Apply to Join
Jul 28, 2016

Lucy's Story and the WISER Class of 2015

Lucy, WISER Intern and c/o 2015 alumna
Lucy, WISER Intern and c/o 2015 alumna

“During graduation, I was unbelievably happy. When my name was called, I felt so proud of myself. My family knew that moment was the end of a lifelong goal, and they were proud of me too. My sister immediately told me that she wanted to study, to learn, to be like me – to be a WISER Girl.”

When Lucy first came to WISER, she had ambitious goals. She wanted to be the first in her family to finish high school. She wanted to be the first in her family to pass the Kenyan national exam. She wanted to be the first person in her entire village to join a university.

Four years later, she’s done all of those things.

After graduating #2 in the WISER class of 2015, Lucy is getting ready to begin her studies at Kenyatta University, where she will pursue a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Yet even before beginning college, Lucy is finding ways to give back to WISER. She is currently an Intern at the WISER school, and while she enjoys her job responsibilities, she enjoys the chance to be a role model to other girls even more.

Recently, I asked Lucy: “Do you think you can be a role model to other girls?”

Her answer made it clear:

“Not can be. I am. The comments I get in my village are wonderful. Some girls are asking me, how did you make it? They want to go to school, my sisters want to be like me. I’m an example to my community. I’m the first in my village to get a degree! I’m the first to go to university. So everyone looks to me and I’ve become the role model I wanted to be. Now, I can encourage girls everywhere.”

Lucy is only one of the incredible success stories to come out of the WISER class of 2015 that graduated this June. All 27 graduates qualified for university admission and 16 WISER Girls have received full government scholarships. WISER Girls have been accepted to programs in everything from Agricultural Economics to Electrical Engineering and many of them will be the “first in their family” – just like Lucy.

Stories like Lucy’s are dreams coming true, and none of these dreams would be possible without you. When you provide support, you make dreams a reality, and you help build a network of driven, successful, brilliant young women.

 So while we at WISER are certainly thankful for your support and dedication, we’ll let you hear it from Lucy in her own words:

“WISER gave me more than I can say. Finding an opportunity like this is hard, but to actually be given it is a blessing. My siblings didn’t go to high school because of poverty. WISER and the people that support WISER opened the door for me… I’m so thankful to WISER supporters. I hope they find the kind heart to help other girls in the same way that they helped me.”

The WISER Graduating Class of 2015
The WISER Graduating Class of 2015

Links:

May 23, 2016

Educating Girls in Rural Kenya

Meet Carol
Meet Carol

WISER International is a nonprofit 501c3 community development organization that supports education, health, and economic development activities in Muhuru Bay, Kenya with the main focus of empowering girls. Our flagship program is a secondary boarding school for girls.

Why WISER?

WISER’s mission is to empower girls through health and education.

Before WISER, only one girl from Muhuru Bay in 30 years attended a university. Now, 85% of WISER alumni attend higher education and many have the opportunity to study in STEM fields. WISER is committed to high quality STEM education for girls and our students outcompete boys.

WISER takes a holistic approach to the boarding school environment. Unlike other schools in the area, WISER provides everything a girl needs to be successful including – clothes, books, safe housing, female role models, leadership training, healthy food, mosquito nets, HIV education, and essential medicine. The program includes psychological support and counseling, as one third of our students are orphans. In addition, sexual abuse is common in the Kenya education system and many students have histories of trauma. Teachers, staff, and administration live on campus with the girls, providing them with guidance and support throughout the year.

WISER has also implemented community health programs including – information about sexual and reproductive health, HIV testing and counseling, sanitary pad provision to over 400 girls, sustainable gardening, and clean drinking water for 5,000 people.

WISER girls have all the tools to become empowered and successful global citizens.

What Is Happening Now?

The WISER boarding school is under construction to double WISER’s enrollment from 120 to 240 and provide — a new science lab, more student and teacher housing, and an event hall to host community events.
 
WISER is also expanding its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs and planning additional outreach into the community. 
 
WISER’s Impact

85% of all WISER girls attend college or university.

WISER has had three graduating classes since opening its doors in 2010.
 
30% of the WISER girls are orphans.
 
Unlike the 70% attrition due to pregnancy in neighboring schools, the WISER secondary school has had zero attrition.
 
Despite taking low performing students, the WISER secondary school is ranked in the top 5% of private secondary schools in Kenya.

In 2016, the first class of WISER girls will be graduating from a university.

Meet Carol

Carol was fearful she would never go to school due to the death of her father and her mother’s long-term sickness. WISER has made her hopeful again.

