From August 19th through the 24th, Kakenya Center for Excellence hosted its fifth week-long Health and Leadership Training camp at our boarding school in Enoosaen. Along with KCE's 6th and 7th graders, 60 girls from surrounding schools joined us for a week of training, bringing the total number to 120. The campers were trained in female health, self defense, leadership skills and child rights. As always, the week was filled with laughter, new friendships, plenty of singing and dancing, and positive change in the lives of the participants. For girls joining us from other schools in the division, this was the first time they had experienced a supportive girls-only environment, designed to empower them to protect their bodies and minds as they reach the end of their primary school years. The girls enjoyed plenty of games and special activities as well, including a movie night and a night of traditional Maasai storytelling by local grandmothers.
We want to recognize our wonderful trainers, who engage with the girls, encourage them to ask questions, and deliver crucial information about their rights and bodies in fun, interactive ways. Since we began the Health and Leadership Training program, sessions with I'm Worth Defending have been one of the girls' favorite aspects of the camp. This group comes to us from Nairobi and always brings enthusiasm, tons of energy, and a visable passion for their mission of teaching girls to protect themselves from sexual assault. During our August camp, we partnered for the first time with the Center for the Study of Adolescence, also a Nairobi-based nonprofit. CSA ran sessions on sexual and reproductive health for the campers, teaching them to make good choices that promote health and wellbeing.
Camp is one of our favorite times of the year at KCE. Here is what some of the girls had to say at the end of the week when asked if the week had met their expectations:
"Yes, because there was fun and the teachers were honest and loving." -- Seenoi
"Yes, because it has enabled and encouraged me to work hard until I achieve my goals." -- Nasieku
"Yes. I wanted to learn how I can defend myself in certain situations." - Nenkoitoi
"Yes, because we were taught how to be leaders." - Juliet
Thank you for making these experiences possible for girls in rural Kenya!
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