June 16th is an important day in Africa! It is the Day of the African Child and every year we celebrate along with so many other organizations serving within the continent. This year is definitely different though..... COVID-19 has put our large gatherings on hold so instead, I met one on one with a few of the girls and young women from The Angaza Project to highlight them!
To continue the celebration of the Day of the African Child, we highlight Priscar, Shining Scholar in Form 4, age 18. Priscar pushes through challenges and keeps her focus on education. Despite her heart health challenges, she attended school every day and never missed a Girls Empowerment at The Angaza Project.....that is until COVID-19 arrived. I (Michelle) have kept tabs on all of the girls in both the Shining Scholars Program and Girls Empowerment and throughout this time of the virus and I found that Priscar has been studying her content from school daily. The High School allowed the girls to take home the school books and materials which has been so very helpful. Priscar stops by to see me and Jane at The Angaza Project to get some individual tutoring because she says she does not want to lose time or material (we are cautious with masks, setting her chair 6 feet away from the front, and we bleach everything down after the tutoring). She loves school and she also loves writing. She wants to remain closely engaged during this time and I am proud of her, so is Jane! (You can read more about Jane Arum in our first Celebration post)
Recently, Priscar has written a poem about The Angaza Project and sanitary towels in honor of a family that has supported the pads since the beginning. (We published it already in the blog and on our Facebook page, be sure to check it out!) That is not all though, Priscar also wrote one about COVID-19 that she is allowing us to share here with you! Priscar took the time to think about what COVID-19 has done to the community and how it has changed life as she knew it.
COVID-19 by Priscar, Form 4, Age 18
COVID-19 pandemic, a pandemic we never thought would come.
You came unknowingly and never cared for our lives
You killed many regardless of their age or status
Oh Corona Virus, why did you come to us?
You do not care for anyone, even the less privileged
Destroyed our education, schools are closed
What should we eat when parents not working
You have killed our economy with a single strike
Because you have already come to us, we can't just sit back
For it is said, prevention is better before a cure
United together, we are able to fight the pandemic
Let us follow the rules and Corona will run from us
Avoid crowded areas, for it is safe for your life
Cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing to care for your neighbor
Avoid handshaking to keep your friends safe
Care for your neighbor as you care for yourself
Handwashing is advised because you can get rid of germs
Wash your hands properly
All as instructed by the healthy ministry
Clean all surfaces to prevent household infections
Unity makes us strong, we can fight the pandemic
Stay safe at home and continue to teach one another
We are able to fight the disease, say no to fake news
Let us pray as a nation and hope for a better outcome
Priscar is in the running for a scholarship to University from the MMATA after her Form 4 completion and we are so very proud of her! We remain hopeful she can be their final candidate when that time comes and we will wait to hear from them!
(Priscar, center, with two friends from Girls Empowerment)
Note from the author, Michelle Akoth | This day is so important because it focuses on the barriers that African children face in order to receive a quality education. Here in Kenya, both girls and boys have challenges, but historically it is more so for the girls. The Angaza Project has been supporting girls in their education journey through their Shining Scholars Sponsorship Program (High School) and their Shining Brighter Program (College or University) and I am so grateful!