The Uuuhs and Aaarghs of my life

Posts tagged ‘School’

Innovative Teen Farmers!

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There are no words to express just how proud I am of my students at the Seed of Hope Centre!

As a mentor, I had decided to explore a different mode of teaching. I took a chair, sat down and gave the teens a platform for creative self expression.
These kids spend all-day learning in class but it was about time they had a form of output outside class activities.

Value of Student Clubs

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After successfully establishing four clubs during the last school term (Technology, Young Leaders,  Talents, Agriculture), the students are still packed with energy for more ways to develop their interests.

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The Agriculture Club stepped up and officially launched their club with fun landscaping activities around the school where both students and teachers participated.

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Innovative Farming

During the August 2014 school holidays, the Agriculture Club members independently organised holiday club activities like purchasing potato sacks (with their own money) for their landless kale farming project.

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All this, I came to witness recently when I visited the Centre to surprise the teachers with some news about the support of the Rabbit Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries through a rabbit production manual for the students to use.

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The potato sacks had been filled with fertile soil and vibrant green kale seedlings danced to a gentle breeze as they hang on the sides of the sacks.

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From the teens at Seed of Hope, I have witnessed a great shift of behavior and attitude. They no longer need to be told that they could have a great future; they believe so. They don’t need to be closely monitored, they have learnt to be independent. They don’t need to be told, “Smile” because they naturally smile all the time.

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How to get involved

There are a number of ways you could get involved as a friend of Seed of Hope:

The teens at the Centre need mentorship for club projects by professionals under the following fields:

*Agriculture – Kale farming. Rabbit farming. Chicken farming. Pest control of kale seedlings.

*Techies – How to use iPads. How to create and manage a Facebook page. How to use the internet for school research projects.

*Young Leaders – How to be a leader amongst fellow young people. How to overcome challenges that come with youth leadership. Opportunities that teen leaders need to explore.

*Creatives – Innovative projects for a club with a mix of talents (Singing, Fashion Design, modelling).

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How to make a donation

The Seed of Hope teens are in need of various items that will go a long way in improving their lives and stay at school. These include:

1. Bras, panties, clothes, sanitary towels and bathing soap for girls.

2. Underwear, bathing soap and clothes for boys.

3. Farming equipment for the Agriculture Club. (Spades, hoes, digging forks, farming machetes & rakes)

4. Any support that will contribute to internet connection for the students. (Currently no internet access at the Centre)

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Contact:
Florence
Headmistress – Seed of Hope Centre
Mobile: (+254)721405298
OkHi Map Link: http://goo.gl/e0yXNz

For more about the Seed of Hope Centre, please click here.

Smile for You

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Life does not always give us a reason to smile but I always remind myself that happiness is a choice.
Life is not about us, life is up to us.

Not only does smiling slow down the heart and reduce stress, but we actually do look better and friendlier when we smile.

Smiling can add a little yellow to a grey day. We just have to be hopeful enough to notice and grab onto opportunities of happiness in our goings on.

So today, from my heart to yours, this is a smile for you in the form of a blessing:

May dear Christ Jesus bless you and keep you,
May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you,
May He turn His face towards you and give you peace.

Amen.

We are alive today because dear God isn’t finished with us yet.
^_^

Support the ‘Girls’

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Florence (extreme left) with visitors who donated bras at the Seed of Hope center

Teenagers go through a lot and it is important for them to have a support system during this significant stage in development.

Girls go through feats of pain during breast enlargement, not forgetting the drama that comes with managing a menstrual cycle. (If only mother nature sent text messages instead…)

Boys go though an embarrassing phase as their voices break, but also a series of rapid body changes as they develop into men.

We all went through the bittersweet teen years and most of us would know just how important it was to have someone support us through the process.

Well, you can support the teens at the #SeedOfHope center in Dagoretti Corner, Nairobi by calling Florence who is the school principle via mobile:+254721405298.

Please #SupportTheGirls with donations of bras, under wears, sanitary towels and clothes.
Recently, kind visitors at the center donated some bras for the girls but not all of them received a fitting bra. It is very important to get the right bra size to avoid even more discomfort.

The center also supports teenage boys who are in need of donations of under wears and clothes as they rapidly develop into men. You are most welcome to #SupportTheBoys

I hope you like the hashtags (pun intended) ^_^

All these will help the teens to concentrate better in class and pursue their dreams without fearing the discomfort that often haunts developing teenagers.

Spread the love!

Spread the love ^_^

RAPE; The Unspoken

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It is unfortunate that in today’s world, a woman is often forced to interact with rape indirectly or directly on a daily basis.

