Unable to afford school fees and scholastic materials, many girls in Kenya are forced to drop out before they enroll in or complete secondary school. These girls are forced to work in the home, care for younger siblings and sick relatives, and even marry and bear children at an early age. Without education, they are less able to pull themselves out of poverty, to stay healthy, to provide care to their families in the future, and to be productive members of the national economy.
The project will provide the girls with funding to cover school fees and other school costs, for example textbooks, uniforms, and in some cases, boarding fees, to complete their secondary education. The girls have been selected based on need and are all currently enrolled in secondary schools. Through this project, St. Vincent will be able to ensure continued support to take all of these girls through to their graduation --- an accomplishment acheived by less than half of all girls in Kenya.
Education has significant benefits for girls and their future families. A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult. Girls with secondary education are 6 times less likely to be married as children and an educated mother is more than twice as likely to send her children to school.