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How to Select Pageant Pet Project

What is a pageant pet project?

One of the hallmarks of being a beauty queen is taking part is activities that make your communities better places to live in.

No wonder most pageant critics have always regarded pageant girls quite derisively as ‘pretty girls who advocate for world peace’ . But what’s wrong with advocating for world peace anyway!

Away from that, on top of all charity activities you will be engaged in, there is that one project that is personal and forms part of your brand and legacy as a queen/king – The pet project.

Perhaps the best Kenyan definition of a pet project is Miss World Kenya 2005 Cecelia Mwangi’s anti-jigger campaign, which gained a lot of traction in its hey days. She became synonymous to that campaign, and that’s precisely what building a brand is all about.

I had quite a tough time choosing my pet project when I was Miss Progress Kenya. There were three major areas I was interested in:

1. Domestic violence and gender-based violence prevention

2. Refugees and immigrants tights

3. Teen pregnancy, student mothers and parenthood.

If I could, I would have done all of them, but while that is plausible, it is logistically and technically not possible. I eventually chose to go with Student Mothers, Teen Pregnancy and Parenthood.

I have come up with a guideline to help you choose your pet project much faster, so you don’t waste so much good time being indecisive.

1. You must be passionate about the project you want to undertake.

When you are passionate about something, you go the extra mile, make sacrifices and stay late nights for it.

Make sure you feel strongly for the project you settle for, otherwise you will grow tired when the going gets tough, because it will get tough.

2. Choose a relevant  pageant pet project.

You must choose a project that is relevant to your region. You cannot have a Black Lives Matter in Kenya, or an anti-nuclear weapons campaign. The Kenyan community will not relate to it at the moment.

3. Choose a  pageant pet project within your scope.

Pick a project you can easily access. That’s why I had to drop the refugees idea. I would one day love to work in a refugee camp, oversee their induction into the community and make sure they settle well into their new environments.

But how long would it have taken to apply, wait till I get approved because you just can’t walk in and out of camps as you wish, get inducted etc. My reign was just one year!

On the other hand student mothers were people I interacted with on the daily. I didn’t need to go elsewhere to gather infor.

Some of them were my close friends and I was able to see their challenges. It was therefore very accessible.

4. Choose a project that does not need huge financial investments.

Pick a project you can do even on your own, or with the help of just a few well-wishers -projects that will not make you dependant on corporate sponsors to take off.

A project based on boy or girl-child empowerment, for instance, will just need you to address a gathering of either gender when you get the chance.

You and your friends can take food and essentials to street families at a moment’s notice, not so much is involved, but at the end of the day your impact is felt.

5. Choose a project that is not controversial.

As a beauty queen/king, it is best to steer clear of controversy.

For instance, issues surrounding abortion and gender as in LGBTQ might invite some of the most scathing attacks from the Kenyan society as it is right now, both on you as a person and the organisation that you represent.

Much as you would like to, sometimes your project should take into effect the current realities, most of which are harsh.

6. Choose a project with clear action plans.

Not one that will have you wondering what activities you will engage in.

This is where I dropped the domestic violence idea. It is a wonderful, pertinent and current idea, but besides educating people on it, there’s is not much I can personally do without involving huge logistical support to help its victims.

I do not like doing things halfway, if I can’t do it fully, I would rather not do it at all.

Thus I settled on the Students Mothers, Teen Pregnancy and Parenthood.

7. It is totally okay to work with existing organizations

Bringing up a project from scratch is hard as nails. If there is an existing organization that already does what you want to do, partner with them. You will find the foundation already laid and your work will be easier.

If there is a beauty queen who already has a similar project, team up with her. It will give your project more traction. Besides, it is not about who started what, it is about the people you intend to reach and the impact you what to make.

In conclusion, pick a pageant pet project that is financially, geographically and logistically viable.

I hope you too land good projects that you feel passionate about. Check out 30 ideas for pet projects that you can implement.

Remember you do NOT have to hold a title to start an initiative or have a project. Your being a beauty queen should give a platform to projects that already exist.

Do you need further consultation on how to select, execute and raise funds for your pet project? Book your session via 0705788184 and I will be more than glad to help!

For people in Kenya, our intake for our August/ September full-course pageant training including catwalk, interview, public speaking, etiquette, confidence building, make-up, workout and pet project selection is on. Book your spot now if you are competing this year via See you!


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