The silent monologue always happens at the back of her mind but she can never just talk about it openly. She will be seen as a coward! After all, in Africa, most rape victims are always blamed for “seducing” the attackers.

As she prepares for a meeting with her boss, she has to look at the door and ensure that it is not locked or with enough space to let sound travel fast. Just in case…

She has to dress just a little less sexy as she goes for her date with a guy she likes. She has to insist that they go to a place where there are people. For security, just in case.

She has to ensure that her children know how to drive at an early age just in case her husband continues to come home late and intoxicated.

She has to ensure that she downloads the most effective Rape App so as to know what to do the next time the male teacher gives her that look during tuition.

She has to avoid family reunions just in case her uncle kisses her on the lip and spanks her bottom in the name of being funny.

She has to leave work a little earlier than the rest because of the male colleague who recently stood too close to her in the elevator as she worriedly counted down from the 20th to the ground floor. If it wasn’t for the janitor popping-in at 15th floor…

She has to use a different path as she walks home. The shopkeeper started closing shop a little later than usual and he stares at her a lot in a way that makes her really uncomfortable.

She has to learn how to pray all by herself because the last time she made a confession, the priest talked to her the way her boyfriend does.

This is just how real rape is to most women. Even worse, studies show that women in Africa are often raped by people they already know.

How great it would be to have a world free from the fear of rape.

For now, it only remains as a stupendous take on optimism.

Still, I choose to hope because giving up is never an option!

Why Hate on Kenyan Women?

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I am not one to pick a bone with an attention seeking Twitter handle but this… I had to say.

A Kenyan bloke who is known for controversial posts on Twitter (with a specialty of hating on Kenyan women) thought it best to compliment Lupita Nyong’o by first saying that she has got tiny boobs and that she looks like a man but in the end says that she won an Oscar. Then he diverted his attention to the light-skinned Kenyan women with big boobs and big bottoms and asked what do they have to offer.

To be honest, I felt like I could vomit. But I just sat down and pondered about his comments:
It took me back to my childhood when small Kenyan boys would label me “AIDS” just because I was a tall skinny girl who looked nothing like what society deemed to be a beautiful girl.

It took me back to my teenage life in church when the boys would only talk to the girls whose breasts had poofed-up. No matter how much they read the Bible which states that God created all things beautiful, it didn’t meet the practical.

It took me to my freshman year when in whispers, the boys would refer to me as ‘the slim one with a butt’ and thought it would be a complement. Because the African culture celebrates curvy women with big breasts and especially big buttocks.

So what happens to the dark, slim, small-chested and small-bummed woman like me?
Does this make me flawed in the eyes of African men?
OR
Is there something that the young African men misinterpreted as beauty from their African forefathers?

But then, I thought about a compliment a friend gave me yesterday and it warmed my heart. This kind European who has lived amongst Kenyans looked at me and said, “Here in Kenya, many men love big bums. In Europe, many men are fascinated by big boobs. But you are perfect, you are beautiful just the way you are!”

I was silenced, and in that moment I felt a flicker of hope light up in me. That there are men who are capable of separating themselves from culture and see things for what they really are.

That there are men out there who would speak about women with respect regardless of who’s watching or listening.
That there are men who respect all women because their mothers, daughters and sisters are women too.

This is the hope that kept me from reacting in anger.

I remembered the Sudanese boy who gave me a golden ring in primary school because he thought I was beautiful. He didn’t care that other boys called me “AIDS”.
I remembered the American boy that I used to talk to after church. He thought that I was really cool to talk to regardless of how I looked as a teen.
I remembered the Ethiopian guy who stopped me to tell me that I had lovely eyes and hair as I went about my shopping.
And of course the warm complement by my European friend.

This comforted me that regardless of the evident brainwash about a woman’s beauty here in Kenya, the beauty in me is still VALID in other cultures.

To all the Kenyan men who think that Kenyan ladies are nothing but: ugly, needy, gold diggers, nagging, bad mothers, cheap, pathetic wives, career robots, pieces of ass and boobs.
Sorry that we are not good enough even when the rest of the world thinks otherwise.

PS: I love being a slim African woman with mild curves. I feel beautiful, sexy and healthy!

Peace, Love and Respect,
Ayuma

Modelling meets Charity!

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When a good friend tagged me onto a Facebook post about a call for models for an upcoming charity swim marathon, the first thing that crossed my mind was, “When was the last time I put on a bikini?”

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But when reason settled in, I realised that I was just trying to look for a reason to shy away from wearing a bikini. But when I later accepted the Facebook event invite by Evgeniya, the event planner, I was struck by inspiration.

