This month has seen Standard 8 pupils across the whole of Kenya sit exams that decide what their next step in life will be. It is the final year of primary school, and most children who sit the exams have dreams of getting into a good secondary school, going onto university, and getting a job that will mean the impoverished conditions many of them come from will not be repeated in their generation. The children notoriously feel huge pressure in this time, causing so many of them to feel stressed and anxious, hoping to get into a school where they can achieve success in the future.
Kenya’s school system is such that a given result in these exams means a child can go to a particular level of school (District, Provincial and National), so the exams hold a huge degree of uncertainty and weight. It was this in mind AfCiC facilitated a day in a primary school in the local town of Ruiru, where standard 8 pupils from 8 different schools in the area came together with local teachers, organisations and community officials to help the children prepare, and to give them life skills that they can take out into the world at this major juncture in their life.
Trainers from partner organisations who had been trained by AfCiC staff lead groups from each school in discussions around HIV/AIDS, child labour, sexual abuse, and many other areas pertinent to the life of children of this age in Kenya, giving them a forum for raising concerns and for discussion with other students. AfCiC helped the day run smoothly and provided sustenance in the form of bread and milk for the students involved, and were able to offer words of encouragement to the students as they entered the week of their exams. We hope all the children were able to perform to the best of their ability and no matter what the outcome, are able to find their unique talent, academic or otherwise, and know their worth to society as a human being.