Short Training, Lasting Impact
It may seem like a small thing—just a few days of training at a community center—this sort of thing happens all the time. But the impact of this particular training is immeasurable. The Kenya Keys’ team (some from the U.S. and some from the Taru region in Kenya) traveled to Chwele in order to provide training that would allow the Chwele community to implement their own sponsorship and girl empowerment programs based on Kenya Keys’ successful models.
The training was brief, really, but as you’ll see from the response, the benefits will continue to grow and spread far beyond the initial sessions. Grace Kuto, the Director of the Chwele Community Resource and Peace Center, invited Kenya Keys to provide the training. At the conclusion of the training, Grace expressed her gratitude: “The visit from the Taru team far exceeded our expectations. We from Chwele have always been so impressed by the work of Kenya Keys. It was so inspiring to watch their sponsorship team and SOS team in action. This cultural and practical exchange left a lasting and profound impact on our community.”
That impact was felt by everyone who participated. Angie Parkin, part of the U.S. team, describes their work in Kenya as “absolutely unforgettable.” “Observing the strength, resourcefulness, and resilience of the African women,” she says, “gave us hope for their future, knowing that they will make any sacrifice to provide for their families.”
Hope was in great abundance throughout the training. Lydiah, one of the girls in attendance says she can now “soar like eagles” because of the information and encouragement she received. Shalom wrote, “I am very grateful for these few days you came to our school. Every moment of it was of great importance to me.” Ruth expressed her appreciation and said, “Your visit to our school was a true inspiration in our lives.”
Every girl who took part was inspired by the experience. True to what we see time and time again in Kenya, the girls are already planning to share their new knowledge. One girl, Hope, told us, “I take this golden opportunity to thank you very much for coming to our school. I want to start an SOS club in the area where my grandparents live, as the girls there are very lacking and they need an anchor.” Vihendah said she plans to start an SOS group in her home area, because she knows her fellow girls will be grateful for the knowledge.
The connections made at the training will long be remembered by everyone there. Bridgit says of the SOS girls from Taru: “you were more than sisters—you were our best friends.” Angie Parkin felt the same way about all the Kenyan girls and women she interacted with: “Feeling the abiding love and warmth from the Kenyan people and witnessing their positive and hopeful perspectives, despite constant setbacks, gave our family strength and courage to face inevitable obstacles that lie ahead.”