The School Series

The School Series© began as a weekend seminar known as Finishing School. The Finishing School idea started in 2010. It was a not-for-profit programme

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Becoming the type of person you want to become — someone who lives by a stronger standard, someone who believes in themselves, someone who can be counted on by the people that matter to them — is about the daily process you follow and not the ultimate product you achieve.James Clear, Transform Your Habits

 

The 2014 Girls’ Finishing school kicked off on Wednesday 19th November at Shani Nyota School in Westlands with twelve participants. Most of the girls had either just completed high school or recently joined institutions of higher learning and they were eager to share their experiences so far with each other and with our mentors. Both the mentors and the participants arrived with their own expectations for the seminar which they were encouraged to share with each other in order to enhance Finishing School experience.


Over the 5 day seminar, our School Series mentors and guest speakers took the girls through the 16-step toolkit which can be found here. Many of the sessions were interactive, with the mentors using illustrative visual and auditory aids as well as games and exercises to get the girls to actively participate in the learning process.

Participants watching a video during sex ed class with facilitator Caroline Kabari

We had number of guest speakers who volunteered to facilitate various sessions of the seminar; Njoki Ngumi and George Gachara who facilitated the session on Managing Your Sexuality, Daniel Mainye a talent manager with Seven Seas Technologies (SST) who took us through the session on education, school, careers and jobs, Susan Gitau from NACADA who gave a wonderful talk on substance abuse, Dr Valerie Magutu who spoke to the girls about reproductive health and Tony Muraya who spoke about dealing with grief.
Round table discussion with a panel of mentors and guest speakers

The seminar was not just talks and workshops. We had three after-dinner social events: a movie and discussion on the first day of finishing school with mentors Amina, Caroline, Charlene and Angela; a taboo game on the second day with Amina and Caroline as well as a bonfire discussion on the girls’ last night at the Shani with Caroline, Charlene and Angela. There was a post office style wall area with envelopes for each mentor and participant to encourage one on one interaction, for gathering additional information on the sessions, general topics and even exchanging information for further interaction beyond Finishing School.
Our Post Office of Goodness where students and mentors dropped off "mail" for each other

To find out more about the topics discussed at the event check the Twitter hashtag #FinishingSchool2014.


The School Series team is most grateful to the Shani Group of Schools for allowing us use of the Shani Nyota campus, Madison Insurance for sponsoring the seminar and to our volunteers who made time to facilitate sessions and share with our participants.

 

By Nikky Wasuna.