When it comes to breaking down the complex barriers that stand in the way of girls getting an education, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Women's Global Education Project and our local partners believe that to truly create long-lasting change, the whole community must be engaged. After all, women's empowerment benefits men, too!
That's why WGEP offers after-school "child molding clubs" (CMCs) to both girls and boys. These meetings are an opportunity for all students to learn about and openly discuss topics they may not have a chance to otherwise. Additionally, students have the chance to participate in income-generating projects such as animal rearing, vegetable farming, and even a barbershop project, building on life skills they can utilize for years to come.
With the core values of "cooperation, responsibility, honesty, hard work, and unity," these clubs give an opportunity for girls and boys to explore an alternative perspective regarding the key roles that girls--and the women they will become--can play in shaping the future of their communities. These clubs encourage and involve boys in supporting girls' ability to go to school, which is an important ingredient to achieving gender equality in the long-term.
Our local partners in Kenya lead these clubs to ensure they are immediately relevant, culturally appropriate, and transformative. As always, the clubs are off to a great start in 2018! Here are just a few of the topics the 12 clubs have discussed so far:
- Interpersonal relationships
- Problem solving
- Goal setting and creative ways to achieve them
- Critical thinking
This story from a CMC teacher will give you an idea of how the discussions around gender equality are happening in real time, and how we are providing ongoing support for girls seeking an education.
One the girls in sixth grade shared her experience with others on girl/boy child relationships. She said that she was in a class of so many boys that during group discussions, she was the only girl in her group. The other groups only had two girls and six boys. This made the girl reluctant to participate in the group, which in turn resulted in her being reported to the teacher, who punished her. She urged other members that they should relate as learners and not as girls or boys. The patrons and other members were very moved by this story, and requested that other pupils share their own experiences as well.
This year, over 550 students will participate in Child Molding Clubs. Thank you for being a part of our incredible community of supporters! With your help, we will reach even more students with this exciting, essential complementary programming. We couldn't do this without your continued generosity.