pimp, floss and add serious swag to out-do the rest!

The town name, its members and its vision and mission statement had to be well written on the manila papers. Each person had to pin up their profession for all to see.

The whole process seems quite incomprehensible but it has pronounced significance. It is important for the girls to learn how to work as a team! Many a times, we need to be part of a group to be able to achieve our goals. They are times also when others see some characteristics and abilities in us which we are not always aware of. Some young ladies I noted were very surprised when their group-mates chose a profession for them which they would not have otherwise agreed on. Finally, it is important to have a flight path towards achieving our objectives. The mission and vision statements helped the girls identify what really matters to them as individuals and as a holistic group in society.

Ms Matheri left the girls with Home-work; each town was to have a town book which they would make entries in, each week after meeting. The girls had the autonomy to decide what the agenda of each meeting was about. This ensures that the girls recognize that they have support structures among each other and should thus be each other’s cheerleaders and comforters.

Time always flies by when you are having a ball. It’s always a bitter-sweet moment leaving the girls, but we will be back soon…..10th March 2012 to be precise. Till then…

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