You've been in our thoughts all summer. Here in NYC, the girls from Harlem have been eager to hear your stories, and they are excited at the possibility of one day meeting you all. In the meantime, they've got a message for all of you, and I am happy to introduce the girls to you!
Dear Girls Club Kibera,
Hey girls, my name is Stephanie Marfo and I am 13 years old, the youngest girl in the Harlem Girls Club. Even though I'm only 13, my life is not perfect in the world-famous New York City. By age 11, my dad was sent to a detention center for being an "illegal alien" and by the time I turned 12, he was deported back to Ghana, West Africa.
Ever since I was 11, I became a second mother to my two younger brothers, and a little bit to my older brother too. Plus, I had to juggle school with being a "mom". Of course, I fell behind because I'm busy, but I always catch up on my work because I always have hope.
I always hope that my father will return. I hope one day I will be free, that one day, the government will change, and that's what gets me by day by day. So have hope. I know that life might be harder for you down there, but like Kirk Franklin the Gospel singer said, "You gotta keep your head up because all your dreams are going to come true if you believe in yourself!". Stay strong, because it will help you go on in life. I know it sounds cliche, but its true. Always follow your dream.
Dear LitWorld Kibera,
My name is Tiffany Collins. I am 16 years old and I live with my mother. I have 1 sister and 3 brothers. I am like the second mother in the house but without a full time job. I cook and clean after my siblings. I live in the great big city known as New York. How is LitWorld in Kibera?!?!?
Dear LitWorld Kibera,
My name is Aisatou, and I'm from Africa as well. My mom was born in Guinea and so was I. I was fortunate to be brought to America at the age of seven. I know about the hard times in Africa. I know about the struggle of the people, especially girls like us because men are dominant. I feel for you girls. But through any hard times, I want you all to dream. When you hope and dream, you give yourself a light and something to get you through.