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Happy New Year From Daraja!

Good afternoon everyone, and Happy Chinese New Year! This year’s zodiac animal, the rat, symbolises spirit and intelligence. Daraja has many exciting events planned this lunar year, as we continue to work toward our goal of spreading awareness about gender equality and female empowerment. This year will see events such as an exhibition for women’s day as well as a collaborative effort amongst GCs to host our annual Run for Rights. In the past year, we have hosted and participated in WISH classes, gained better insight into this issue, and planned these upcoming events: demonstrating our commitment to Daraja’s message and our ambition to see it realised. We hope that this year you will join us in celebrating women’s empowerment and supporting the inspirational girls at Daraja.

May this year bring great success to Daraja Academy and every individual involved in this amazing movement. We at Daraja GC wish you a year full of prosperity, laughter and opportunities. Have a great year!

Pen Pal letters

Last week on 19th of November the Daraja GC had a Pen Pal letter session organised by the connections group, we got a chance to write the letters to the girls and share some things about us.

We got a chance to interview Sashwika, the leader of the connections group, and Orianne member of the events group. We discussed questions regarding the process and the roles they played through out the process of writing letters, and if they have any wishes for the future sessions.

Give it a listen!

WISH Class

Hi Everyone!

Today, I’m going to briefly discuss WISH. What is WISH? Read on to find out:)

A WISH class was conducted in one of our recent meetings. WISH stands for Women of Integrity, Strength, and Hope, and our WISH team led this meeting with the intention of replicating a typical Daraja class. I must say, it was a job well done!

In Daraja, WISH is a mandatory class that expands students’ general knowledge, helps them develop essential life skills and, most importantly, broaden their worldview. The purpose of this class is essentially to produce leaders who have the right skill set and the drive to support their communities in the future. The hope is that in years to come, these girls can make a real impact on their communities as they put their amazing Daraja education to use to end the poverty cycle.

As UWCSEA students we are not directly involved in the inequalities that they encounter thus rendering this class not immediately focused in our society in Singapore. Nonetheless, it is still imperative for us to understand the students of Daraja’s perspective personally.

In our meeting, we played JEOPARDY. We explored the topics of society, environment and wellbeing. In future sessions, we would benefit from more interactive activities and perhaps focussing on one aspect in particular. This, in turn, would lead to more interesting and fruitful discussions.

Thanks for reading!

Image result for daraja wish class

Welcome back!

Welcome to our Daraja Global Concern blog page! As we begin a new academic year, we would like to briefly rewind all of the important events in Daraja so far.

We have collectively voted on and appointed a new chair and co-chair of our GC for this academic year. Nimisha was appointed as our chair, she has been a part of this GC for two years and served as co-chair last year. Uditi is our new co-chair, and she has been a part of this GC since grade 5. She is excited to contribute further to Daraja in her new role as all of us are. 

During our first session of Daraja, we were asked what Daraja meant to us and we then wrote it down in the form of postcards. We were asked to be creative and we were allowed to draw. The postcards were an interesting way to gain perspective on what the people in our GC think Daraja is about. Our drawings were symbolic of Daraja and its impact on all of us. 

 

We have split into four groups which focus on specific aspects of our goals as a service:

  • We are the Media team. Our main goal is to continue improving this blog, while also working towards raising awareness about Daraja and its mission in the community. 
  • This year’s Event’s team is lead by Raaghavi, who has been a part of this GC since Grade 8. Her goal is to have a higher engagement in events hosted by our GC like Run for Rights, and raising awareness about Daraja and the issues it stands for. 
  • Our third team is the WISH group, led by Eva. WISH stands for Women of Strength, Integrity and Hope- it’s a class that girls at Daraja take part in every week. Their goal is to raise awareness about WISH and its importance and help our community, our peers and ourselves learn from this experience. 
  • The Connections team, led by Sashwika, wants to establish a strong relationship with the girls at Daraja and help us connect on a personal level. They also want to improve the methods of communication by learning from the pen-pal system last year.  

We will be posting weekly updates and would love it if you took the time to revisit our blog. Thanks for checking out our GC!

 

Run for Rights 2019

Run for Rights is an annual event hosted by three GCs: Daraja, Ace and Ladakh. Students, parents, and teachers come together to run a distance of 4.3 km (or more!) to raise money. This year, there were approximately 60 attendees, who participated in either the fun run or the competitive race. There was a face painting booth and markers at each kilometre with encouraging quotes to motivate the runners. We would especially like to thank those that ran with pledges, raising money for Daraja:

Ruby Psillides, Rhea Thakar, Lila Salaria, Philippa Baxter, Lucy Twigger, Abhiraj Banerjee, Reesa Bhowmik, Renee Jaiswal, Rhiannon Kozel, Daniel Cruz Dolmos and Ishaan Singh


Daraja in the Family Festival

The Family Festival logo

The Family Festival is a major event that the school hosts that allows different G.Cs and clubs to show, sell and publicize ideas of the G.C or club and its products.