Evgeniya posted photos of talent auditions at a place called Huruma which some consider to be a slum area in Nairobi. The children looked so happy and I could not resist smiling as I scanned through the photos.

I had no plans for the weekend and this was a chance for me to be part of an amazing charity event that involved children… I was sold and ready to walk that runway to make the day as great as intended.

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But if there was something I did not understand, it would be what a Rotary club is all about. To be honest, I always thought it was one of those old clubs full of old and retired expatriates who play Bingo during vacations on a fancy yatch. I know… I have watched too many movies starring old people 🙂 This is why it was surprising to know that there was a Rotary Club in Nairobi. I thought, “There aren’t any docking stations in Nairobi!”

Sad… I know. Later on, I did my research and found out that Rotary International is a global village of neighbours, friends, and community leaders. They team up to create initiatives that promote positive change and resilience in various communities around the world. So far, the village comprises of about 2.2million members. Nairobi’s Rotary Club is currently headed by David Hastie (President: 2013-2014).

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So what made this year’s Rotary Swimarathon special?

Well, it is because of the unfortunate return of Polio in Northern Kenya. Since 1985, Rotary has led the battle against Polio and the club wanted to support the End Polio Now immunization campaign. This also led to the teaming up with the Nairobi Swimmers Association (NASA) to bring together swimmers on Sunday, 23rd February 2014 to swim non stop between 3 and 4pm. The swim marathon happened at the same time globally! 🙂

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To add to the fun, there was an inspired serving of entertainment by Sanchat Trust Restart groups which included an amazing choir, break dancers, sensational salsa dancers and lovely little models doing the catwalk. These talented groups of young people had travelled from Gilgil to showcase their great talent and to appreciate the Nairobi Rotary Club for their support.

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To add some icing on the cake, there was a spicy catwalk by professional Nairobi models showcasing Mohamed Bana’s Kikoy swimwear collection and gowns for auction.

It had been long since I last strut on the runway but I had so much fun with the models that it all came naturally. None of the models asked for payment as we all understood that it was for charity and we all enjoyed and cheered-on the little ones as they did their catwalk.

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So where did all the money go to?

A third of the proceeds from the event went to supporting the End Polio Now campaign, another third went to Nairobi Swimmers Association (NASA).

The remaining third went to supporting Rotary charities in Kenya, including:
1. Eye camps for free cataract operations in rural populations.
2. Energy saving jikos (traditional stoves) for schools who provide free lunches to students.
3. Sanitary and water schemes for slums and schools.
4. Providing bed kits to primary school children, in partnership with Sleeping Children.

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At the end of the day, I felt so blessed to have been part of such an inspired event. Some members of the public had
paid an entry fee of Ksh. 1,000 and students above 18years had bought tickets worth Ksh. 500 to be part of the event.

A feeling of warmth and fulfilment runs through me when I remember the little ones from Gilgil modelling and the young drummers from Huruma who were our musical guide as we spiced up the runway with Mohamed’s tasty fashion designs.

Pots of joy!

If you fancy Mohamed Bana’s designs, you can reach his fashion store through mobile: +254739632804

Check out more event photos here.

With Love,
Ayuma.

REAL BROTHERHOOD, BEYOND RUGBY

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During my freshman year at Daystar University, I thought that it was one big community of people whose friendships lasted only as long as your quest for a degree. But my thoughts slowly changed once I met Tim*, a fourth year student who was an active member of the university’s rugby team.

I had always feared him since his team members were so huge, loud, and all over the place. He was the last person I expected to befriend as a freshman. One day, I asked Tim why he and his team mates eat too much; their plates were always full, at times, too full. The answer he gave me was not what I had expected.

Tim told me that his rugby team mates are like his family and they all go through so much. Since the Post-Election Violence (PEV) in 2007 to 2008 there were some student’s whose lives totally flipped over. There were students living in school and no one really knew. Some went without food and could not even afford a basic meal; this included some of his comrades. This is why some filled their plates with excess food so that they could share it all.

This, to me, was a selfless act of courage. Tim and his friends chose to share in the embarrassment of looking gluttonous to protect and help feed their team members.

From that day, Tim continued being like the village idiot to other students who knew not his intentions. To me, he remains my hero. I still remember to stuff my bag with snacks every now and then so that when I walk in the streets of Nairobi and meet with a hungry person, I reach into my bag and offer them my little gift of food.

I cannot save the world, but I sure can leave a mark in someone’s life even if it’s with the blessed taste of food. With what you’ve got, please reach out and be a blessing to someone.

Love and Sunshine,
Ayuma.

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