Phionah, Emmaculate, Roberto and Sheila write to us for Christmas. Reporting about themselves, their commitment and their goals. A strong and hopeful team of the NYALORE Community Based Organization. We are happy to pass on the thanks and their wishes for Merry Christmas and the New Year to our supporters.
“Those who say it can’t be done, should not stand in the way of those who do.”
Hello, Happy Holidays!
My name is Phionah Achieng Uhuru, I am from Rusinga in the west of Kenya. My professional background is law, I was admitted to the Kenyan Bar in 2020 and started my Master of Law at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center in Germany at the end of the year.
In addition to my professional activities, I enjoy mentoring students in Rusinga. In mid-2021, I started a community organization called NYALORE in Rusinga Island where I mentor young girls and their male counterparts. I want to make them aware of their surroundings and guide them through life and careers in general.
The creation of this organization was inspired by my personal life experiences. When I was growing up, many of my female classmates dropped out of school because they got pregnant early and married too early. This trend continues, and I have always believed that the community was unable to achieve sustainable development because it lacked focus, guidance, and mentorship for the younger and upcoming generation. Knowledge and education excite me, and I want to give back to my community through the younger generation.
I collaborate with like-minded youth from Rusinga on activities, and the team has done a very good job. Working with the teachers, we have been able to organize mentoring and peer counseling sessions in Rusinga schools and distribute sanitary napkins to the girls on certain occasions.
We are committed to setting up a sustainable and viable program in the coming years. What does 2022 mean for us as a group? We plan to provide the girls with a sufficient number of reusable pads, hold quarterly counseling and mentoring sessions, and at the very least connect the students with specific mentors who can guide them on their life journey.
It has been great working with you through Claudia and we hope to do more and more for the students in the years to come.
Have a great vacation!
My name is Emmaculate Anyango, a grade 8 student at Dr. Williams Primary School. I am a beneficiary of the Nyalore Community Based Organization. The program has really helped us in many ways, for example the mentors have guided us through many topics including the importance of having a vision as a student, it has helped us identify our role models and also how to improve our academic performance.
For myself, Nyalore CBO has helped me understand the lessons being taught and how to be brave and confident in life. The program has also succeeded in reducing the number of early teenage pregnancies in our school. The mentors were very kind to us and helped us a lot to realize our academic potential and talents.
One of my visions as a student is to become a lawyer in the future, and I think Nyalore CBO will continue to guide me in my academic journey and career. I would like to see the programs expand to other schools in Rusinga and help other students as well, as this is the only way to ensure the future of our community.
I am Roberto Onduru from Homa Bay district, Kenya. I am a great lover of life support programs or any activity that positively impacts people’s lives, a virtue that led me to found the Nyalore CBO along with a few others.
As a member of the Nyalore CBO, I am very involved in the mentoring program that I run in various schools (elementary and secondary) throughout the country. I became interested in this program after realizing that there is a gap between parents and students in this country when it comes to mentoring. The students are the victims when this does not take place.
This situation is due to the stresses of the economic crisis, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19. Everyone is focused on meeting the three basic needs (food, shelter, and clothing), so they have little or no time to care for their own children. Some focus only on food because they can no longer meet the other needs!
We have been running this program for a year now and we see that it is working well, as we receive positive feedback from the teachers of the different schools we have visited: the students we have dealt with in this program have improved significantly in their performance. Students who were on their way to dropping out of school due to various obstacles, through lack of hope, have improved the most thanks to the mentoring program.
For the future, I see an engaged and responsible community where what little we have in hand can be appreciated across generations as we work to achieve various goals in life. And when that happens, I will have achieved my goal. It’s hard, but I’ve given it my all, it will be possible.
My name is Sheila Odhiambo, born and raised on Rusinga Island, Kenya. I am a political scientist by profession and want to work in policy research and analysis, the non-profit sector, or economic and community development. I have a strong passion for girls’ empowerment, counseling, and mentoring programs for high school and college students. I also work with youth and women on sustainable development programs such as microfinance through table banking and art appreciation.
As a member of the Nyalore CBO, my main focus is mentoring and advising high school and college students on Rusinga. As a team, we have managed to implement the program in five schools on the island, teaching students the four most important values: Self-love, Self-worth, Self-confidence and Empowerment. This has helped them overcome challenges such as early teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, dropping out of school, absenteeism, and sexual immorality.
As a teenager on the island, this program is also a way for me to give back to society and make a difference in the lives of the younger generation. As a practicing artist, I had the opportunity to work with these students in extracurricular activities and nurture their talents. I have been able to introduce them to art and craft by showing them how to make necklaces and sandals to keep themselves safe and occupied, and to prevent them from indulging in unhealthy practices such as prostitution for sanitary napkins.
In general, for me, it is the passion that motivates me and keeps me going. I have always loved seeing people move from one stage of life to the next. My vision for this mentorship program is that more students will be educated about the challenges in their communities.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members” – Coretta Scott King.
“Those who say it can’t be done should not stand in the way of those who do.”
IT CAN BE DONE – NYALORE
Sheila concludes with a powerful and infectious message. NYALORE CBO is a strong team. We support NYALORE with a small amount each month.