Since its launch in 2018, we've supported 49 girls with scholarships, including room and board, school supplies, leadership training and life skills training to further empower each student. Preference was given to girls at risk to or escaping Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM), and who want to advocate against both practices within their own communities.
We can break this cycle for girls in Kajiado County – and this is only made possible through your generous support.
Thanks to you, we’ve been able to reach bright students like Evalyne, Abigael and Naomi who I’m excited to introduce you to.
Evalyne is from an impoverished household in a remote village in Kajiado. Her father is a livestock herder, and her elder sister did not attend school and was married off at a young age. Her dream was to complete her education to help her family improve their economic security.
Evalyne is now in year two of secondary school. She is the only girl in her family who has reached this level of education, and she does not take it for granted. “I am happy because I am getting closer to my dream and with this help, I will work hard to become a teacher. I thank Amref for this opportunity,” she says.
17-year-old Abigael dreams of becoming a lawyer. Thanks to the scholarship, she has been able to excel in her favorite subjects: English and Chemistry and is now in year two. For Abigael, the scholarship opportunity meant that her single mother would not have any more sleepless nights, stressed about how to pay for Abigael’s school fees.
“My future aspiration is to work hard and help the girls in my community who cannot afford school fees, just like Amref helped me,” Abigael tells us.
Naomi, the oldest of the three is now in year four of secondary school. Naomi comes from a village where she is now a role model for many girls. Through training with Amref, Naomi inspires girls in her village to refuse to undergo FGM.
“Amref enabled me to go to school because my parents value our traditions and were not keen on educating girls,” Naomi says.
In the communities where these girls are from, schools have served as a safe-haven for girls, where they can escape their families' pressure to undergo FGM/C and CEFM. With schools closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many girls have been forced to return home where they may be at risk to FGM/C and CEFM. This has led to increased reports of gender-based violence in the area, including FGM/C, CEFM, and teen pregnancies.
A national helpline for GBV received 1,108 calls in the month of June, compared to just 86 in February.
It is clear that our work is not yet done.
With your support, we'll be able to continue supporting girls at risk to FGM and child marriage even while schools are closed. We can establish a Girls' Mentorship Home Visit Program for 45 girls and provide each of them with Dignity Kits - backpacks pre-packed with sanitary napkins, underwear, soap, towels, a flashlight, a toothbrush and other necessities. We can also provide 200 girls with solar powered lights and a radio, enabling them to enable them to listen to radio academic lessons aired by the Kenyan government.
Please give to Amref Health Africa today and you can help us reach more girls at risk to FGM/C and CEFM.
Abigael with her mother