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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

TO ALL MY SPECIAL LADIES......

Just because no one has been fortunate enough
to realize what a gold mine you are,
doesn't mean you shine any less.
Just because no one has been smart enough
to figure out that you cant be topped,
doesn't stop you from being the best.
Just because no one has made this race worthwhile,
doesn't give you permission to stop running.

Just because no one has realized
how much of a woman you are,
doesn't mean they can affect your femininity.
Just because no one has shown up
who can love you on your level,
doesn't mean you have to sink to theirs.

Just because you deserve the best there is,
doesn't mean that life is always fair.
Just because God is still preparing your King, 
doesn't mean that you're not already a Queen.
Just because your situation
seem not to be progressing right now
doesn't mean you need to change a thing.

Keep shinning, Keep running, Keep hoping,

Keep praying, Keep being exactly

what you are already:...

Being An Awesome Woman!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Instructions.


1. You shall not worry for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.

2. You shall not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.

3. You shall not carry grudges, for they are the heaviest of all life’s burdens.

4. You shall face each day as it comes. You can only handle one day at a time anyway.

5. You shall not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.

6. You shall not borrow other people’s problems. They can better care for them than you.

7. You shall not try to relieve yesterday for good or ill: it is forever gone. Concentrate on what is happening in your life and be happy now!

8. You shall be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own.

9. You shall not become ‘bogged down’ by frustrations, for 90% of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive action.

10. You shall count your blessings, never overlooking the small ones, for a lot of small blessings add up to one big one.


Adopted from J.John &Marks Stibbe-a bucket of surprises

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The culmination of “Sisterhood” phase one!

It’s sad to say goodbye-especially when you feel that you are losing a great number of friends. I must admit I was not particularly keen on having the grand finale of “Sisterhood” because I felt that I was turning my back to over 800 newly found acquaintances in Ruchu Girls High School. The D-day did however arrive, March19th, 2011 to be precise, and the cold, wet, gloomy Nairobi weather did nothing to lift up my spirits. I couldn’t help but have mental flash backs on the journey “Sisterhood” and the young girls have taken these past months. After working on our self esteem and image, communication, sex education, gender and goal setting it was important to leave the girls with a memorable session that will work for the benefit of their long term goals. A career day! And who better to facilitate this than Inoorero University.

A diverse delegation of 13 students and 3 staff from the University helped make this day possible. Each representative had something unique about them that made it somewhat obvious as to why they were representing their faculty in the day’s agenda. The driver for instance, Mr.Michael Njue happened to be a parent at Ruchu Girls High School some years ago. He proudly talks of his daughter who is now successful in business. Loise Njoroge and Roselyne Ng’endo both students at the University happen to be alumni of the high school.
Inoorero University delegation.

Mr. Eddy Kaddebe the Assistant Dean Faculty of Law and Miss. Pauline Kawera a Customer Relation Representative facilitated the plenary session. Being the first session of the day, the facilitators gave a brief on the university and a vivid description of the courses offered. This was followed by a motivational talk. The presence of the two former students acted as a real motivator for the high school students. Most of the girls could not hide their admiration and excitement on seeing Loise who was a former head-girl at the school and is now pursuing Law at the University and Roselyne a Business student. Due to the sheer large number of the students at the high school, it was important to have break-away sessions after the motivational talk to address questions and clarifications on a faculty level. Each faculty was designated a room and interested participants were encouraged to attend the laid back sessions conducted by the University Students.



ICT students encouraging the young ladies!

The sessions were very interactive and very lively. It was important to have campus students explain and answer the students because they can relate to their issues better and they therefore have greater influence on these very impressionable teenagers. The sessions were probably the highlight of the day. It was very encouraging to note that a good number of the girls are interested in ICT. Not surprisingly all the representatives of this faculty happened to be young lads. With the student’s enthusiasm and inquisitiveness, the career day was hardly long enough to satisfy their quest for information. It is evident that the girls might need other such career days. All in all-the culmination of phase one of “Sisterhood” ended on a high. The girls were thrilled to spend a day with campus students who shared experiences and advise with them and who made the learning experience fun too!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Three Musketeers.

The idea of success is one common goal most of us share. Having that great job, getting better grades, having those many zeros in your bank balance, having wonderful friends and a supportive family are some standards we use to gauge ourselves to know if we have indeed reached the epic of our triumph. Along the way a good number of us lose hope because of a few disappointments here and there and declare that we will never make it! Maybe it is the thought of failing again that most frightens us that we opt for the “easier way out”-resigning our fate to whatever comes along.


(L-R) Mrs.Kiarie,Ms Ngugi and Ms Matheri

Sometimes we just need a bit of faith or a real life example in others to make us believe in ourselves once again that we can undeniably make it!!!March 5, 2011 was one such day where three remarkable ladies took this faith and hope back to their roots. Having grown up in Murang’a and now very successful role models it was vital for these ladies to encourage the students of Ruchu Girls High School and Kiguoya Mixed Secondary School both located within Murang’a District.

Ms Catherine Matheri is a lecturer who has previously taught in Daystar and Strathmore Universities. She is currently a teacher at Alliance Fran├žaise-Nairobi and is a life coach. Her session with the schools seniors was on goal setting, a life skill that is key for survival. She describes a goal as a dream with legs-or -the end to which our efforts are directed. Notably all successful people have goals, and when you ask them what they are, they will most definitely have an answer at their fingertips. Goal setting gives us a sense of direction and control of our lives. If we don’t have our own goals, we tend to get entrapped in other people’s goals. You might wonder how some people get wound up in drug abuse or alcohol. Perhaps at their lows they lost focus on their goal and got sucked up by those who have chosen to take drugs.” Life without a goal is like not knowing where you want to go but going anyway.” So what is your destination?

