Girls in Maasai Kenya are at risk of child marriage and female genital cutting. The Kakenya Center for Excellence, a primary boarding school for girls ages 8-15, has had a 100% success rate in combating these practices. Students are empowered and motivated to achieve their full potential. The leadership camp pairs Kakenya Center girls with girls from neighboring public schools. Along with health education, girls learn leadership concepts such as self-confidence, speaking up, and empowerment.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Massai girls are regularly married at the age of 12 after undergoing female genital cutting (FGC), considered a rite of passage into adulthood. The practice can lead to complications such as obstetric fistula and even death. With child marriage comes the expectation that girls will permanently leave school. Although the Kakenya Center has had success in empowering its students, girls outside the KCE community are without empowerment tools for leadership and health education.
How will this project solve this problem?
Forty schools send high-achieving girls with strong potential to be effective leaders. They also send girls from rigidly traditional Maasai families prone to put their daughters through FGC and child marriage. The camp teaches leadership skills, team building, and basic health education, from menstruation to STDs. A workshop on children's rights teaches at-risk girls to speak up and prevent harmful traditional practices. Mentoring relationships develop between KCE girls and guest participants.
Potential Long Term Impact
The creation of a formalized leadership and health camp curriculum from this project's funding will serve not only the camp but also all grades of the Kakenya Center when in session. Follow-up after each camp session ends is a key goal. We provide follow-up materials to all campers while monitoring each girl's progress as a changemaker in her community. Kakenya Center student mentors and their camp partners are strongly encouraged to meet during school vacations.
Total Funding Received to Date: $7,570
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $27,430
Total Funding Goal: $35,000