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Teenage girls benefit in empowerment programme

About 52 teenage girls Friday completed a five-day empowerment programme held at St Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Kiambu Town.

During the valediction ceremony attended by their parents and guardians, the girls aged between 14 and 17 were cautioned against drug abuse, negative effects of media, lesbianism and peer pressure.

Further to that, the programme encouraged girls to be women of substance, having good morals and keeping good hygiene from now henceforth so as to remain healthy.

The theme of the programme which begun on Monday November 11 was “becoming a woman of substance.” It was facilitated by mentors, psychologists and guidance and counselling team.

Margaret Wanjogu, the lead facilitator of the programme organized by Catholic Women Association, speaking to KNA said, “We had targeted 100 girls, but only 52 participated in the programme. However, we were elated since it was our first programme and we shall put more on board in the next programme.”

The facilitator noted that boys have initiation programmes in which they acquire more knowledge but girls are not usually properly mentored and prepared for high school, which sometimes leads to poor performance.

The counsellor also challenged various churches and groups to organize programmes to empower girls because they were more vulnerable compared to boys when they matured into adulthood.

She however encouraged parents who didn’t avail their daughters to the programme and urged them to present them to similar programmes. “Sometimes they get too busy or don’t create a good atmosphere at home for their daughters so they should give them an opportunity to socialize with their peers in a condusive environment,” she said.

Mary Kung’u, mother of one the girls who went through the programme echoed the facilitator’s sentiments saying that she gets so busy that she hardly monitors her daughter’s movements.

Kung’u praised the programme as she had seen the fruits after her daughter approached her saying that she will keep away from drugs and have sexual intimacy with a boy only when she gets married.

The girls, who are on the brink of adulthood wished that they had more days as the programme was a very good opportunity for interaction. One of them, Joy Wambui was particularly impressed at the programme and also urged girls to be women of substance.

She will be joining Form one next year and she advised those joining secondary schools to choose their friends wisely.

Wambui challenged her peers challenged by saying “Show me your friends and I will show you who you are.”

The catholic women association is planning organize another program targeting KCSE candidates later this year.

By Lydia Shiloya

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