I sat looking at the faces of some young girls I taught in one rural urban school not knowing what their future held. I was recently posted to the school . My work experience gave me a diverse way of analyzing girls issues and this time I knew some girls had problems, they withdrew themselves from active participation in school activities they enjoyed.
Some class teachers too had noticed the difference. They suspected some five girls were pregnant and which had turned out to be true. They were pregnant. The girls were in different classes and below 18 years of age.
They did not mix freely with the others and had their jerseys on even when the sun was very hot. They had become shy and withdrew from their previous friendly groups. I realized this was going to affect their future. I decided and managed to help them get another chance to complete school, which they eventual did.
I thought of other girls who were likely to fall into a similar situation. It was then that I decided to make the difference by training girls in schools on life skills.
Many schools realized how interesting and powerful my sessions on life skills were. I started getting invitations from many schools to help train their girls (pupils/ students). According to the feed backs from the Institutions and teachers, the pregnancy rates had gone down while others had no more pregnancy cases reported,
Girls were able to approach me privately to share their problems which we manged to solve together. They preferred to have their personal problems kept secret which I respected.
At this point I was only using an experience / encounter I had with girls who had lots of problems they feared to disclose. I realized that when given a second chance and guided they will make their lives better. Where will they turn to if we don't help them?
Many years later, I decided to go an extra mile to develop a training manual that generally captured girls in urban/ semi urban and rural schools.
Amazingly, I also realized that the same training manual was applicable to women life skill training and started training women using it.
"Today, I see the power of my though and belief in creating a better space to positively change girls and future women. It has also improved retention rates in schools. Again, most girls courageously express how the training and their decisions made them who they are today in society.Through my training them on how to use digital technology I see them getting more connected and sharing acquired skills so support each other."