In the last post about Binti Shupavu, we met one of the Mentors, Violeth, and heard her thoughts on the program. Four months into the Binti Shupavu Life Skills and Personal Leadership Course, it seems a good time to ask girls themselves about their views. So this month, we hear directly from some of the 800-plus girls who are taking part in the program. Are the lessons and mentoring already affecting their lives? And, how? Here’s what they are saying about Binti Shupavu.
Doris told her Mentor that Binti Shupavu is helping her to build her confidence through the different activities Scholars participate in during class, including presenting in front of her classmates.
Mariam said that through Binti Shupavu Classes she is learning things that aren’t taught in regular school classes. “Binti Shupavu is where I first learnt about motivation and about puberty. It is very helpful because in Binti Class it is a safe place for one to be free in asking anything they want to know and get the answers, especially questions on puberty.”
“My parents and friends were discouraging me from joining Binti Shupavu, but I now have new hope and courage to go for what I need in life,” Jackline told her Mentor.
One proactive student, Stella, wants to spread her newfound knowledge. “The Binti lessons are very important to most of us girls and I would love to see my fellow girls back in the community benefit as I do. I have asked my Mentor to volunteer to go with me into the community and teach my fellow girls or to give me the necessary materials for me to teach them by myself.”
Other Scholars say that because of Binti Shupavu, they know why they are attending school every day. Previously, they knew that they HAD to go to school, but did not take time to think about WHY it was important to go to school. After completing the lesson ‘Reasons to Stay in School’, many said that they now know that staying in school is essential for their future.
The AfricAid staff in Tanzania think it’s fair to say that, so far, Binti Shupavu is exceeding all of our expectations. Not only do we have a passionate and committed team delivering the program, we have an equally enthusiastic group of girls (803 to be precise) who are making the most of the opportunity to gain new knowledge, develop new skills and succeed at school. At the end of the four year course, we hope that each of these young women will be well-placed to make the most of her personal talents and abilities, and create a positive and prosperous future.