Action for Children in Conflict (AfCiC) through its Child Lead the Way programme (CLTW) conducted governance and mentorship forum for its high school sponsored students on 15 August 2014 at the main hall.
The forum organised by the CLTW team, brought together 136 students and ten facilitators. The forum addressed five informative sessions that are relevant to take the students through their academic life as well as the puberty stage and help them transform diligently into adulthood. The sessions included:
i. Healthy relationships in schools and the community
ii. Setting goals and making informed career choices
iii. Academic and social challenges facing students in schools and possible solutions
iv. Self esteem
v. Resisting peer pressure
It was quite remarkable to see to the students cooperate their young energy and thirst for knowledge in their participation during the interactive sessions.
The students were informed on healthy relationships in schools and in the communities and how they can use them to better their lives. They were also made to understand that it is normal to undergo both physical and emotional changes in their age and were encouraged to appreciate and support each other. The facilitators discussed different types of friendships and clearly cited that it is possible to have intimate relationships that do not necessarily involve sex. The students were educated on sexuality and the responsibility that come with it.
They were also guided on setting goals and making informed career choices based on area of interest matched with ones strengths in abilities and best performed areas in academics. They were told that goals should be specific, practical and have a deadline. Students were directed on how to come up with a SMART goal i.e. a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time based goal.
The students were advised to think about where and what they would like to study. What kind of work would they like? What kind of lifestyle would they want? They were told that the process of answering these questions could help them make informed career choice. They were told that choosing a career involves 4 stages namely self awareness, opportunity awareness, decision making and taking action. It was highly recommended that in the process of setting goal and making career choice the key element is discipline because without discipline no goals can be accomplished.
The forum struck a balance between high self esteem and arrogant character and encouraged self control to tame cases of low self esteem.
Negative peer pressure has led to relationship breakdown between the children and their parents and guardians, leads to school strikes, and also causes trouble with the law. The students were encouraged to know their limits and avoid negative peer pressure that would lead to indulgence in drugs and experimenting in sex. They were advised to deal with peer pressure by gaining self confidence, learning to say ‘NO’ to negative influence and choosing their friends wisely. They were encouraged to surround themselves with positive peer influence, which will enable them overcome fear, provide good advice, avoid breaking the law, and also provide them with motivation and confidence. The participants were enthused by the efforts the AfCiC community is putting towards their well being.
“I am grateful for this forum. I had a goal but my goal was not SMART. When I go back home I am going to set a SMART goal and I am confidence my grades will definitely improve,” says David Mwangi
“As a school captain, my biggest challenge is how to do my work without being hated and criticised. This forum has helped me learn how to relate with my fellow student and carry out my responsibility as a captain effectively and efficiently,” says Margaret Wanjiku
“I have learned to make proper decision concerning peer influence. And I am also grateful for the self esteem session because I believe it will help me work on my confidence,” says David Karani