The Day we Stood for Nigerian Girls and Ourselves
17th May 2014 was more than any ordinary Saturday for Rukmini Scholars and their mentors (Didis) because on that day us Didis and Bahinis (little sisters) of Rukmini Foundation got together for another mentoring (Didi) program. Seventeen Bahinis, four Didis and Interns from A School for Community gathered at Sikharapur School premises before we hiked to a Buddhist temple for a field trip.
All of us enjoyed the walk to the temple
Though it was a hot day in May it was still fun to walk together and share some things about each other with our Bahinis. Reaching the temple (known as Gumba in Nepali), we observed some religious writings, paintings, and bells for a while.Then we gathered in a small hall and started our brief interaction session.
Arriving at the Buddhist Temple
We had a brief introduction session as some of the Bahinis were new as well as the visiting interns from St. Xavier’s College who introduced themselves to the group. The interns were there to complete the profiles of Bahinis, which will be published on the foundation website. After the short introduction, we thought of doing something different to encourage our Bahinis to share something about their school experience.
Prakriti Helping to make introductions
We decided to ask the Bahinis to do a presentation about their last field trip. We divided the Bainis into 3 groups and asked them to make a brief presentation using colorful papers and pens. At first they were hesitating, but after the Didis explained how important it is for one to be able to speak out loud and to have others understand them, they gradually started interacting and speaking. Eventually we could see the scenario changing, the girls started enjoying it and found it to be fun. They started to fill up the papers with their creativity. They also presented with fun and were very conscious not to miss out any key points as they eagerly told us about their visit to the Hindu Vidyapeeth School.
The girls were split into groups to come up with an idea for their presentation
The groups presented about what they learned from their recent field trip
After the presentation we shared with the Bahinis the sad incident of the schoolgirls in Nigeria. The Bahinis were very sad to hear about the kidnapping, especially because they were targeted for going to school. They could identify that case with themselves because they felt that they were also vulnerable and Nepal is also known for girls being stolen and tricked into human trafficking.
We discussed as a group about the sad events in Nigeria and how we feel about it.
We tried to show the Bahinis that they were not helpless and could stand against this heinous crime. They insisted on supporting the campaign #BringBackOurGirls. One of the Bahinis, Sabita, expressed her feelings that “people living in America are fighting for us and we have an opportunity of better education now, then isn’t it possible for us to make an effort to fight for those girls in Nigeria? Even though this effort is little we can still make a change.” The Didis were very touched by her words and we were so glad to see how the Bahinis connected with this case and showed an interest in protecting them.
This is what the Rukmini Didis are trying to do; to make our Bahinis more aware of their rights, opportunities, duties and responsibilities. We are doing this through building a connection between the girls in Nepal and girls from all over the world. By sharing problems we have in Nepal and discussing problems for girls around the world, we all feel a sense of duty and responsibility. When we see such initiatives from our girls then this makes us mentors more motivated to do more to empower our Bahinis. With this motivation, we took a few photos standing up for girls so that we could join our hands in the campaign to demand the immediate and safe release of the Nigerian girls.
Rukmini Scholars stand together to pray that we can #BringBackOurGirls
After our eventful day inside the temple, we went to a little park outside to enjoy some small snacks and talked about what we will do when we meet for the next Didi program.The Didis were very proud of the Bahinis for the way they worked together in their presentations and for the way they made posters and stood together for the Nigerian girls. We were glad to be part of another successful Didi program,