Change story – Girls for Leaders Boys for change program
Opportunities come in different shapes and sizes. No one sees any coming through directly and that why we must always be prepared to grab any that catches our attention. In most cases, most of us are too naïve to notice an opportunity presenting itself.
We are human beings, drawn by what we see and feel but reluctant to what we hear. However, four years ago, a young girl heard of an organization visiting her school for a sanitary towels distribution program.
To her, that was an opportunity to meet new faces who might just change her life. It was just a random thought and therefore on the material day, she decided that the visit would be more to her than just receiving her packets of sanitary towels.
“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back .We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave, embrace the strength within themselves and realize their full potential.” Malala Yousafzai
Meet Joy Chelimo, the 17 years old Girls for Leaders beneficiary program.
“I joined Dandelion Africa back in 2014 when I was in class seven at Athinai primary school. Mrs. Wendo Aszed had come to distribute sanitary towels to class eight students and later on we were informed that she had thought it wise of including class seven too and that is where I came in. Later on, we became part of Girls for Leaders program through the interactions. It was a life changing opportunity.” narrated Ms. Chelimo
The confident and engaging beauty was born in Marigat in a humble background but lives with her aunt in Mogotio sub county, Baringo County to escape from Female Genital Mutilation. Ms. Chelimo is currently in form three at Athinai secondary school. She is an above average student scoring a grade of between C+ and B.
Asked on how Dandelion Africa has impacted her life, Ms Chelimo said that it is more than what she had imagined.
“Through Girls for leaders, I have been privileged to attend many of trainings which have helped me. My life skills improved. Initially, I was quite shy and negatively reserved but through the mentorship I got at Dandelion Africa, I have become so empowered and a bit talkative to say the least. Most people tell me that I’m brave and command respect due to my confidence and I think it’s a good thing. Moreover, my performance at school improved. To say the truth, I was a D student but now I’m above average and that is something I’m so proud of myself and all these is courtesy of Dandelion Africa. “said Ms Chelimo
She added:” as part of the program, our responsibilities includes mentoring young girls and training them on their rights and responsibilities. We cascade what Dandelion Africa has offered to us to our fellow underprivileged girls and monitor their progress. We all want to live a better life and since the organization has offered us a chance, we find it important to share the same with the rest. Today I am vying for the Chairperson of the school, it means that I will either become president of our school or of sports, I would never have dreamt of competing of boys if my confidence and belief in myself had not been boosted. ”
“I appreciate what Dandelion Africa is doing in my community and impacting the lives of young girls. At Dandelion I have learnt that, I have a voice, I can use it, and for sure, I am given the space and now take opportunities to use my voice to speak up against girls injustice in our communities.” concluded Ms Chelimo