Lucy, Daraja Academy's school president, writes to explain what life is like during Coronavirus and how Daraja is fighting back.
Lucy in front of her home in Nyeri
It was March when the president declared
that all students should go home. Now I wake up everyday hoping for news that we can go back to school and normal life. Honestly, I am worried about each and every girl out there in vulnerable conditions. Unfortunately, the stay at home has also been difficult for many Daraja girls. Some parents and guardians lost work and struggle to provide meals for their families. Other girls face emotional challenges in unstable homes. Thankfully, the Daraja team does wellness checks with every student. And I can say that having someone who cares and actually wants to hear from you is the best feeling ever. Daraja also provides help and food to families who are struggling. At home, we continue to hold class using WhatsApp. At first, we could only do one hour
each night as not all students had access to a smartphone or they couldn’t afford any mobile data. So Daraja embarked on fundraising to secure a phone for every student. Now we can do 4 hours of class together every day! This challenging time has been positive in many ways. We are all taking this time to get closer to our families and to refine ourselves by setting goals. And it seems that all the lessons taught in WISH class are being tested by daily life. It humbles me to know that you go out of your way to support us. We draw our strength from you and pray for your well being. Daraja means bridge and you are Daraja!
"Being part of this race gave me a sense of true empowerment." I did the race by running on my village pathways through maize plantations and across small riverbanks. I couldn’t run as many kilometers as I expected due to security and hunger challenges. But I participated because I was doing it for my education. And I was not running alone.
This May, advocates around the world chose to join the race for girls' education.
"Covid hit Daraja girls hard, so I knew I had to do something hard." For the last 10 years I've been sidelined, cheering while others raced. Six months ago, I had an above the knee amputation due to an infection. This year, I learned to walk again during COVID and raced 19 kilometers because my girls needed me. Others were answering the call—I had to as well.
Together, they raced over 1,000 kilometers and raised over 90,000 dollars.
"This race gave me a concrete way to give back when I felt helpless." My favorite part of this race was having a Daraja partner. It was amazing to connect with a girl across the world who was working towards the same goal. This fundraiser empowered me because I felt like I was making a difference. I’m glad I got to help spread Daraja’s mission.
"This race allowed me to make a difference for another girl." Although it was hard to race because of quarantine, lively evening walks around the neighborhood solved that problem. My favorite part was creating posters and spreading the word. This race is one of those events that tells a story. A story about girls helping other girls create a better future.
Have a Daraja experience to share? We want to hear it! For the rest of the year, share your Daraja story on social media using #growwithdaraja. Follow #growwithdaraja for inspiring content and updates on our 2020 virutal party happening
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