By Naomi Yakawich
“I am glad this program has changed me to a better person. I have learned to respect people and relate well with others.”
Global Peace Women (GPW) and Peace Ambassadors Kenya partnered to facilitate the training of key students from St. Thaddeus Secondary School in Nairobi on May 15 to emphasize the often-underappreciated significance of positive female role models in healthy families and within society.
More than fifty female students participated in the "Understanding our Value" forum, the culmination of a yearlong mentorship program first launched in April of 2016.
Director and Founder of St. Thaddeus, Mrs. Caroline Odera, described the program as a “life-changer and door-opener” to a variety of opportunities.
The GPW program hopes to inspire young girls with the confidence to become leaders and mentors for their fellow students and their own families, strengthening their homes, community and society. In their monthly gatherings, girls and women discuss a spectrum of topics, from self-confidence and healthy relationships to family life and strong community leadership. “Before this program, I did not have the courage to speak publicly,” said Mitchel Eboyi. “My friends would describe me as a shy girl. But now, I have improved and can address my fellow students during assembly.”
Girls who completed the program expressed their gratitude to be a part of the process saying it changed them for the better. “I remember sometime back before this program, I used to talk back to my mom and I was very rude as well. I am glad this program has changed me to a better person. I have learned to respect people and relate well with others,” said Teresiah Nyambura.
Many female students lack the necessary sanitary conditions to continue participating in school during menstruation. However, with the concerted efforts of GPW donors, girls were able to consistently attend the mentorship program and receive education throughout the entire year.
“These kind of opportunities come once in a lifetime; you may never find them anywhere. So take advantage and get the best out of it,” Mrs. Odera said, encouraging her students.
St. Thaddeus will continue to work with GPW Kenya to foster the intergenerational network of mentorship, empowering girls and women as the pillars of their communities and with the confidence to create a global impact.