“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee
AkiraChix aims to not only conduct training programs for young women but to also foster meaningful relationships with them. We purpose to provide an environment that inspires and develops young ladies to become successful force of women in technology who will thereafter change Africa’s future. For us to do that, we have to understand the ladies, their backgrounds and the situation they live in. We tackle this through our AkiraChix mentorship program and the annual AkiraChix home visits.
The home visits entail going to the girls’ homes with their chosen mentors and interacting with the parents or guardians, much like a teacher-parents meeting but at home. It is an exercise conducted in order to:
- Better understand the girls’ background and living situation, in order to cater to them better.
- Clearly communicate the AkiraChix program for the parents.
- Answer any queries or concerns parents might have concerning the program.
- Introduce the mentors to the parents and help the mentors understand the girl and her background.
This years’ home visits were conducted in April 2016, while the girls were on holiday. The visits were scheduled around the mentors’ timing.
We visited 12 girls out of the 16 girls on session. Most of these girls live quite far from the AkiraChix office and use between 200ksh – 300ksh per day on bus fare. While some try to raise the charges and others get help from their parents, it is becoming a challenge to most. AkiraChix tries to lighten their burden by providing a weekly bus fare to those who are in need of assistance.
It is not easy to open up your home nonetheless tell your life story to total strangers and people who might not relate to your living conditions or circumstances. I was very grateful for the opportunity to take a glimpse of the lives of these precious souls; to see the proud faces of their parents, hear their compelling life stories and see the impact of the program on these girls lives. I was humbled, motivated and inspired to say the least. Thank you AkiraChix students!