2021 has undoubtedly had its challenges both on a personal and organizational level. However, we as the WOVEN department have had several achievements to celebrate. For instance, during the year, we managed take 34 more girls to universities all over the country. Evidently, the move to let beneficiaries of the academic sponsorship program to join universities outside the nation’s capital was not an easy one as it required a complex incorporation of logistics and communication between all involved parties. By the end of November, all the new girls had started their classes and sustainable communication channels with the organization established. However, issues such as government-imposed restrictions on movement as a result of the pandemic limited the number of face-to-face interactions between the staff members and the girls. As a result, some of the mentorship and counselling objectives set by the department at the beginning of the year were not meet.
But all was not lost. On December 4th, 2021, we held our annual meeting with the 2020 group in which we managed to interact and catch up. The meeting involved several agendas that were all achieved. Firstly, we managed to invite speakers from outside the organization to interact with the girls. The first speaker, Margret, a life skill educator introduced the girls to several topics. In the future, it is our hope that partnerships with other organizations such as the Life Skills Promoters Kenya will avail the girls with the opportunity to learn from qualified practitioners. Indeed, such partnerships will not only benefit the girls but also the staff members in charge of mentorship. Engineer Gatwiri Mukoria was the second speaker who got the chance to teach the girls a little on co-curricular activities available to college students in Kenya. Mukoronia’s session was a flagship effort to give the girls a head starts since as of next year all the girls will be expected to participate in extra-curricular activities such as those that promote community development.
Interaction with Moses Ignatius, Executive director
Other than the quest speakers, the girls got a chance to interact with the WOVEN staff and meet the incoming executive director. The interaction session enabled the staff and the girls to catch up not only with the Kenyan staff members but also receive a message for Kelly. Importantly, through the meeting, the girls were taken through the new organizational policies. While there existed a term of sponsorship that the beneficiaries were expected to sign, there was a need to update the policies to cover the expanding dynamics of WOVEN and avail legal protection for all invested parties. Furthermore, the girls were engaged with coming up with 2022’s activities. It was important to involve the girls in picking the topics they felt were important and needed discussion in our future interactions. Cumulatively, the ideas provided by the girls covered majority of the areas the staff had preset.
In conclusion, the meeting played a critical role of salvaging some of the goals set at the beginning of the year. In the same light, through the interaction, the goals of the future were set in an environment which enabled equal participation of both staff members and beneficiaries of the WOVEN department.