Our friends in Kenya have officially gone back to school to continue their studies. They are returning with big smiles on their faces and lots of enthusiasm for learning. They continue to wear masks and follow other COVID-19 safety measures to keep them safe at school.
Earlier this month, we held video calls with our scholarship recipients to hear their thoughts about going back to school. Agnes, a Junior from Kitumbi Secondary School, emphasized, “I am very happy to be back in school. I enjoy it very much.” They shared that they all appreciate studying, especially with their friends and teachers. Now that they are attending school in-person they are preparing to take important exams.
Seniors are studying to take their national exams in March and will remain in school. The national exams in Kenyan are extremely important and highly stressful, as they not only determine their entrance into universities around the country but also determine their course of study options. We made sure to wish our Kenyan friends great success on their exams.
During our video call, we shared our favorite classes. The scholarship recipients mentioned that some of their favorite subjects are English, Swahili, Biology, and Geography. Although the girls have a passion for learning, they also shared with us some subjects they struggle with or do not enjoy as much. By far the majority of the girls expressed that Mathematics and Chemistry were challenging classes. We did our best to encourage them and give them tips for how to study these difficult topics.
One of the girls expressed, “I have a weakness in mathematics, but I am trying to love it so that I can get a good grade.” She also mentioned, “[Freshman year] I didn’t love mathematics. I just wouldn’t like it, but when I reached [Junior year], now I started getting a better attitude.” With academic struggles comes perseverance so we asked, "How do you stay motivated in school?” We recommended reaching out to friends and teachers when you get stuck. “We meet with friends, we learn, we share happy moments together.” Going to school is more than just learning, it is about building a community.
All the members of Girls to Girls are excited to continue building friendships and community with our scholarship recipients. We share many of the same challenges in school and it is fun to share our common experiences. We look forward to the next opportunity to see each other and grow our lasting connections.