“I want to go out and get a job, a successful one, and bring my siblings back to school,” she said.

Meet Christine

Christine is a member of WISER’s second graduating class.Currently a student at Kenyatta University, Christine is the first member of her entire family to attend a university.

She hopes to one day become a teacher.

Thank You Donors!

On behalf of the WISER Internatiaonl board of directors, we would like to thank you for your loyalty to the WISER girls. Because of your donations, girls have access to everything they need to succeed. Their success is your success! Thank you!

Meet Christine
Meet Christine
Purity enjoys spending time in the school garden.
Purity enjoys spending time in the school garden.

Links:

Mar 6, 2016

Carol and Velma join WISER and WISER Match at 9 tomorrow.

Carol and Velma, class of  WISER 2019,
Carol and Velma, class of WISER 2019,

Getting to know two of WISER’s newest faces!

And... WISER Match at 9am ET tomorrow!

March 7 is the Global Giving UK's "We Believe in Girls" 50% Match Campaign. Can you support Carol and Velma then? Donations help us receive bonuses! Give the same way you do in the US, but matches only happen via the UK site. You can give all that week, but matching day is only March 7 (UK time.)

On March 7 starting at 9 am ET go to the Global Giving UK site to help us get bonuses and matching!  WISER Global Giving UK

Meet Carol and Velma.

There may be nothing more intimidating and miraculous than the opportunity to begin a life-changing experience. For Carol and Velma, two of the newest students at the WISER school in Muhuru Bay, Kenya, the start of the new school year is the start of a new way of life: one in which they will find ways to escape poverty, and to help their families. Both girls have experienced hardship at home and in their studies, and upon reaching WISER, a sense of excitement and appreciation drives them to take control of their own education. “It has always been a dream,” says Carol. The sentiment is echoed by Velma who says, “without WISER, I would not know what to do. I would be waking up, planting in the field, coming back… it would be so hard.”  WISER is delighted to have these young scholars on-campus and learn about  their journeys and their dreams.

Before Carol came to WISER, she, like many girls in Muhuru, found herself constantly in and out of school due to a lack of school fees. This led her to fall behind in class, as she was sent home again and again to retrieve money she did not have. “My fellow students went on with the class syllabus, and I was way too slow. It was hard,” said Carol. To make things more challenging, Carol was faced with the death of her father at a young age. Speaking of this time, she said, “my father was the backbone. He was encouraging us to live. My brother loved my father very much… it was terrible for my mom, she was always crying. I felt like committing suicide.” It was just after this taxing time that Carol received a scholarship from WISER, and while she is nervous she feels like she has already reached a goal: “I’m in a good life now, and I want my friends and family to be there too. I will help them.” Carol hopes to be a lawyer, and says she believes law has the power to change Kenya’s direction for the better. When asked about what she hopes for her time at WISER, Carol thinks of what the school means for her and her family, saying “I want to go out and get a job, a successful one, and I can finally bring my siblings back to school.” For a girl that spent so much time in an unsure state, WISER has provided the stability that enables Carol to learn and live while gaining the skills necessary to support the family she loves.

Like Carol, Velma spent a considerable amount of time being sent home by teachers to retrieve schools fees that she could not get from her parents, who are currently unemployed. Velma says her family has had some hard times, and that her sister, who did not finish school, is currently “married to a bad man- he is travelling and has no money… all the time.” Velma also struggled to balance her family life, lack of school fees, and her education, explaining that “my father was extremely sick. I was told to go home instead of attending school… education was running out of my hands. The teachers and students were ahead and I was struggling to catch up.” But finally at WISER, Velma feels a sense of belonging that she has been missing: “When I came to WISER, I was recognized. I was accepted.” Particularly, Velma has fallen in love with the teaching style at WISER, saying that “the way they are teaching- it’s quality. In public schools, the teachers were always absent. Teachers here have passion. I know I’m going to pass because I feel ready with them.” Velma is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her aunt, who is a former WISER girl herself, and encouraged Velma to strive to be at WISER. Velma hopes to be a nurse, because she believes that helping patients is the perfect way to bring gratification into a life. All in all, Velma is ready to take on the challenge of being a WISER girl, and says that, although she has only been in school a short time, she is impressed: “they are treating me well, they give me everything I want. People always know what they are doing here at WISER.”

With your support we have educated over 200 girls like Carol and Velma, and are expanding to take in another 240.

Can you ally with these hardworking girls on March 7 during Global Giving UK's 50% Match? Do you believe in girls?  WISER Global Giving UK

Your donations bring in matching funds and bonuses for the girls!

Warmest wishes.

Sherryl

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.