One of the things that makes Daraja Academy unique is the WISH (Women of Integrity, Strength, and Hope) curriculum. This is a series of classes devoted to improving the girls’ self-esteem, self-reliance, and leadership skills. The Daraja girls take the classes for all four years of secondary school.
Campus volunteer Gloria Diamond recounts her experiences sitting in on a few weeks of WISH classes:
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been eagerly following the girls’ WISH classes.
The Form 2 girls – otherwise known as Women of WISH and Peace Ambassadors – have been learning about creating a culture of peace. To the Daraja girls, this means “a way of life that approaches and prevents violence, and a way of life that supports human rights.” By Form 4, students learn what it means to be changemakers, and develop the tools necessary to become agents of change in their own communities.
The classroom is always full of joy and laughter, it is a space where the girls feel truly comfortable to express their opinions about issues facing Kenyan society and future Daraja graduates. Violence against women, conflict, and corruption, are just a few of the topics that inspire passionate discussion.
So how do you become an agent of change?
To quote Carol, our inspiring WISH teacher, “the world is not just a place that you travel, the world is the space you are in.” Taking the girls around the Daraja campus, she asked the girls to point out things they might like to change- a lick of paint here, watering a flowerbed there. The girls learnt that changemakers seek out new opportunities, creatively tackle challenges that they come across at home, at work, or in their communities to make the world a better place.
And that is the difference between a changemaker and the rest of the world- most people want change, would embrace change, can recognise a need for change, but it is only the empowered few who take action for the benefit of others. Self-confidence, strength, teamwork, leadership… these are the tools of an Agent of Change.
Next week the girls will be looking at the Women’s March movement that transcended cultures, countries, and continents. Women are standing up and being Ambassadors of Peace and Agents of Change all over the world, and Daraja girls are part of this.