Changing girls’ perception: discovering their uniqueness
Many religions, many ideas and beliefs agree on the fact that we all come into the world for a purpose. The same way we can not explain why identical twins still have different fingerprints, the same way we all came in this world as unique with a special message to bring to humanity. In many countries in Africa,boys growing up are encouraged to go to school to become someone very important in the future, on the other hand girls are encouraged to stay at home and become future mothers and housekeepers, why? for the simple reason that for generations they have been taught that their main purpose in life was to stay in the kitchen , to make sure that all the housework was done and to take care of their husband and children. ok well ! they can do better by having a small business of selling something in the market. That sounds ridiculous and funny ? unfortunately it is the sad truth.
The progress of nations [Unicef, 1994] asserts: ‘ There is widespread agreement that the education of girls is one of the most important investments that any developing country can make in its own future. In the long term, almost every other aspect of progress from nutrition to family planning, from child health to women’s rights, is profoundly affected by whether or not a nation educates its girls.’ Even if education has been one of the major area in which girls have been more disadvantaged than boys, we have to admit that it is not the only problem that needs to be addressed. The question should not be how the society sees a girls today but rather how do they look at themselves, how do they want people to look at them, as we use to say ‘Respect is not given , it is deserved’.
It is time for girls to realise who they are! A girl is a pear, a vase of honour, a pillar of the society, she needs to nurture good habits and stay away from bad influences and trying to be someone she is not. She needs to enter into herself and look for that uniqueness of her, that lasting fingerprint she is supposed to give as legacy to humanity.
Today after 7 years serving at my church as ‘Teen Class Supervisor’, I came to realise that giving attention and consideration, a girl can do great things. She needs someone to encourage and believe in her. Believe in her uniqueness and that, can make a big difference in her life. One of my strategies to reach this goal was to create in my ‘teen class’ every Sunday a special session called “SHOW YOUR TALENT”. This was 5 min given to every teenagers willing to demostrate his or her talent t feel free and do it. We were amazed to see that many girls could draw, break danse, sing, massage, interprete from english to french… This was a good motivation for them. Making them feeling confident. Another strategy was to mentor 25 girls last year through a ‘Technologic challenge for girls’ called ‘TECHNOVATION’. Trough coding lessons given by friend of mine, they girls was able to initiate the creation 5 mobile apps responding to different problems we are facing in Togo such as : joblessness, Sexual abuse on children, health issues and avoidance , recycling and environment protection. We haven’t been selected last year but hopefully this year we will do our best to be among the finalists countries.
We can all make a difference around us with the little thing we have in our hand, sometimes it take just a smile to someone on the street sometimes it is just to pay a visit or bring water the person next door! You may feel like it is nothing but this matters a lot. As our dear mother Teresa of Calcutta use to said : ‘If you can’t feed 100 people, feed One!’.
You can make that little difference today!