This year has been a busy one so far, with the setting up of our new office in January, teaching nutritional home gardening to the rest of our group, starting some of our teenagers off at secondary school and others on practical training courses, amongst other things!
In April, we had our first youth committee meeting and discussed challenges faced by the children in our group and what support they need from us. They really liked our new office and the library which is slowly growing bit by bit. Something they wanted more of was Kenya curriculum text books and the opportunity for teenage girls to attend a week-long counselling session in December at the same time as circumcision is held for boys.
In June, we had a very successful project management committee meeting with an evaluation of activities we have carried out so far and plans for the future. Because of the success of our chicken project, our committee would like to try a similar venture with goats, whereby we have a breeding pair that can be bred with local goats and then shared amongst the group. Goat milk is nutritious and sells at a good price while the meat is also popular in the area.
In December, we had a big get together with all of our children and their guardians to share a meal together, give out some gifts, and discuss progress over the past months and plans for the future.
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Despite facing some challenges at the start of this year we are continuing to support our teenagers through secondary school and those doing vocational courses with money we have managed to fundraise from family and friends. We're in the process of making grant applications to ensure we can continue our work into the future. Sad news this month is that one of our grandmothers has passed away leaving behind the two siblings she was caring for, we will do our best to support them as they go through this difficult time.
We are currently supporting 15 teenagers through the third term of secondary school, with two more being sponsored by Equity Bank. In August we ran two sexual health workshops, one for our guardians and members of the wider community, and the other for all our teenagers 11yrs+. This was in collaboration with the ABCs of Sex Education who did a fantastic job, bringing a great sense of humour into an otherwise serious topic. We have also run four more successful workshops this year in April, May and August. Theatre, art, music and counselling through this medium is having a transformative effect on all our children. They are noticeably less depressed, more confident, and building strong relationships with their peers and guardians.
This month we're holding two workshops during the Easter holidays for our youngsters - one is a 10 day residential theatre and art therapy workshop and the other is a four day music workshop. We're excited to be able to give the children this opportunity to learn and grow in such creative spaces!