By Kelly Teagarden
In preparation for Camp WISER we wrote a WISER song. Music is an important part of life here and we knew it would be a great gift to give. It has been incredible to watch them learn the song and to practice it even when we are not around. They take pride in knowing the lyrics and in singing it throughout the day. We gather each morning to sing it together and we close most days singing it. This past Thursday the Camp WISER students opened Girls’ Day by singing the song to the 125 Standard 7 girls from the 9 local primary schools. The pride with which they entered the room, the poise with which they lined up and the energy with which they sang the words was unbelievably powerful. Most of the counselors were brought near tears. We had taught the Camp WISER students a song that they were now giving to the younger girls.
At the close of Girls’ Day we marched to the new WISER land with W-I-S-E-R flags and sang the song as we walked. The feeling of being surrounded by 125 girls singing on repeat, “Don’t tell me I can’t succeed/ I can make dreams reality/ I won’t stop no matter what/ I can reach the top!” is indescribable. The community came out of their homes and lined the road as we processed by. As we gathered together on the WISER land site we heard speeches from Chief Ogwang, the chief of the Southeast region of Muhuru Bay and from Lydiah Okinyi a respected female leader, a student at Moi University and daughter of the past Head Master of Rabwao Secondary School. In Lydiah’s speech she quoted the song discussing the lines “And though you may stumble/ you will find your way”. She spoke about the fact that we all may stumble in our academics or in life, but it is important to keep our goals in sight. It is important to remember what we are working towards, whether that be to go to University or to be a nurse, pilot or teacher, or whether that be to go to WISER. We must all work hard and push through the stumbles now, keeping our goals ahead of us. She spoke so eloquently and powerfully to all the girls and stood before them as an example and a role model.
To close the ceremony we sang the song once more all together standing on the WISER land, overlooking Lake Victoria and holding our signs proudly above our heads.
The WISER Song:
Life is a journey
You learn each passing day
And though you may stumble
You will find your way
We’ve been told the sky’s the limit
But there are footprints on the moon
When we expand our minds we’ll see
Learning will set us free…
Learn WISER, exceed all that you know
Grow WISER, above the earth below
Be WISER, and see where you can go
Live WISER, Live Wiser!
Verse 3: (Rap)
Don’t tell me I can’t succeed
I can make dreams reality
I won’t stop no matter what
I can reach the top!
The final verse is sung as girls and boys,
Girls sing Verse 1 twice the boys sing verse 3 four times