A goal setting session at Ruchu Girls.
Granted, even with goals you might find yourself getting out of track and being derailed from time to time. But with your destination in mind it is much easier to realize this and forge your way back. Ms Matheri emphasizes on the importance of thinking about your goals TODAY. Your long term goals and your short term goals. She calls for us to visualize our lives in ten years time (long term goals). Imaging this with no obstacles and no hindrances’. You should ideally write them down and ensure they encompass all areas of life. I.e. academic, career, financial, health, spiritual, relationship, and giving back to society because ultimately all of these are interdependent.
Short term goals are the steps taken that eventually reach us to our long term goals. As the name suggests they take a shorter time to achieve. These goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-bound) and should be written down as well and reviewed often. She insists on the need to share these goals with someone you trust and whom you will hold accountable to. This trusted confidant ensures that you are on track and helps encourage and cheer you on. Once you accomplish a goal remember to reward yourself no matter how small the achievement to keep your spirits up and the urge to realize more goals. Some students were lucky enough to have a one-on-one session where they discussed their short term goals and through the guidance of the life coach made them SMART.

Ms Matheri’s famous mantra:

Only as high as I can reach can I grow,

Only as far as I reach can I go,

Only as deep as I look can I see,

Only as much as I dream can I be.

Mrs. Jane Kiarie an advocate of the High Court of Kenya is a gender activist and a counselor by profession. She is a certainly a lady with many hats. Her session at the schools was on gender. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. To put it differently-males and females are sex categories: while masculine and feminine are gender categories. It is important to know how gender influences our behaviour and goals.

 Growing up in rural Kenya or in other remote (or not) places in the world cannot be easy especially for young girls.Imagine being denied your right to further your education for instance just because you are a girl! Gender stereotypes can hinder us from reaching our optimum because we feel that we are “wronging” society by going against the norm.Mrs.Kiarie urges all of us to shun this non-progressive culture. She is clear to note that girls are not better than boys-girls she adds are equally as good as boys and society should acknowledge and embrace this. Gender is dynamic and keeps changing. It is therefore unjust to deny a group of people something today yet in a couple of year’s time it might be ok in your eyes. You might not realize the magnitude of gender unless you really pause to think about it. It might influence the way you dress, the way you talk and walk and even the way you think.

Kiguoya students discussing what gender is.


So when she stated that she was not born a girl but a female it made a lot of sense. Girls (and boys) are what society imagines them to be. This may limit your potential consciously or unconsciously. You might avoid taking up physics or enrolling in an engineering class not because you can’t crack those numbers but because society has decided for you that that is a male dominated field! You might even start believing that some subjects are hard because society has constantly thrown these messages at you on what you can and cannot do. We must deliberately make an effort to make decisions and set our own life goals based on merit and what we want-no what others think! she remarks.

Ms Joyce Ngugi an accountant with an international NGO could not have rapt up the day’s session any better. She recapped on the day’s topics and left the students with a powerful quote-“If you Perceive it, if you Believe it, you can Achieve it”.Ms Ngugi explained that we should not let our family background, past mistakes and failures prevent us from being all that we can be. We must find something we are passionate about, believe we can be do our best in it and work towards realizing this dream. We are never too young or too old to perceive, believe and achieve she muses. She encouraged the students to start setting their goals at a tender age so that it will be routine for them later in life. If young people start budgeting for their little pocket-money they now gets how much more easier will it be for them to budget their salaries later in life?

These three ladies all grew up not far from these schools. They are living proof that where you grew up from doesn’t really determine your future. They inspired the students and gave them hope that they too can make it in life-If they just put there hearts and minds to it nothing is impossible. “The key to rising higher is to keep looking to where you want to go. Dream big dreams! Don’t focus on where you are today, keep a positive vision and see yourself accomplishing your goals and fulfilling your destiny.”-Joel Osteen.

“Sisterhood” is humbled by these great ladies achievements and support. We are mostly grateful for the inspiration and hope they instilled in the students.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our Deepest Fear


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
 
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. 
 
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? 
 
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
 
Your playing small does not serve the world. 
 
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that 
 
other people won't feel insecure around you. 
 
We are all meant to shine, as children do. 
 
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
 
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. 
 
And as we let our own light shine,
 
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
 
As we are liberated from our own fear, 
 
our presence automatically liberates others
 
by Marianne Williamson

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Declaration of Self Esteem

by Virginia Satir

I AM ME
In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me
Everything that comes out of me is authentically me
Because I alone chose it - I own everything about me
My body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions,
Whether they be to others or to myself
I own my fantasies, My dreams, my hopes, my fears
I own all my triumphs and successes,
all my failures and mistakes
Because I own all of Me, I can become intimately acquainted with me
by so doing I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me,
and other aspects that I do not know
but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles
And for ways to find out more about me
However I Look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever
I think and feel at a given moment in time
is authentically Me
If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought and felt turn out to be unfitting,
I can discard that which is unfitting,
keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded
I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive,
to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me
I own me, and therefore I can engineer me
I am me and I AM OKAY


© Virginia Satir, 1975.