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Mentoring girls to be women of purpose


By Njoki Karuoya

A woman is a ‘Wonderfully Organised Man’.

The connection after this statement was made by the head girl of Precious Blood Girls High School Riruta was so stunning that the audience immediately burst out in laughter and cheers.

And that’s what we really are — wonderfully created beings trusted by God to assist in taking care of His creation. And the only way we can do that is by appreciating our mandate as women as decreed by God, not by man.

Sometimes I wonder, what did God tell Eve after she woke up for the very first time after her creation? There is no way that God just looked at her in silence, motioning her into silence as they waited for man to wake up so that He could make his decree. Just visualise that: Woman wakes up, finds God staring at her, then God nods His head in appreciation of His creation (for it was extremely beautiful) then walks away, waiting for Adam to wake up.

Me thinks God and Eve had a long conversation about her role in the larger scheme of things and what He expected her to do and achieve in this world. But because all religious writings are excessively skewed towards men and their stories and inspirational thoughts, this conversation between woman and God is lost forever. How sad!

Thus, woman has had to figure out her role through trial and error. To a large extent, she has had to rely on others telling her what to do. A lot of it has been false direction as the ulterior motive was to subjugate and keep her in check.

That’s why before I believe what someone tells me to do, I first interrogate their motive. Maybe that is why some people have always thought of me as a rebel, which I don’t think is an entirely bad thing as long as the end game is to fashion for yourself and your loved ones a better life, not rebelling for the sake of it by doing all the wrong things that only end up destroying your life.

We were at Precious Blood, Riruta last Sunday to bond, share and network with the girls and, as usual, it was a wonderful experience. I was accompanied by the UNDP’s Sheila Ngatia, KTN Sunrise host Yvonne Okwara, Clark & Hampton CEO Stephanie Mwite, and officials of the University of Nairobi Women Students Welfare Association (Woswa).

Sheila shared her experiences as a girl growing up and advised the girls to only establish relationships and friendships that built them, not broke them or took them backwards. In order to succeed in life, she said, one must be careful of her associations, including one’s selection of boyfriends as they must be based on growth and on taking someone from one level to the next, not the other way around. She then advised the girls to interrogate their existing relationships and friendships and remove all negative influences from their lives, including destructive critics, if they are to progress towards success.Sheila also spoke about the importance of honouring parents, of including God in all of one’s undertakings, and on focusing on future career growth.

The Woswa officials alerted the high school girls to the challenges they may face on joining campus such as financial limitations, sexual exploitation and abuse, peer pressure, alcohol and drug abuse, and course selection among others. The officials also dealt with the myths and perceptions that surround the social life in universities; and provided insights into how the high school girls can deal with these challenges when they eventually join a university or college.

Yvonne talked about the important place of rules and regulations in institutions and at home, and why the girls should focus on living their lives with dignity and pride. She then gave the girls a task - to each develop what she called ‘Standard Operating Procedures’, which are the key principles that guide one’s daily programme and routine, from waking up to sleep time. The procedures also guide one’s behaviour at work, at home and when dealing with other people including friends and clients.

Stephanie cracked the audience up with stories of girls behaving badly as she taught them on the proper etiquette for ladies. These talks are  fulfilling. There is nothing more uplifting and inspirational than sharing your experiences with young girls and women in general because this is when we learn, grow and move forward instead of reinventing the wheel.

You too, can be a mentor. It doesn’t take much nor cost a lot, but you must have the desire to give, to inspire and to change lives.



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