Through video calls and letter writing correspondences, Girls to Girls members and scholarship recipients build friendships and gain new perspectives. This allows us to see, first hand, how scholarships can affect a girl’s life. Like all things, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused correspondence to look a bit different.
Last March, when schools in the United States starting closing due to COVID-19, so did the schools in Kenya. In Seattle, we have been able to continue learning remotely, but unfortunately, due to a lack of technology, our friends in Kenya have not. This November, 12th grade Kenyan students returned to school but 9th, 10th and 11th grade students remain at home.
Thanks to Stella, a SeaVuria employee and past scholarship recipient, we have been able to continue to communicate with the students even when they are not in school. In October, we received and responded to virtual letters from girls attending Dalmas Moka and Mwakitau Secondary Schools. Winnie, a student from Mwakitau, wrote in a letter, “I am doing good and determined to work diligently in my studies to achieve my dream of becoming a nurse”. Even without the help these girls usually receive in their classroom, the girls are admirably continuing to learn on their own.
This October we also had a video call on Zoom with students from Dalmas Moka secondary school. We were able to talk to Clemencia, Denice, and Emariline, all in 11th grade. All of them showed enthusiasm for learning and wanted to continue their education as soon as possible. Although they were all hopeful about returning to school, we were happy to hear that they have been staying safe and listening to health officials. On the call, we all agreed it has been challenging to not be able to see our friends, but we have all been finding new activities such as dancing and reading to keep busy. We are proud that in our club and in Kenya, everyone is eager to keep learning, even when they are not able to be in a classroom at school. Even when the COVID-19 pandemic created new challenges, Clemencia, Denice and Emariline haven’t lost their perseverance and passion for learning.
Moving forward with correspondence, we are excited to continue writing letters, video-calling and building friendships with such an inspirational group of scholarship recipients! Correspondence allows us to witness how access to education affects a girl's life. Each time we correspond we look forward to learning more about each other, drawing inspiration from one another and providing support as we face challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.