Step 3: Nourish
This is the most important component of our efforts. Obviously, just placing our girls into secondary schools in the region and paying for their costs is never going to be enough. Therefore, we focus most of our efforts on strengthening the curricula of the private secondary schools where our girls are enrolled. We assist these schools in lesson-plan development, teacher training, and the implementation of innovative models of education. Our aim is to create a Bakhita community where the girls, regardless of which school they attend, can share experiences and look to for academic and emotional support.
In order to ensure that our girls’ academic education is supplemented by material that is relevant to their daily lives, we organize group activities and Bakhita meetings. We invite guest lecturers from the community to lead discussions on matters such as health awareness, women’s issues, civic participation, agricultural efficiency, and financial self-reliability.
To strengthen the girls’ academic education as well, we focus most of our efforts on assisting our partner schools with curriculum development. We help the administrators of those schools with implementing a vigorous system of monitoring and evaluation. Under the current government requirements, students only go through major examinations once every two years. If they fail these tests, they have to repeat the full two years before being able to take the tests again. Under our system of evaluations, we make it easier to detect where things went wrong in the expanse of two years. We make sure that the students will not advance into their next semesters without becoming comfortable with the material already learned.
The Bakhita Counselor also conducts monthly outings and activities with the Bakhita girls, to ensure that the girls maintain a sense of community among themselves. The girls do not necessarily attend the same schools, so it will be important that they accomplish a sense of being part of a Bakhita posse, where they can exchange pains and gains, share experiences, and rely on each other for support and encouragement.