What were you doing over the holidays? Daraja girls were serving their communities.
When the last test of the year has been taken, she packs her bag and heads home for the holiday. But this vacation isn’t just about time off. For a Daraja girl, school breaks are a time to “pay it forward.” She will spend hours serving her community and acting as an ambassador of women’s rights, diversity, conservation, and peacekeeping.
Daraja girls are required to volunteer for at least 10 hours during their holiday breaks, but many go far beyond this requirement. The girls find their own host organizations, and many of them establish a close bond with an organization that is fostered over four years. Daraja students have volunteered in a variety of places including orphanages, churches, dispensaries, hospitals, government offices, and NGOs. Their responsibilities include managing data, writing reports, cleaning, teaching, medical assisting, and more.
Following their service, the organization they helped provides written feedback that is usually very positive, often applauding the Daraja girls for their confidence, independence, and work ethic. These service opportunities help the girls build new skills and broaden their perspective about community needs. We’re so proud of each Daraja girl for the great work she does serving her community!
Here are a few recent experiences from current Daraja students:
Josephine Josephine has volunteered with the Kajiado Women Representatives Office for 4 years. She works directly with the leadership of the Kajiado assembly and has gained administrative and organizational skills. She said that a highlight of her time with the organization was getting to help organize women’s health and sanitation meetings for representatives across the country.
Jane Jane volunteered with the Kihato Dispensary, an experience that solidified her passion for medicine. She quickly proved herself and was given tasks such as dressing wounds, monitoring blood pressure, organizing medications, working in reception, and keeping records. She said, “It is a joy to do community service at Kihato Dispensary. It is a pleasure to involve myself in the various activities that taught me lessons I would not have known otherwise. The medical professionals advised me, taught me, and inspired me.”
Grace and Nancy Grace has volunteered many times with an orphanage that supports over 30 infants but lacks sufficient resources. She helps clean and feed the children and says that the experience has opened her eyes to the number of orphans in her community. Nancy also works with orphans and street children in her service, preparing food and giving health talks. She said that meeting age mates who dropped out of school and became pregnant at a young age was a humbling part of her service.