After a stellar performance in Kenya's National examinations and an inspiring journey through Daraja's unique Tranistion Program, Daraja's first class of graduates are ready to create their futures!
The UN Girls' Education Initiative has recognized Daraja Academy as an effective and innovative organization in “breaking the mold of Girls’ Empowerment”. Read the story here!
International Day of the Girl and The Girl Declaration
Daraja Girls celebrated International Day of the Girl by signing the Girl Declaration. It is a statement written by 508 girls living in poverty around the world with the expertise of more than 25 leading development organizations, declaring the power and strength of girls, in order to be included in the world’s next development agenda.
So on Friday, 11 October 2013 Daraja students broke into small groups and read the declaration aloud. They discussed what it meant to them, then decided to put their names to it. Check out this video to read the declaration and see the girls declare their support!
Outcomes & Impact
The Daraja Academy students are given the tools and resources to be the voices for other young women and girls in their country. Upon graduation, they will be powerful women with the capacity, experience and global understanding to be Kenya's future female leaders.
In August, Daraja celebrated its first graduating class. In the few months since graduation, out of 25 girls there are
Daraja changes girls’ lives by investing in their personal potential. If this is where they are only a few months after graduation, imagine what these girls will be achieving in 5 years!
The Daraja Academy team prepares for its largest event of the year - Race for Daraja. Over 250 runners will participate in the Bay to Breakers 12K race in San Francisco, Kenya, and across the world, advocating and supporting girls' education and Daraja Academy. Sister races will take place in Australia, Kenya, Singapore, Korea, California, Virginia, and Washington this year making this a truly global event.
Each Daraja girl on campus in Kenya is matched with a participant who runs on her behalf. As Lilian, a junior, recently said, "I was so happy during Bay to Breakers last year because we were working towards a goal. There are people out there who are willing to do everything so that I can get an education. It makes me feel loved and cared for." On race day, runners wear their partners photos on their backs, making the distance and the hills (in San Francisco) all worthwhile!
This year, there will be five classes participating in Kenya, or 130 girls plus staff and volunteers, including the recent high school graduates who have returned to Daraja to attend the newly formed Transition Program. The Daraja Academy Lap-a-Thon is held every year, giving the students an opportunity to contribute to their own education. Donors sign up to support up to 28 laps that the girls run (equivalent to the 12K distance of Bay to Breakers.) Irene N. said, "The first time we ran the girls were so excited because we knew that we were the ones contributing to our own education."
The Race for Daraja 2013 should be even bigger and more successful than the last, and it is all in the name of girls' education. To join us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are the type of ambitious and determined girls that you are helping to support in the 2013 school year. Thank you for giving them access to further their education!
Lately, we've been hearing a lot of statistics and reading stories about the uphill battle girls face in many countries. Although the facts are startling, what's even more jaw-dropping is the enormous influence and change that can occur simply by investing in girls education. Still, many people ask us why we "discriminate" against boys. But, this isn't about ignoring boys, it's about embracing girls, and their close relationship to their families. When you're investing in a girl, you are investing in her future children -- the number of children she has and her ability to take care of them.
The international community is celebrating Day of the Girl on October 11th and we've made special photos to celebrate the occasion. Thanks to photographer Barbara Rick, with these pictures you can educate and inspire.
The pictures remind us that the statistics don't scare us. We know there is work to be done and the girls of Daraja have built the foundation to change the status quo. With the support of advocates like you, we can educate people in our networks about WHY it's important to invest in girls. The first step of any movement is to education and build awareness so that people decide to pay attention.
Blue dot – City, town, or village a Daraja girl(s) is fromYellow star – Daraja Academy campus
When the Daraja students traveled home earlier this month, many traveled for only a few hours or a day while others journeyed for two or even three days. Girls from Mombasa on the coast can share stories with students from Pokot in the west and Isiolo in the north. Daraja also understands the importance in providing an education to girls from the local villages and town of Nanyuki, where twenty-two Daraja girls call home.
Form 1 Rose Buda is from Turbi in Northern Kenya, ten hours north of the nearest major city, Marsabit. Rose travels for three days before she reaches her home, only three hours south of the Kenya-Ethipoia border. Seven Daraja girls live in Marsabit, a city located on the southern edge of Chalbi Desert. The city itself is surrounded by mountains, volcanoes, and small forests; but soon the landscape turns into dry, flat desert.
Form 2 Mary N is from Mazeras, a small town north of the large port city of Mombasa, located on the Indian Ocean. Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya and is the main port for all of East and Central Africa. It is also a big tourist attraction. Mary travels for two days to get home along with eight Daraja students who live along the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway. Mombasa has extremely diverse culture and history going back to the Sixteenth Century.
Form 2 Molly is from Kisumu, located on Lake Victoria in Western Kenya. Lake Victoria is an extremely important for fishing, commerce, and tourism. The Nile River begins at the lake, which shares a border with neighboring Uganda. Surrounding Lake Victoria are numerous important cities and towns that are home to thirteen Daraja students.
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