“The S.O.B. Club Comes to Life” by Rinda Hayes
Over the past six years Kenya Keys has been building up our SOS (Save our Sisters) club. This astonishing club, which is now touching the lives of hundreds of girls, has gained strength and power along with its longevity. “But what about the boys?” I’m often asked. “Don’t forget about them!”
This admonition is well taken. The huge global focus on girls has left boys suffering from what feels like a lack of support. Our driver, Kelvin, calls the boys an “endangered species” because they are falling so far behind girls and are so threatened by modernization and the upheaval of cultural norms. “You are right to pay attention to the boys,” he said. “They are lost in this world.”
And so it was that I was thrilled when, at the opening ceremony, Brent and I were officially presented (as only Kenyans can “officially present”) with the documents proposing the start of a most officious club: The SOB (Save our Brothers) Club of Taru Boys school. In their construct, there is not a shred of irony in this title. Suppressing our gaffaws, we accepted the new club as part of Kenya Keys.
The next day they and their club advisor, darling Madame Nailiaka, asked me to come to the first- ever official meeting of the SOB club. I got to meet with the founding brothers! There they were 11 boys, sitting straight up and looking at me proudly. Look what they had done! Formed a club! Chosen officers! They’d created a club shield based on the shape of Kenya! They’d even made large yellow hats with SOB written on them. And an SOB crown for me (which I unfortunately didn’t have on for this photo).I could hardly keep back the tears as well as the chuckles. Earnest as can be, they told me how each of them had felt the need for the club, and what their vision was. They felt so proud to be accepted under the Kenya Keys umbrella, and they promised they would build on the good name. I could hardly speak. Tattered uniforms. Worn out shoes. Hungry stomachs. They are ready to change the world!