Dear High School Sponsor,
I hope you enjoy the report from our summer trip to KOCC (in this envelope). It focuses mostly on the camps with younger children, so I’m adding this bit about High School camps for you.
Basically, the camp for the older students was very much like the younger with socializing, games and a trip into town, but with a couple of additions. One was a discussion on “Reality Check” which looked at what the students’ dream-jobs were and what kinds of grades they would need to get into those course programs. We heard most students say they wished to be a civil or mechanical engineer, doctor, lawyer, pilot, nurse, and many other vocations. But the scores they need to get into these programs are often much higher than the scores they are getting in school now, and expecting to move from average to exceptional is a good aspiration but not a good expectation. KOCC staff often seen inertia or depression in recent high school grads who did not achieve their lofty expectations on the all-important exams at the end of High-School. So, our focus was to encourage them to continue striving while also thinking beyond a few specific, hard-to-reach white collar professions. In other words, consider a plan B.
Alongside staff and camp counselors, who contributed their own stories and advice, we held discussions with students that we hope will open minds to a wider range of possibilities. Because the bulk of Kenya’s economy is informal enterprise and agriculture, and because most Kenyan adults are either farmers or “self-employed” in some type of business, the staff and we encouraged students to open themselves to the many possibilities in these areas, offering examples of successful Kenyans who have come far from these kinds of humble roots.
There was also a presentation from an education expert on how to approach the big exams, which the students said was very helpful. For the HS girls, there was a wonderful “seminar” on women’s health and also menstrual cups (which collect the flow of menstrual fluid). One of the trippers had done a great deal of research on these devices and had fundraised enough to purchase one cup for each girl in the program. These cups are alternatives to tampons and pads, offering demonstrated health benefits as well as economic (and environmental) savings.
Finally, there was a presentation by representatives from Marie Stopes, a reproductive health provider whose motto is “children by choice, not chance.” The presenters spoke to both the girls and boys about sexual health, including frank discussions of all the different methods of contraception and how to access them. Although they strongly advocated abstinence, they said it was also very important students know the truth about these matters “just in case.” This presentation was very well received, and the kids said they learned a lot from it.
So, you can see we packed in a LOT during the High School camp. For several days in December, the students will again enjoy being with one another, learning, playing football, and having important discussions during the now-annual High School retreat – which, last year, they LOVED! We (Friends of Kakamega and KOCC) are trying our best to help these students develop academic and life-skills to aid them in school and their future.
If you wish to talk with me or someone else from Friends of Kakamega about the camp, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (or email@example.com). I’m always happy to talk with you! My best to you,
Friends of Kakamega's News & Updates
This page offers occasional highlights, news, and updates about our work in Kakamega.