My future is brighter than my past: Daraja’s newest students learn that their unrelenting faith in their future gained them admittance into Daraja Academy

Last week, the Form 1s filed into the lounge, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder around the wooden conference-like tables. After a couple minutes of whispering and giggling amongst themselves, their attentions focused in on Teacher Victoria, who stood at the head of the table, smiling right back at them.

“What does it mean to have hope?” she asked the Form 1s.

At first, no one responded. One-by-one, hands around the table shot up.

“Hope is a longing for something in your heart, like a successful life,” Asuza said.

“Hope,” Bilha added, “is the trust in something, that something can and will happen.”


After further discussion about hope and how strong, independent young women need to maintain it, the girls said in unison, “My future is brighter than my past, and I have the ability to have others see the same.”

The Form 1s discussed what set them apart from typical girls their age, and discovered a similarity they all shared: determination to make their hopes come true. “Some girls, when asked what they would do if not admitted to Daraja, said they would get married, or stay at home,” Teacher Victoria said. She looked around the room. Attentive faces met her eyes. “Raise your hand if you said the same thing.”