A lot has been said about teen girls. Since the World Population Day was marked, focus has been on what is ailing the teenage girl and what can be done to rescue her.
This year's theme is 'investing in teenage girls'.
And this focus is timely for the Kenyan girl, especially. Economic challenges have forced parents to marry off their little daughters to get that elusive shilling to take care of unending financial responsibilities.
Girls are also easy targets. When parents are unable to pay school fees, they withdraw them from school and the girls just accept this as their lot. Normally, they have no option.
You know at least one such girl who missed an opportunity to realize her dreams because her parents felt it was not worthy investing in her education. And for you, you are what you are because your parents or someone else believed in you and gave you that chance in life.
When I was growing up, a neighbor refused to pay school fees for his daughter, my classmate, who wanted to join high school because "her brothers were also heading to high school the following year" and he needed to save the money for them.
She stayed at home for four years – the period she would have completed her high school – and got married the December I cleared secondary education. Every time I went home for holidays and met her, she cried.
- READ MORE
- 1. Tips for successful risk taking
- 2. Scientists create 'age reversing therapy' that may work on humans
- 3. 'I went on a double date with my mum and it really went well - until we got the bill'
- 4. Card fan breaks tradition, designs gender-neutral card deck
- 5. Six ways to eat healthy when you are busy
- 6. How to deal with rejection
- 7. Six ways introverts can be more social
- 8. Six ways to stop worrying and enjoy your pregnancy
- 9. Seven accessories every woman should have in their wardrobe
- 10. When love costs too much
Needless to say, years later, her quality of life and mine are planets apart. She struggles to feed her children while I got everything planned for – school fees, insurance, medical cover, mortgage, life insurance and a retirement plan, among other perks that come with a good education.
Yet we all know that when you educate a woman you educate a community. This is because a woman's nature makes her naturally uplift another. And when you do this, you reap benefits.
My friend was telling me about an orphan girl she saw through high school. Then they lost touch.
Coincidentally, when my friend was going through a serious financial crisis, the girl resurfaced from the blues and took care of everything. It was like a miracle, but the truth is, when you help someone in need, the benefits are quite good. And they come when you need them most.
Thus, if you are in a position to help a girl, like that friend of mine who desperately wanted to go to high school, don't deter yourself; go ahead and do good. You never know how this will churn out.
But most importantly do it for the benefit of society. It is an investment not necessarily for yourself but for the good of humanity. Just imagine the number of people who will depend on her once she gets employed and the healthy children she will raise because you gave her a chance. The impact of your intervention is tremendous. It will touch generations. It is an investment comparable to none.
At some point, you will be asked about the most important thing you ever did when you were at the climax of your career, what will you say? Will you talk about travelling abroad or visiting exotic sites?
I bet most people will be quick to talk about a generous gesture they offered. This is your chance to look around and find a vulnerable girl and make it happen. Be the angel in that girl's life that transforms her destiny.
I am sure this gesture will give you more satisfaction than the many accolades and awards you get because of doing your job.
Investing in a vulnerable girl is a worthy investment. Consider it.