Juliet is a standard 7 girl at Gikumene primary school, Imenti North Sub-County in Meru County. She is enthusiastic, jovial and aspires to become a journalist when she grows up.
In a survey conducted by Jielimishe GEC Project in September 2017, it was revealed that the confidence of the students was at 84% as compared to 38% in 2015, marking a 46% improvement over two years. This improvement is attributed to the student academic and career mentorship conducted by the project aimed at improving motivation and inspiration for the students to stay in school, learn and transition to the next level. With the improved confidence, Juliet is able to participate more in class, engage the teacher in instances where she did not understand and ask questions freely.
While conducting the mentorship, the project also focuses on improving the self-awareness among the students, self-esteem as well as improving knowledge about careers and child rights. Majority students have applauded mentorship as one of those interventions that have directly impacted on their lives as individuals within the school and home environment.
The survey revealed that self-awareness among the pupils improved from 27% to 97% within the two-year period. The students’ self-esteem consequently improved from 23% in 2015 to 95% in 2017. As a result, the pupils were able to communicate better and interact with their peers confidently.
Yvonne, a classmate to Juliet said “In 2015, I used to shout all careers when asked what I would like to be when I grow up. Now I have chosen my career and am working hard towards achieving it” Kinyua, who is a class lower was also a beneficiary of the same intervention. He said “In 2015, I was very shy. I could not approach a teacher and ask questions. Now, I can approach teachers, ask questions as well as stand in front of other pupils and talk to them”. The students have also increased knowledge about their rights as children as well as their responsibilities as revealed by the survey. The knowledge had improved from 33% to 98% as indicated by the graph. Pupils have become happy about who they have become and they are indebted to Jielimishe GEC Project by I Choose Life – Africa and SOS Children Villages Kenya with financial and technical support from the UK Government through Department for International Development (DFID).