One of the biggest blessings of the move to our permanent location is the new school the girls are attending. It is significantly better than the last, with teachers that are more engaged and more opportunities for growth and leadership. And the girls are thriving.
Since our girls started attending Kinihe Primary School on February 1, their quarterly examination reports show they are performing better than they did at their last two schools. For example, we have 14 sixth-graders and they all were ranked 1-13 and 15 in their class of 92 students! This is a testament to their dedication and hard work, as well as the support they receive at MGRC.
Five of our girls have been selected by their teachers to serve as school leaders – a remarkable achievement in such a short period:
Namnyaki M. was appointed as the school’s head girl. She was 13 when she was brought to us by government social welfare officials in Longido, without any schooling or language beyond Maasai. Smart, disciplined and easygoing, Namnyaki learned Swahili and English, became more outgoing and confident, and emerged as a leader. Her duties as head girl include acting as a liaison between fellow students and teachers and advising her peers about academics and discipline.
Esupat S., Namelock S., Napoi L. and Suzana P. have been selected by their teachers to serve as school environment leaders. As peer leaders, they assign duties to fellow students to keep the school environment clean and to make sure students are in proper uniforms. They model good behavior through their own hard work, discipline and cleanliness.
Here is what their teachers said about them:
“Esupat is polite, humble and disciplined. She has the ability to lead others and provide direction.”
“Namelock is very smart, God-fearing and well-organized. She has leadership ethics and enjoys leading others positively. She is very polite and strong and is able to share her thoughts with others and to encourage others when they are facing challenges.”
“Napoi is very strong and humble; she has confidence and great self-esteem. Napoi is doing well in school and has a strong personality which helps her to be a great leader.”
“Suzana is smart, clean and well-organized. She believes in herself and she sets a good example for the other girls.”
As you can imagine, these words make me so proud! MGRC girls are making their mark despite so many challenges. Most of the girls come to us without schooling, only speaking Maa, their tribal language. The schools in Tanzania are taught in Swahili and English, so they have to begin with learning new languages. In addition, we moved from Longido to temporary quarters in Karatu to the permanent MGRC site – three schools in two years.
That is a lot of changes for young girls! But their resilience and progress reflect one of MGRC’s core beliefs: The only lasting way to help people is to teach them how to help themselves.