Today’s children grow up having to cope with many social issues and challenges as they pursue their dreams of achieving their education dreams and as they go through difficult life transitions.
Ann Muthoni, a 14 year old class 8 student at St. Bakhita Primary School is one of these children who are going through many challenges that affect their transition process from school to life. Ann lives in Mukuru kwa Njenga slums with her mother together with two of her siblings. Growing up in slums, Ann has experienced a childhood that often defies the imagination of both the ‘innocent childhood’ proponents and the ‘universal childhood’ advocates.
Despite the physical environments of slums that present many challenge to her and her family, Ann is determined to make the best out of her school experience to achieve her dreams of becoming a Doctor. Her education journey through primary school has so far not been easy. Teachers at the school have tried their part in encouraging and supporting her through her studies, protecting her from the pressures caused by the challenges she faces in life.
To provide the encouragement, tools and support Ann and other students from her school need, Airtel has intervened with a staff-driven mentoring program that seeks to provide the students from St. Bakhita Primary School with the support, advice, friendship, reinforcement and constructive role-modelling over time.
Launched in October last year, Airtel staff yesterday took part in the program that focused on academic and social support, inspiring the students to unlock their potential. The company’s employees offered their personal experience on success and the importance of reading and finding a career that they love, how to prepare for exams, encourage students to identify their career paths and develop skills that they can use in their future.
Speaking during the mentorship program at the school, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said; “The program offers these students a powerful network of professionals with a robust pool of varied skills and experiences to share. The interactions through this program will empower students with the necessary support to enable them make the best career and personal choices in life.”
St. Bakhita Primary School headmistress Mrs. Rose Mumo noted that the connection the students have made with the Airtel team will change their lives. “They have learned about time management, networking and personal branding. Because of this program, they will not only be prepared for the next phase of their lives, but they will also succeed because of the insightful knowledge and life skills the team has shared with them,” said Mrs. Mumo.