Education  Kenya Project #26704

Empower Kenyan Girls through Education

by Action Two Africa
Empower Kenyan Girls through Education
Empower Kenyan Girls through Education
Empower Kenyan Girls through Education
Empower Kenyan Girls through Education
Empower Kenyan Girls through Education
Empower Kenyan Girls through Education
Empower Kenyan Girls through Education
Empower Kenyan Girls through Education

Thank you to all of our donors who have supported our project Empower Kenyan Girls through Education! If you remember, this project began about two years ago right before I started the Appalachian Trail in April of 2017. We were trying to raise $1 for every mile that I walked on the 2,160 mile trail, and we have reached our goal!

The outcome because of your support has truly been successful. Funds raised during this project allowed us to support the education of four girls through our Child Sponsorship Program, which created a supportive, and empowering future for these young women in the Kiambiu, Kenya community. Thank you so much for your continued encouragement and hope that you’ve given these young women! Through education, these young women are empowered to make changes in their community and overcome the shackles of poverty. This enables them to better themselves, their communities, and the world as a whole. Give a child an education and you give them more than opportunities; you give them hope for the future, the change to make a difference, and the tools to give back. While this project is fully funded we still need your support. We ask that you help us to continue to move forward with our goal to keep children in our Program in school. If you would like to continue to support youth who are part of our Child Sponsorship Program, you can donate through our other project Sponsor a Kenyan Child’s Education found at:

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When Action Two Africa met with Alice in 2016, she was living with her sister in the Kiambiu slum. She was struggling to find stable food, shelter, clothing, and didn’t know how she would pay her school fees. Despite worrying about what she would eat every day, or if her home would withstand another rainy season, her main concern was whether or not she would be able to finish secondary school. At an early age, due to her circumstances,  Alice had lost hope that she would be able to pursue an education and fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. After Humphrey, Action Two Africa’s founding partner, met with Alice and her family, he assessed their needs, and welcomed her to our Child Sponsorship Program, where she would receive school fees and school-related necessities, stability at school, and mentoring through A2A’s program.

Upon returning to school, Alice was excited to be back and hopeful that she would eventually become a teacher. She was determined to be a great student, and not let anything distract her. At first, giddy with excitement and hope, school was going well. She was getting good grades, making friends, and was happy to be working toward her goals; however, things began to change when she started experiencing peer pressure at school, which negatively impacted her grades, attendance, and attitude about school. She was lured into the adolescent pull of rebellion and didn’t know how to get out. She knew things had to change in order to continue with school and have a future, but she was struggling, and didn’t know what to do.

Her grades began to decline, but when Humphrey was notified, he went to talk to Alice about the struggles happening at school. Several meetings and mentoring sessions later, Alice was able to see that she had to make a choice. She could either continue to skip school and fail out, or she could pursue her goals and continue forward with school. Throughout the process Humphrey encouraged her to think about her future and what she truly desired in life, but most importantly, he simply listened to her.

We’re happy to say that through mentoring and support, Alice made the decision to stick with school. Today, she is in Form 4 (a senior in high school). She is committed to her studies, and is even top of her class!

When Humphrey sent me this story from the ground in Kenya, I starting thinking about how truly important it is to have people who encourage and support us not only through our struggles, but also through the good times. We are thankful for Humphrey and his dedication to mentoring the children in our Program, and also thankful for all of you who have encouraged us through words, kindness, and donations, to continue doing the work we do at Action Two Africa. Being there for someone and supporting them, whether it be a friend, neighbor, mentee, stranger, or loved one, really does make a positive impact. But this is more than just a nice story. It’s also a challenge. We each have resources and talents that position us to help others. So my question to you is also a challenge: Who needs your encouragement today? Whose life will you reach out and touch today? Who in your community can you, through kind words and listening, impact today?

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Ilhan and Jackline
Ilhan and Jackline

Ilhan Omar spent a good portion of her childhood living in a refugee camp in Kenya. When she was 14 years old, she had the opportunity to move to the United States and later, receive a college education.

On November 6, 2018, Ilhan Omar became the first Somali American elected to the United States Congress, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, the first Muslim refugee to be elected to the House of Representatives, and the first woman of color to serve as a U.S. Representative from Minnesota.

What does this have to do with Action Two Africa? While Ilhan was never a part of any of our programs during her time in Kenya, she is a model of just how incredible the achievements of young, educated women can be. With her recent election, she has shown us, and the thousands of young women living in poverty in Kenya, that there is no obstacle that can’t be overcome, no achievement that can’t be won, no dream that can’t be realized by young women in Kenya.

