They arrived at campus in late February, twenty-six uncomfortable strangers. At the conclusion of term one, those same girls will return home as twenty-six sisters. Though we still have two days of testing ahead, an end of the term party and dinner, as well as many other odds and ends to accomplish, girls have already begun to discuss their departures and in my opinion, nothing has validated this project more than those discussions. Put simply, many of the girls do not want to leave.

I had assumed that there would be an evenly balanced division in most of the students in terms of heading home. I thought there would be close to equal parts, “I can’t wait to go home, sleep in my bed and see my friends and family,” and “I’m sad to leave my new found friends, I am really going to miss them,” in most of Daraja’s students. I was wrong and interestingly, the sentiments have nothing to do with how far from campus home is or whether the girl comes from a “traditional family” (mom, dad, sisters and brothers) or not.

After speaking one-on-one or in small groups with many of the young ladies and talking with both of the dorm matrons, who the girls confide in