Daraja Academy for Exceptional Kenyan Girls

Jan 23, 2012

12th grader Maureen shares her thoughts

Students Maureen and Alice
Students Maureen and Alice

As of this month, Daraja Academy has officially became part of Nike's Girl Effect. In addition to the funding and exposure we are receiving, the honor and importance of becoming part of the Girl Effect has left a big impression on Daraja's students. If you missed it, here's what Maureen wrote in a recently published article about the being part of this organization....

The morning the Nike Girl Effect Challenge ended, I came out of my exam at 10 a.m. Shouts and screams filled the air and I knew that we had won. 

I went to the dining hall where the results were posted. From a distance I saw a huge poster with the words: “We Are The Girl Effect” – and I learned that our school, Daraja Academy, was in second place. I jumped up and screamed and all the other girls did the same. Even though it was tea break, I was too excited to have my tea. 

I was happy to win because I know that the dreams of many girls will come true from the support of the Nike Girl Effect. I believe in girls and know that they can change the world; with a little support, they can do a lot. 

Being part of the Girl Effect Challenge will make me always dream big. It  is a competition for yearly funding from the Nike GlobalGiving Project. 

My dream is to become a journalist or a tour guide. To achieve this, I will work hard at school, get good grades and get advice from people in the field. I also want to join a university, where I will learn all about how to become a good journalist or tour guide. When I saw how people volunteered and donated money to support girls through the Girl Effect Challenge, it motivated me to work harder. It also made me want to help more people in return, because there are so many who want help but can’t find it. 

Since the first time I heard about the Nike Girl Effect Challenge and what it does, it reminded me of this quote from Janie Jasin: “To enjoy the journey is to leap into people’s lives. To enjoy the journey is to give until the stretch is a sacrifice. The question always is: what is it in life that will pulls you out of your seat to be brave, to risk and to serve?” The Girl Effect makes me feel empowered by giving me my heart to help many. 

This is the first time I have participated in a worldwide competition. It was a great pleasure to be in that position. It makes me feel like an important person; it makes me feel secure. Being part of the challenge made me strong in my belief in girls all over the world. It affects my country Kenya too, because it will improve many girls’ lives. 

As a female I face many challenges – when I go out of school during vacation I’m considered weak, and boys are always given first priority; it is easier for men to get jobs than women. But my country is trying to correct that, making sure that everyone is equal. Sometimes I see that when women do not succeed in life or achieve their goals they experience more challenges than men do. It is true that many girls all over the world experience the same challenges. This makes me feel that we are equal and there is not much difference between me and any other girl. I believe that we can make a big difference from the support of the Nike Girl Effect. 

I give thanks to the Girl Effect for what they have offered, it really means a lot and it will help many. 


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Project Leader

Jenni Doherty

San Rafael, CA United States

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