After graduating from KGSS in 2020 with the school’s pioneer class, Peres Munanka didn’t take any time off between lower and upper secondary school. Instead, she went onto become GEC’s very first Kitenga volunteer.
At that time, she remarked that she was “happy to volunteer to work with GEC because it is a passion…to see that other girls rise up in different parts of Tanzania and Africa.” While working with GEC, Peres even had the opportunity to publish a story with World Pulse on ending female genital mutilation.
Since then, Peres has attended upper secondary school, where she recently completed her A-Levels. In the next few months, she hopes to begin university, where she plans to study International Relations.
This past June, Guillemette Dejean from the GEC team had the opportunity to catch up with Peres, as she awaited her exam results and reflected on her time at the school.
Hi Peres! How do you feel after graduating from upper-secondary (Form 6)?
“I’m so happy right now that I’ve come such a long way graduating from the form six level. It has been tough, it has been thrilling. And it has been so fun and so beautiful and I’m just so happy, though I’m still nervous of how the results might turn out*, but I think I’ll do great. Advanced level is such a high achievement and a high step. I mean taking it so as to reach the dreams one is dreaming of. So, I really feel nice. I really feel nice.”
Looking back, how do you feel about your years and your education at the Kitenga Girls School?
“Kitenga is one of the best schools, and it is a school that helped me build me up and helped me realize what I want to do in life. It helped me know what I’m capable of and what I can actually study later on in my advanced level education. The teachers were really committed and they took time teaching us and helping us in any way they can, so that they can assist us to achieve what we really want later on. I’m looking back at the years and missing those moments. It was really a nice experience for me, a good step which I experienced and passed through and that made me choose where I am today. It’s all thanks to the school, to the secondary education that I got. I’m really grateful for that.”
Do you have memories from your time at Kitenga that you’d like to share?
“I have tons of good memories from Kitenga, nice moments, good memories, good people, and I remember each and every one of them.
One good memory that I can share, and I remember very clearly it was the Inauguration. Like that time, the moment when each and every one of us were actually working together, cleaning up the environment, singing songs at night, preparing for plays, preparing for exhibition.It was a really nice moment for me, and I actually remember it each and every day and wish it could rewind through that time. Each and every one was actually busy, we were actually chatting and talking to each other, laughing at everything, laughing at each and every moment that we passed through and everyone was like trying to do this, trying to do that.
The play about female genital mutilation, it touched lots of people’s hearts and many people were thrilled by it. I don’t think they knew that I was the director, though, I was really shy then, but I actually directed the whole thing and it was really nice, a new experience for me.
I’m so thankful for that and it’s one of the best memories and the best moments I ever had at Katanga. The inauguration that was experienced by us, the first pioneers..I’m so thankful for that really each and every day. I’m so grateful, thank you.”
What are your plans for the future?
” I’ll be joining university*, and I really wish to get into UDOM, University of Dodoma. I would like to study International Relations and later in the future become an ambassador or a person who deals with international affairs…And also continue my dream of being an advocate for girls, eliminating the female genital mutilation, speaking out for girls who don’t think that they can speak out for themselves, advocating for girls’ education, and becoming one of the people who can be looked upon and say that, yes, girls can do this, girls can do that, girls are capable.
Nonetheless, no matter what I do, I will always remember who I am and where I come from, not what I am. It can never change the real me, and I always stand up for people, always stand up for girls, and continue this mission of [eliminating] female genital mutilation elimination.”
* Since writing this article, Peres has been accepted in her dream university – The University of Dodoma – where will be studying International Relations. Hungera! Congratulations!
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge for their support along the way?
We recommend just listening to the audio for this one! ☝️
Girls Education Collaborative wishes Peres and all the members of pioneer class the best of luck in the future and in university!
This article was written with the help of Olivia Castiglia (GEC volunteer).