I Choose Life Africa our partners in Kenya implement a project named SEAL. This project is designed to give mentorship to young adults within high schools and universities. SEAL project is an abbreviation of Sexual and Reproductive Health, Economic Empowerment, Academic and Career Mentorship, Leadership and Governance. Young adults are trained in these areas to help them navigate through life and make the right choices to get the best out of life. Ann Kyalo’s, a 17 year old, revelation of the impact the SEAL project has had in her life depicts its importance and effect to young adults.
Ann a Form two student at ABC Kathithyamaa Secondary School recounts how her mind-set changed after attending the entire training when SEAL was launched in the school. “I did not expect it to turn out as it did,” she mentions while baffled.
“Prior SEAL training I felt disappointed in life and lack of purpose. I contemplated on asking my parents to avoid paying my school fees, as I was not a performer in school. “ She opens up during her interview with Monicah Wanjiru of ICL.
“I was worried about my sexual health as little information was covered about the topic by our guidance and counseling teachers. However in SEAL the session was enjoyable and I was able to increase my knowledge about relating with opposite sex and taking care of myself,” she says joyfully.
After the career and mentorship training Ann was able to find focus in her education and was determined to pass the national examination so that she could join university later in life. This was a result of the challenge the SEAL Trainer of Trainers posed to the SEALs. He influenced them into thinking that they had something to offer to the society. “Whatever you do make sure that you do not just survive, live each day as it is the last, set targets and strive to achieve, only you have the keys to unlock your destiny,” the TOT implied. “Make sure that you just do not die old but die empty.” He concluded.
This statement was like a driving force for Ann. She felt obligated to herself to do everything to become a better person. The session in goal setting helped Ann in setting goals and striving to achieve each of the goals she set. She decided in her heart that she will not make the grave wealthy but she will live to pursue her destiny. She grasped that being a leader begins by leading oneself the leading others. She assimilated the values of diligence and commitment in her life.
Additionally, she learned that HIV positive people need care and love instead of stigma and neglect. Her mind set towards the people living with HIV/AIDS changed. She extended her knowledge in economic empowerment to her mother who is a farmer. This knowledge had helped her mother increase her profits on the produce from the farm.
In next the three years, Ann wants to have completed her secondary education and attained a grade that will secure her a slot in one of the prestigious universities in Kenya. She is also motivated to run a business even as she waits to join university after her form four. With these desires in her heart she has began savings and has set a target KSH 5000 by the end of this year.
She is very grateful to I Choose Life Africa for introducing the program in their school. She is excited about forming a Behavior Change Communication Group (BCCG) and helping her friends to gain the knowledge she has gained from the project. Promoting more young adults to live lives of dignity begins by informing them with the right information about the key pillars of life generally. Developing individuals who are self driven through mentorship is a ticket that the future of Africa is bright!