In March 2017, we held our annual PA-MOJA scholarship day at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in the grounds of Pelican house. We hosted 45 students currently on the PA-MOJA Ol Pejeta Community Conservation Scholarship and 5 graduates of the program who are admitted at different universities in Kenya. The theme of the day was Solutions. The students had various discussions amongthemselves and the PA-MOJA team about the various solutions to challenges that the encounter in their academic pursuit. Every year, we hold such a day at the conservancy to provide mentorship for the students and also give them a chance to meet members of the PA-MOJA team. This year, the Keynote speakers were Jon Bonnar, the principal of Langley fine art school and Mr Kipaloi the District Education Officer Laikipia East.
The event happened Symposium style with the students sitting in groups and each of them facilitated by one of the graduated scholarship students. Students from the different schools held candid discussion about wellbeing issues such as distractions from their education, interpersonal interactions in the school community, romantic relationships. They also talked about the perennial fear for some subjects especially mathematics and sciences. With each of the challenges, there was considerable deliberation on how different students have dealt with them with varying degrees of success. By sharing the ways they deal with these, they developed different frameworks to teach and learn from each other. The university students and the PA-MOJA team were at hand to assist them and give them the benefit of their experience. Afterwards, each of the teams had someone present the solutions to the whole group and compare various interventions. When this first part was done, the students were treated to speeches from the D.E.O and Mr Bonnar. The D.E.O talked about the value of their role in their communities and the importance of applying themselves to their intellectual and co-curricular pursuits with diligence. My Bonnar challenged them to dare to be different and challenge traditional assumptions to empower themselves and their communities through their educational success. As always PA-MOJA and the Ol Pejeta wishes them the best of luck.
Photo Credits Emily Lerosion