Step 1: Evolution from Wood to Metal

The talking box, originally crafted from wood, transformed over time into a resilient metallic fortress. This change was essential to safeguard the scribbled notes from the elements that could otherwise spell their doom in Kibera’s unpredictable environment marred by conflict, fires, and demolitions.

Step 2: Empowerment Through Scribbled Notes

Within this fortified chamber, a symphony of voices found their canvas in the form of scribbled notes. These notes, aptly named “contents,” became the vessels of expression for schoolgirls navigating the complexities of life. The girls etched their thoughts onto pieces of paper, which they then discreetly deposited within the talking box at their convenience.

Step 3: Anonymous or Named, Options for Expression

If a girl’s concern demanded individual attention, a choice was offered: she could inscribe her name upon the note. This simple act enabled mentors to swiftly locate her for personalized support. Meanwhile, the other anonymous content without names embarked on a collective journey toward resolution, creating a shared space for common struggles.

Step 4: Collecting and Categorizing

Within the confines of each school, these precious contents were gathered and meticulously labeled within discreet files. This process ensured that the uniqueness of each case was acknowledged and preserved, minimizing the risk of confusion or mismanagement.

Step 5: Safeguarding with Rotating Locks

To fortify the sanctity of this confessional chamber, the locks guarding the talking box underwent a transformation every academic term. This rotation of locks was implemented to deter any interference and maintain the integrity of the contents housed within.

Step 6: The Male Voices

The talking box showcased a distinctive facet – the inclusion of boys’ voices. Anonymously, boys contributed their thoughts, aspirations, and concerns to the repository of stories. This trailblazing inclusion led to the emergence of male champions, individuals who took on the role of mentors. They embarked on a mission to enlighten their fellow boys on pivotal subjects such as grooming, bodily changes, drug awareness, and the transition to manhood.

Step 7: Dilemmas Unveiled

From the depths of the talking box, dilemmas emerged like hidden treasures. These challenges were as varied as they were complex. Some notes disclosed girls’ affections for their male teachers, while others carried haunting narratives of violation by those entrusted with their care. The challenge lay in verifying these stories, protecting the identities of the whistleblowers, and occasionally locating those who raised concerns anonymously.

Step 8: Orchestrating Conversations

Amidst these myriad voices, the talking box emerged as a catalyst for discourse. It became a cornerstone for conversations that might otherwise have lingered in silence, locked within the hearts of those affected. With each note deposited, the metallic guardian facilitated a transformation – from pain to empowerment, from silence to dialogue, a sign that change does not have to cost too much.