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 Education  Kenya Project #23911

AWF Supporting Girls' Education in Rural Kenya

by WISER International Vetted since 2015 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit
AWF Supporting Girls' Education in Rural Kenya
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: https://goo.gl/dSOvWm

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
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
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

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Organization Information

WISER International

Location: Durham, NC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @WISER_Intl
Project Leader:
Sherryl Broverman
Durham, NC United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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