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Jan 20, 2017

A Special Story to Celebrate AWF & WISER's Success

AWF Riders support WISER during the RAAM
AWF Riders support WISER during the RAAM

When the partnership between AWF and WISER first began, we set a goal of raising $30,000 via the GlobalGiving platform through hard work, advocacy, and sharing our story.

Today, we are closing the AWF-WISER project on GlobalGiving after surpassing our target by more than $8,000. And although this single GlobalGiving project has closed, the partnership between WISER and AWF goes on as strong as ever!

As a thank you to all of you from across the globe that supported this partnership, we’d like to share a special story of success from the WISER Class of 2016, which has just completed Kenyan national exams and looks hopefully to the future.

When Lucy entered WISER’s assembly hall to begin the national exam that would determine her academic future, she did so fearlessly.

“As I walked with courage, determination, confidence, and commitment towards my (exam) after a period of 4 years at WISER, I was hopeful that I would be among the victors come 2017.”

And among the victors she would be. We’re thrilled to announce that Lucy is one fourteen different WISER Girls that have qualified for fully-funded university education in Kenya. As an academic trailblazer in her family, Lucy knows that her success comes from responsibility and hard work, and she’s welcomed that fact with open arms.

“The harder I’ve worked, the luckier I’ve been – I’ve become a brilliant young lady, a great footballer, and a role model student to this Muhuru Bay community and to my siblings …I’ve had roadblocks. Everybody has them. But obstacles don’t have to stop me.”

Looking back on her time at WISER, Lucy has two groups of people that she believes drove her to success:

Her teachers: “I’m happier than anyone in the world to have this bright future through the loving, concerned, caring teachers that have equipped me with my skills and knowledge.”

And you.

“Through all of the support from our well-wishers and donors, I’m so happy. How grateful I am to be a WISER Girl! Thank you to everyone that made this real!”

We share Lucy’s appreciation for what you’ve done to support WISER via AWF and GlobalGiving. What you’ve done is make stories like Lucy’s go from impossible and rare to a new standard of excellence for young girls in Muhuru Bay. We can’t thank you enough!

Should you wish to continue to support WISER, please join our other GlobalGiving project located here:

With much gratitude and hope for the future,

Zack Fowler

WISER Managing Director of Programs

Lucy enters her national exam
Lucy enters her national exam
Nov 16, 2016

Meeting Stress with Confidence and a Smile

Lucy enters her exam with a smile
Lucy enters her exam with a smile

“This is a high-stress time. But we are on course and keen.” – WISER principal, Dorcas Oyugi.

To say that emotions are high on WISER’s campus right now would be an understatement.

This week, WISER Girls in the final term of their fourth year will begin the national exam period that concludes their life-long journey to graduate secondary school.

Should a student pass the exam, they may be the first in their family to qualify for college admission. Preparations for this high-stakes test begin years in advance. Practice sessions for the marathon-like exam start as early as 6 months prior.

Anyone would feel nervous or fearful walking into a testing room with these stakes.

But look at Lucy.

Does that look like the face of a girl that is fearful for her future? Is this a girl that is afraid that she will not graduate?

No. This is a WISER Girl.

Emotions are high on-campus, but the highest of these emotions are hope, excitement, and optimism. Lucy has a lot riding on this exam, but if nothing else, WISER has prepared her to succeed. So yes, there is fear, but this moment is about proving her ability and knowing that all of us at WISER believe in her.

When we say that you, as donors, make empowering girls possible, we mean that you enable moments like this.

Your gifts and your support enable Lucy to have the mentors and safety she needs to wear a huge smile heading into her national exams. Your gifts ensure that Lucy is not worried about school fees, uniforms, or books while she studies. Your gifts mean that Lucy is not hungry when she sits down to take the exam nor is she sick.

Lucy’s smile is the picture of an empowered, confident, healthy female learner. Lucy’s smile is possible through you.

During this time, we want to ask that you keep the WISER Girls in your thoughts as they tackle this academic challenge. We also want to thank you for your belief in girls and your gifts that support their success and safety.

To borrow Principal Dorcas’ words, you help keep us on-course, and we’re extremely grateful for that.

Students prepare to begin their exam
Students prepare to begin their exam
Oct 25, 2016

WISER Girls Excited for Nearly-Finished Expansion

Third-year student Valary
Third-year student Valary

Like any other Sunday on WISER’s campus, a group of girls have walked to the front of the WISER assembly hall to lead their classmates in fellowship through song and dance. Only today, instead of looking out on girls huddled together in the cafeteria, they are looking out on the vast expanse of the largest hall in the entire sub-county.

The songs each Sunday might have to be a little louder from now on, and the WISER Girls are just fine with that.

Over the last few months, WISER’s campus has been home to a team of contractors helping to make WISER’s largest-ever expansion possible. In January 2017, WISER will have all-new STEM lab spaces, a computer lab, renovated dormitories and classrooms, and new housing for our teachers and their families. These new spaces will allow WISER to double the number of girls that join us each year.

Even before this happens, however, WISER Girls are getting to enjoy the completed assembly hall and larger living spaces. They’re planning ahead for new computer-based programs and projects that might be completed and brainstorming ways to welcome their new classmates.

Sheila, a second-year student, is excitedly awaiting the expansion, to say the least.

“Nothing could be more exciting than this expansion project. This impacts WISER, Muhuru, and me all very positively. This is not only an increase in student population, but a great opportunity to interact with new people!”

Valary, a third-year student, sees the nearly complete expansion as a sign of promising things to come. “The new WISER expansion will create opportunities not only for more girls, but for my sisters, my cousins, and maybe even my own future daughters,” says Valary, “Maybe they will have the chance to be WISER Girls.”

As we near the completion of our largest-ever expansion, WISER staff and students alike are reflecting on what this means for our organization. In just a few years, WISER’s campus will host twice as many girls looking to be empowered through education and health. And just a short time ago, this growth seemed far-off.

Luckily, the WISER Girls are supported by a crucial group of people – you. The global family of WISER supporters has taken our hope to one day reach more girls than ever and made it a current reality. We can’t remember a more hopeful time on campus, and we can say earnestly that this is thanks to all of you.

In the next few months, Valary, Sheila, and all of their classmates will come back from their end-of-year term break to a very different-looking home, and they wouldn’t want it any other way. Thank you, as always, for being a part of the global network that provides that hope, optimism, and growth. We couldn’t do it without you.

WISER contractor at work
WISER contractor at work
Assembly Hall construction before and after
Assembly Hall construction before and after
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