New Mentoring Programme

 

In the last while we have come to realise that we had some issues that needed to be addressed.

1. We had set up a training scheme for young Masai girls in our centre.  The idea was that as we were based in Masai Land and felt that we should give something back to the community.  We consulted with the local pastor and thought that, as many of the local girls would have left school early, we could train them in skills like tailoring, cooking, crafts etc thereby  enabling them to be able to earn a living for themselves and their babies and families.  This was well received and with the help of Anneka and Ina from a Dutch Charity, we set up a training room in the Centre with sewing machines, a knitting machine and other equipment.  We had teachers for the various skills and 10 local girls enrolled.  The scheme started very well but as time progressed we realised that the girls would not commit to the scheme.  They would not turn up for classes and sometimes we would only have one present.  It became impossible to keep paying teachers for girls that were not there and we had no option but to  finish the scheme.  We understand now that these girls  are nomadic, have responsibilities at home and just could not commit to the programme.  We completely respect these girls culture and do not in any way blame them for the way it worked out.

2. We had a number of girls from Tunzas Childrens Home, whom we had put through school, who were now finished school but with no plan for their futures.  We have grown to know these girls very well over the years and love them dearly.  They would have had to go back to any relations that they could find to take them with no future ahead of them and possibly end up having babies they could  not afford to keep thus starting the whole cycle again.   We were also very aware that while many of these girls are very street wise and have seen and experienced many thing we have not, that they would not cope well being left to fend for themselves.  They had become almost institutionalised.  They had for all their lives been told what to do and when to do it.  They needed to learn now to be independent.

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So….. after much consideration we decided to set up a year long mentoring programme for any of the girls who wanted to avail of it.  It was important that the choice was theirs.  Six of the seven girls were delighted with the idea and very grateful for the opportunity.  They realised themselves that they were not ready to make their own way in the difficult world they live in and were worried about their futures.  The good news is that the mentoring programme has now been put in place.  The girls will live in Cara Girls Rescue Centre to begin with and for the first three months will do a certified computer course three days a week and tailoring two days a week. The computer course will be off site as we do not have enough computers or internet connection to have it on site. Some of the girls expressed a great interest in our fish programme and this may be an area they can follow at a later date.

Of course this means that  there is extra money to be found.  The girls will live in so will have to be fed and clothed , there will be travelling costs to the computer course etc.  Again we have been very lucky and our Dutch friends Anneka and Ina have come on board with us for this project.  Tomorrow 6th January, 2014 will be the first day of this programme and we hope, from the bottom of our hearts, that it will work well.  We believe it will, we know these girls and they are a great bunch of girls, all they need is a chance … we are giving them that now and the rest is up to them ……

Christine & Helen with school uniform patterns made from maize bags
Christine & Helen with school uniform patterns made from maize bags

Serephine tries out the foot operated singer sewing machine
Serephine tries out the foot operated singer sewing machine
Paddy showing the girls the fish project
Paddy showing the girls the fish project