AfricAid partners with eleven secondary schools in the Kilimanjaro Region for the Kisa Project. Within those schools we have “Liaisons” who are teachers or matrons who know the Scholars very well, and who work closely with our Mentors to facilitate our work within the schools. For two consecutive weeks in early February, in my new position as Kisa Program Manager, I was able to gather all our Liaisons and have a planning and networking meeting.
The main purpose of these meetings is to strengthen the relationship with our Partner Schools and to increase awareness about and understanding of our program. Building understanding and connections with school staff is a critical piece of igniting positive change for the young girls under our care. The gathering is normally once per year and is also a forum for generating ideas for the Kisa Project to improve. Together, we come up with strategies for different events such as Career Day. Finally, we are updated about school administration and iron out any challenges that may have arisen.
AfricAid invited all Liaisons from the Partner Schools through formal letters and we were happy that all but one Liaison was able to attend. On February 3rd 2018, I conducted an urban meeting at Mawenzi Secondary School, and on February 10th 2018, I held a rural meeting at Mwika Secondary School. These meetings ran at the same time as the Health Symposiums, so while the girls from their respective schools were busy with their own activities (which will be reported in a future blog), the adults were gathered together to discuss their own issues. The atmosphere was very positive as the Liaisons were very excited to accompany the Scholars to the Health symposium event and have their meeting at the same time.
Building relationships and showing respect and gratitude to these teachers is an important way to facilitate understanding, build common goals and ensure smoother running of the program. Due to this successful gathering, new ideas were generated about how to achieve buy-in from the administration in their schools about the Kisa Project and Binti Shupavu. This is vital for our everyday success. The programs’ Liaisons were very impressed by the work the Mentors are doing and intend to continue cooperating with Mentors to positively impact the young girls.