Supporting Girls Education in Rural Kenya

Aug 20, 2014

Support Students as They Finish the School Year

As the start of the school year approaches here in the US, the young girl students at the Nanyori Shelter Network are also entering their third and final trimester before their final break in November. They are the lucky ones. Most of the girls their age from the pastoral communities of Kenya do not get to attend or complete their primary and secondary education. Many are responsible for household chores while others are forced into marriage as a way for their families to get money from their dowries.

The Indigenous Information Network (IIN) works to support the girls who are at the Nanyori Shelter Network to further their formal education. They also learn about issues affecting their communities such as HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as female genital mutilation. Most importantly, IIN works at the community level, with parents, grandparents, and leaders, to place emphasis on the value of educating young girls.

With your support, IIN can continue to provide such important training and access to education, as well as offer essential items that the girls may not be able to afford such as school supplies and feminine hygiene products.

Your contribution of $25 can guarantee school supplies and feminine hygiene products to one girl student at the Nanyori Shelter Network for this last trimester of her school year. With $100, IIN can organize a small workshop on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Thank you for your continuous support!

May 20, 2014

Fighting Early Pregnancy through Education

In the Kenyan communities of Samburu, Kajiado, and Mt Elgon, girls as young as 10 years old face the risk of early pregnancy.

Our Kenyan partners are the Indigenous Information Network (IIN). They tell us that the consequences of early pregnancy in these communities are complex. Becoming pregnant before their bodies are ready gravely endangers their health. When these girls become pregnant, they are also often forced to drop out of school to take care of their children. More often than not, these girls never return to school to complete their education.

With your continued support, MADRE and IIN are working to prevent early pregnancy in these communities. To do this, we are running a network of shelter-schools called Nanyori. We’re also organizing workshops to educate girls on their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

With your help, we’re ensuring that girls are better informed about reproductive rights. This is a key component in combating early pregnancy. Through a community mentorship program, we’re also encouraging these girls to stay in school, follow their dreams, and become leaders in their communities. Thank you!

Feb 19, 2014

Thank You for Standing Up for Girls' Education

On February 6, the United Nations commemorated the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a harmful practice that endangers the health and well-being of millions of girls and young women around the world. This is a practice that MADRE’s sister organization in Kenya, the Indigenous Information Network (IIN), works hard to prevent through the school and shelter project we run together. With your support, this project provides refuge to young Kenyan girls from pastoralist communities who are escaping FGM and early marriage.

MADRE Program Director Natalia Caruso recently spoke with Lucy Mulenkei, the director of IIN, and she asked us to pass her gratitude on to you for supporting this important project. “We are able to provide the girls with education, counseling and trainings on women’s rights and reproductive and sexual health,” Lucy told us. “Your support helps provide an important and crucial alternative for young girls: a chance to complete their education. Thank you.”

With your continued support, IIN can strengthen their efforts to advocate for girls' education and put an end to FGM and forced early marriage. Thank you!

Nov 20, 2013

Thanks for keeping the shelters up and running!

Thank you so much for your support of MADRE’s “Nanyori” Shelter Network, a network of six shelter schools for young Indigenous girls from impoverished communities who are escaping forced early marriage and female genital mutilation. With your continued support, we were recently able to send a contribution to our local partners at the Indigenous Information Network (IIN) to keep the shelter schools up and running! With this recent support, the Nanyori Shelter Network can:

  • Buy school uniforms for 3 new students
  • Provide school supplies and personal hygiene products to 3 students
  • Buy new books and supplies for 3 classrooms
  • Cover tuition fees for 3 girls to attend one year of school

Thank you so much for supporting this important work! With the sometimes prohibitive cost of supplies covered, these students can now focus on their education, a critical step in obtaining employment and tackling poverty. Thank you!

Aug 22, 2013

Education is a universal human right

In its recent issue of Nomadic News, MADRE sister organization the Indigenous Information Network (IIN) wrote about the importance of education for girls from nomadic and pastoral communities. Education is a universal human right, and yet many girls face barriers to accessing it.

Lack of adequate sanitation facilities and affordable sanitary napkins mean that during menstruation, girls often avoid school altogether. And a heavy workload at home, including household chores and looking after younger siblings and sick family members, also contributes to girls’ poor attendance in school.

But most importantly, IIN reported that social attitudes must be changed to ensure that all Kenyan girls receive the education they deserve. For girls from poor communities, forced early marriage is common, as families resort to getting money from dowries. By sensitizing nomadic and pastoral communities about the benefits of continued education for girls, we can help ensure that education is accessible and tailored to the life cycle needs of all adolescent girls.

At the schools in the Nanyori Shelter Network that you help support, girls from nomadic and pastoral communities receive the education and support they deserve. Here, they are protected from the harmful, traditional practices, like female genital mutilation and early forced marriage, and can learn and thrive.

In May, after Lucy Mulenkei, director of IIN, visited New York, she brought back with her a donation of school supplies and feminine hygiene products put together through the generous support of our MADRE community. With these new notebooks, crayons, markers, sanitary pads and panty liners, girls in the Nanyori Shelter Network will continue to study and live in health and comfort throughout the year. Thank you!

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Project Leader

Yifat Susskind

New York, New York United States

Where is this project located?