Boda Girls Cohort 2 – The Powering of Mentoring
In April 2023, we proudly launched our second cohort of Boda Girls, marking a significant milestone in our journey. These remarkable young women were warmly welcomed into the program by their mentors from the first cohort. The bonds formed, the trust established, and the collective sense of pride were palpable from the very beginning.
From the outset, it became abundantly clear that having a personal mentor is a game-changer for these aspiring Boda Girls. With the guidance and unwavering support of their mentors, they embarked on a transformative journey, learning not only to master motorcycle riding and build thriving taxi businesses but also to speak confidently in public, advocate passionately for women’s health and girls’ education, acquire life-saving first aid and CPR skills, and become shining ambassadors for the Boda Girls within their communities.
Cohort 2 had the unique advantage of not having to blaze the trail alone; they had role models who had already navigated the path. These seasoned Boda Girls generously shared their wisdom, imparted riding techniques, and conducted practice drills, nurturing the growth of their peers’ self-assurance and skillsets. Shadowing their mentors for an extended period, they learned the ropes of handling paying clients and providing free rides to the hospital for women in need. They closely observed and actively supported their mentors’ health advocacy work and educational initiatives.
As we now find ourselves four months into the program, Cohort 2 has gained more independence, while Cohort 1 has stepped into leadership roles within our broader initiative. Several Boda Girls from the first cohort have become driving drill coaches, paving the way for potential future endeavors, such as establishing a Driver’s Training School. Another group has delved into the intricate world of motorcycle mechanics and is teaching both cohorts of Boda Girls how to extend the life of their machines. Others are contributing to the program’s success by leading data collection and quality improvement efforts or chronicling the journey of the Boda Girls project.
Looking ahead, as Boda Girls continues to develop multiple cohorts across rural areas, we remain steadfast in our commitment to the cohort model. We firmly believe that people thrive and learn best in a supportive group setting, especially when they are underrepresented in their field. Moreover, we are unwavering in our dedication to maintaining the crucial elements of mentoring and leadership development, as they not only fortify the program but also nurture the growth of vibrant and empowered communities.
What’s truly inspiring is that through this program, the 10 second-year Boda Girls have extended their support to an additional 48 widows and girls, equipping them with vital entrepreneurial skills. This ripple effect of empowerment not only enhances the well-being of women but also has a far-reaching impact on the overall health, education, and livelihood of their families and the broader community.