Daraja participated in this event and sold All its products that were Pieces of jewellery that included Bangles, Necklaces, Headpieces that were all made by Masai girls and the women from Daraja, we sold scarves with tribal patterns, household objects like coasters and many other things, we had a Face-Painting stall where our Daraja boys and girls wholeheartedly took part to paint kids faces with things they love.

The sales and the face paint raised money to give to the Daraja Academy to fund for their Library Initiative, where they build a library for the school and buy books for the girls who are studying there to further educate them on matters not only academical but also every other aspect of learning.

Women’s Day Baking!

Daraja Academy has been providing education to high achieving Kenyan girls for the past 10 years.

Education is key to improving gender equality and ensuring that no girl ever faces discrimination anywhere in the world. The talented girls at Daraja know that if they pour their heart and soul into everything they do, then one day they will be able to achieve their dreams. By providing education to girls who would have been unable to pursue it otherwise, Daraja takes a big step towards a more balanced world.

Daraja believes that “every woman can be an entrepreneur and an innovator”. This women’s day, they met with a professional baker to understand how to run a business, a skill they will find very useful in the future.  It’s a simple skill which can be turned into a profitable opportunity.

    Professional baker explains instructions to Daraja girls

They baked large quantities in an energy saving stove called ‘jiko’, while discovering what it takes to be independent and start your own business.

Daraja girls try their hand at baking

The Daraja girls are stronger than ever, and this opportunity has given them an opportunity to learn  different talents which they will carry with them into the future. Keep working hard, girls!

(via Daraja Academy instagram, @darajaacademy)

International Women’s Day #balanceforbetter

Yesterday was International Women’s Day 2019. An old tradition which started back in 1909, this day aims to recognise women and their achievements all over the world. One main purpose of celebrating International Women’s Day is to promote a more gender equal planet, where both women and men can enjoy their rights without facing discrimination.

Gender inequality is an issue that has been haunting us for centuries. From difference in salaries in the workplace to being forbidden from attending school and studying, society has always been highly prejudiced. Stereotypes exist everywhere and start influencing our lives from the day we are born. Blue blankets for boys and pink blankets for girls. Cars for boys and dolls for girls. Society has been contorting our minds to force us into conforming to gender norms. They are still millions of girls in many different countries who  are being forced to stay home and learn how to be “wives” and how to care for their families. They don’t go to school like their brothers, they don’t have access to education, a basic human right.

But this barrier is slowly being torn down by strong independent women all across the world, who are rising to say that discrimination on the basis of sex is unacceptable. Girls should receive the education they deserve. Given the opportunity, girls are capable of taking the world by storm and proving that they are much stronger than stereotypes have made them out to be.

We are celebrating International Women’s Day to tell not only our community, but the entire world that women and men deserve an equal playing field. This year’s IWD theme is Balance for Better. The whole aim is to achieve gender equality for all and to see the scales finally even out.

As part of the Daraja GC, we decided to create a poster. This was our small part in hoping to create a balance between all genders, and change the world. We hope that our poster inspires you to think about women around the world, what they stand for and how you can create Balance For Better.

 

Welcoming Our New Family Members

Our new family members are Ilina and Etsub.

                            They have come from Focus Africa due to its unfortunate dismantling because of very low numbering members. We interviewed them, and they said that they chose Daraja as they love our message of spreading positivity and girl love all across the globe.

They wanted a G.C that was based on Africa and women’s human right of education and freedom. They and I quote wanted something “hands-on” rather than just listening to a bunch of people talking about an issue but not doing anything about it.

They said that they are really passionate about helping out. Ilina says that they were in Focus Africa, it was a focus group and didn’t raise funds, went to the place, or have any charitable activity, so this was new to them and they liked the idea of actively helping out.

Itsub looks forward to helping Kenyan girls, as she says Kenya is Ethiopia’s neighbouring country, where she is from, therefore it hits close to home, and Ilina is looking forward to treating the girls like her sisters and take part in all activities hosted by the G.C.

Ilina has now joined the Advocacy group and looks forward to posting a lot of content and information about Daraja. She has many great ideas and is eager to share all of them with you.

Etsub has joined the Indirect Service group as she loves the idea of hosting events and activities representing Daraja.

Many Thanks and Well Wishes to our new family members, Itsub and Ilina

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