Ilhan is now over 8,000 miles away from the refugee camp where she lived in Kenya, but 8,000 miles isn’t a distance that her influence and inspiration can’t reach across, and remind us that, if given the right opportunities,  young women everywhere, no matter their background, are capable of great things.

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     Numbers and statistics are great, but today, I want to tell you a story.

     When Christina and I were in Kenya, working in the Kiambiu slum, the issue of HIV and AIDS came up a lot. It was my understanding that they were the cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths in Africa each year. But one day, while talking to Ruth, an HIV positive woman living in the community, she corrected my misunderstanding. “HIV doesn’t kill people, and neither does AIDS.” she said matter-of-factly. “What do you mean?” I asked “If HIV and AIDS aren’t killing people, then what is?” She looked me right in the eye and replied, “Stigma.”

     Ruth found out she was HIV positive 10 years earlier and since then had come to accept her status. She took antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) every day to keep her immune system strong, and for 10 years, she remained fairly healthy. But in the years since she started disclosing her status to people, discrimination plagued her life.

     First it was her family. She told them about her newly discovered status, and they rejected her, kicking her and her three boys out of the house. Then her neighbors. She informed them that she was HIV positive, and they stopped letting their children come to her house and play with her kids. Then her community. She began to advocate against HIV/AIDS stigma, freely divulging her status, and suddenly she was being harassed in public, humiliated by old friends, and shunned by everyone she knew.

     It's precisely these reactions that keep hundreds and thousands of people from getting tested each year. The fear of humiliation, isolation, harassment, and rejection. Some people kill themselves after they find out they have HIV. It’s too much for them to bear. Others simply deny it, pretending they don’t know and refusing to alter their lifestyle. Hundreds of clinics in Kenya, and dozens surrounding Kiambiu offer ARVs for free to HIV positive men and women. And yet many people still refuse to get them. Refuse to take them. Pretend like they aren’t there.

     The lack of education surrounding this disease is exactly what makes it so deadly. Thousands of people are living prosperous lives while still dealing with the reality that they are HIV positive. Thousands more are dying because they are too scared to admit the truth to themselves.

     But there is hope. Ruth told me another story, about a time she talked a man out of ending his own life after finding out he was HIV positive. She cleared up some misconceptions he had about his condition, and then started coaching him back toward the road of stability and hope.

     This is just a fraction of what education does for a community. It allows women like Ruth to combat, not just the devastating effects of HIV and AIDS, but the even deadlier factor that continues to wreak havoc on Kiambiu and other communities like it: stigma.

“Young people must have access to information, HIV testing and treatment free of stigma and discrimination." -Jantine Jacobi (UNAIDS Country Director, Kenya)


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Humphrey meeting with Jackline on a school visit.
Humphrey meeting with Jackline on a school visit.

Women are powerful, and we have the desire and drive to improve the world around us, but sometimes our voices and actions go unheard or are never developed because of a lack of opportunity. Sometimes that opportunity is taken away because of culture, sometimes because of socioeconomic status, and sometimes because of a lack of education.

At Action Two Africa, we believe that strong women’s voices ought to be heard. We want to encourage them, and help them develop those voices and use them to change their communities. Part of how we do that is by helping them attain an education, which allows them to be agents of change in their communities regarding issues relating to access to education, rights, and opportunities.

One of the voices we want you to hear is Jackline’s. A few years ago Jackline’s father passed away. She and her four siblings had to move in with their grandfather and his eight children. The 14 of them lived in a two bedroom home with dirt floors. They ate one meal a day and shared a pit toilet with their other neighbors. They knew there was no way they would be able to pay for Jackline’s school fees, so her grandfather reached out to Action Two Africa for help. Jackline was enrolled in our Child Sponsorship Program, and is currently thriving in school. She recognizes the importance of her education and knows that it will open doors to allow her to create positive change for others in her community. “I have realized that I can do my very best in school, and that I have the potential to have a bright future,” she says, “when I finish secondary school, I want to go to college, so that I can become an important person in my community who can help others and make changes.”

Much like Jackline, there are many other young women wanting the opportunity to get a quality education so that they can create change within their communities. Only a few barriers exist to this education, but being able to afford tuition is one of the biggest of them. Everyone who contributes to what we are doing here at Action Two Africa is helping young women, like Jackline, have their powerful voices can be heard. These women are agents of chance, and if this one small barrier is removed, their voices will make a lasting impression on their lives, their communities, and the entire world.

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Organization Information

Action Two Africa

Location: Nairobi, Rift Valley - Kenya
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Christina Carlson
Nairobi, Rift Valley Kenya

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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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