Urgent Evoke

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My parents were born into poverty. But because someone believed in them, they received a good basic education. From this, they raised 4 of their own children each of who are educated to post graduate level. They also educated a village of children who have grown up to be teachers, doctors, researchers, politicians (sadly), lawyers, entrepreneurs etc... I am a great believer in education and especially the education (both formal and informal) of girls and women.

As such, I support numerous education initiatives and would like to share about my work with the Global Give Back Circle (GGBC). GGBCs mission is to harness the talents of women globally to transition disadvantaged girls out of the circle of poverty and into a circle of social participation, contribution, fulfilment and independence. GGBC is all about women giving back to women. As a member of GGBC I support 2 girls from the Starehe Girls Centre, a national boarding school that offers secondary education to financially disadvantaged girls from all provinces of Kenya.

A disadvantaged girl in Kenya overcomes massive odds when she is awarded sponsorship to one of Kenya’s High Schools dedicated to educating girls. For four years she lives and grows emotionally, intellectually and spiritually in a nurturing and motivating environment. Upon graduation, without further intervention, she will return to the circle of poverty from which she came. PHASE I

In Kenya, due to a culmination of complicated circ***tances, the gap period between high school graduation and beginning university, college or trade school ranges from 4 - 21 months. For those girls awarded a university, college or trade school sponsorship, the survival challenges faced during the gap period are often too great to overcome. As a result, instead of completing university, college or trade school, they disappear from the radar and end up being married off to men not of their choice, working as domestic help, or in situations even worse. PHASE II

Everyone has different skills, capabilities and talent. Some of the girls in the program will qualify for the 4-year government scholarship university degree programs, some will qualify for 2-3 year college certificates and diplomas whilst others will aspire to gain marketable skills through certified trade schools. This is critical, because they are no longer living in collective groups with other girls. PHASE III

Once they girls have completed their tertiary education, the goal is to ensure, as best as possible, that they find gainful employment in the profession or career to which they most aspire. Maintaining a positive attitude and staying focused and motivated are essential. PHASE IV

Although each girl commits to various forms of Giving Back throughout the process once she is gainfully employed she commits to Giving Back as a Global Give Back Circle Mentor, Coordinator, Team Leader or Director and she commits to Giving Back monetarily to the Global Give Back Circle Endowment Fund. PHASE V

GGBC works with the Starehe Girls though these 5 phases to ensure they successfully complete high school, gain valuable experiences during the gap year, access quality tertiary education, gain employment and give back to girls in Kenya, re-starting the Circle and ensuring sustainability. GGBC uses technology to enable strong one-to-one relationships, across towns and borders ensuring the women across the globe can empower these girls. Personal engagement erases ignorance, fosters understanding and allows anyone to participate as a global citizen.

The GGBC website shares powerful stories of the girls (and mentors) including a clip of a presentation by 4 of the students at the very prestigious Clinton Global Initiative 2009 Annual Meeting. I encourage you all to visit the site and join the Circle today.

Views: 38

Comment by Ssozi Javie on April 16, 2010 at 8:33pm
Wow, thanks for sharing detailed story Agent Shakwei. :) I am so proud of you and the work done by GGBC.
Comment by Edwige Lelievre on April 16, 2010 at 8:34pm
Thanks Shakwei. This Circle idea is great. I looked at the website, but I am still confused about how it works for mentors. Are mentors paying for the girls studies ? (I saw it was more than 7000$) It looks like a lot of money and few women in the world can really afford that even if they want to help, I think.
Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on April 16, 2010 at 8:56pm
@Edwige, the role of mentors is to simply encourage the girls as they tranition from phase to phase. Mentors do not pay any fees to or for the girls. They are there to guide these young women to ensure they make wise choices, share experiences and perspectives etc. This generally involves exchanging at least 1 letter per month generally via email during secondary school years.
Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on April 16, 2010 at 8:58pm
Mentoring continues post secondary and may be email or phone calls. These may be 2 times a month as the young women may now have more time to write back.
Comment by Edwige Lelievre on April 17, 2010 at 10:40am
Ok, I haven't understood that. Do this association need more mentors ?
Comment by LucasG on April 17, 2010 at 11:42am
I'm taking away the definition of roles. "Student" and "mentor". It's not always made that explicit, and sometimes, in other areas, mentors mentor each other depending on subject. Ok, I'm thinking free software and open hardware and agricultural (permacultural) knowledge. Not what this thread is about, but it got me thinking ...

Creating a simple network in which they write to each other is a huge idea. Could that be done internationally too? As an addition, cos someone's local mentor knows stuff that the globally outsourced mentor doesn't have a clue about.

Thanks for sharing!
Comment by Sarah Shaw Tatoun on April 17, 2010 at 1:14pm
This looks like a wonderful program. I'm glad Edwige asked, because I wasn't clear either about financial responsibilities. In the US the 'sponsor' model, where a person or family pays a certain amount per month to help the family and community of a particular child is very common. 'Sponsors' also write to 'their' child and encourage him or her in school, etc, so I was assuming this would work the same way.
Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on April 17, 2010 at 2:12pm
The process is based on providing a role model for this girls that will guide them to become stronger in themselves, confident in their capabilities and cogizant of their responsibiliies as a member of the human race. The mentor does not provide financally for these girls in any way - there fees and upkeep are paid for by a trust that has been set up for them. GGBC need women mentors for this girls so please visit the website and sign up if you can.
Comment by LucasG on April 17, 2010 at 3:02pm
So it's a role for international women. http://www.globalgivebackcircle.org/mentors/bam/
Comment by Faith Ngila on April 19, 2010 at 5:49am
I am a beneficiary of the Global Give Back Circle, and a 2008 graduate of Starehe Girls Center. The Global Give Back Circle has changed my life, through empowerment and it's enablement. It's such a great program! So inspiring, life changing, and transforming!

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