One of the most passionate goals of the Daraja curriculum is to empower students as women and leaders. We accomplish this through W.I.S.H. (Women of Integrity, Strength, and Hope) Class. This is a mandatory course that students take during all four years of secondary school, and during the Transition Program. W.I.S.H. is designed to supplement our intensive academic curriculum with the personal, emotional, and life skills these girls need to succeed.
The first two years of the curriculum are devoted to Inward Reflection. Many of the Daraja girls arrive on campus with very little confidence and struggle to speak up for themselves. This half of W.I.S.H. is designed to help them find their voices. During classes, girls work together to build their own self-esteem and that of their sisters. Each girl spends time identifying her own personal strengths, and practices speaking in a loud, confident “W.I.S.H. voice.” As many of our students come from difficult backgrounds, classes also focus on helping them come to terms with traumatic issues from their pasts. We aim to develop strong, confident girls with full agency over their own lives. By the end of Form 2, the transformation in each girl’s demeanor is remarkable.
If the aim of the first half of W.I.S.H. is to guide girls into becoming the leaders of their own lives, the aim of the second half is to guide them into becoming leaders in the lives of others. To accomplish this, the final two years of classes focus on developing Outward Facing Skills. Girls take classes in sex education, public speaking, human rights, peacebuilding, and leadership development. These classes help girls identify issues in their communities, country, and the world. We guide them to analyze potential solutions for these issues, and encourage them to look for ways that they themselves can contribute to solutions. By the end of the curriculum, we want girls to see themselves as “agents of change” fully capable of stepping up as leaders.
Many Daraja graduates identify W.I.S.H. class as the single most transformative aspect of their education. This wholly original curriculum empowers girls to be courageous, self-sufficient young women and leaders.