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 Education  Kenya Project #44885

Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!

by Dignitas Project
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!
Enable Girls in Kenya to Thrive and Succeed!

When schools closed in Kenya in March 2020, we wondered how best to support the girls on our Dottie Scholars leadership training and scholarship program who were now at home.  In many ways, our support for them was more important that ever, as they and their families tried to navigate the challenges of school closures, economic shut-down, loss of income and all that that entails.

We first worked to keep their education on track.  Our team sprung into action to make sure each girl had a device and the airtime they needed to stay engaged with their learning. We reached out to their school teachers to offer support and make sure they would keep every girl engaged.

Secondly, with the planned leadership development activities for the year now in question, we planned weekly group mentoring sessions.  These sessions covered a range of themes such as keeping safe at home and online, how to deal with gender based violence, menstrual health and how to manage your time and talent as a young leader.

Here are just a few highlights from the girls themselves:

 “This is what I have learned: Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are”. Dangers and benefits of social media and also how to use it properly. Who, how and why I make my choices. I learnt more about reproductive health. I learnt more on ways to manage stress, trauma and anxiety. And I got more aware about Gender based violence.  I realized that there a lot of things about life that I don’t know but thanks to you I am aware of some of them now.  What I learnt from the sessions and activities we did definitely gave me a new perspective and point of view and introduced me to new techniques." (Sarah)

"I would encourage especially the girls to speak out for themselves and learn that they are never at fault for the violation of their rights for example Rape instances at times they say that the girl is at fault because of how she was dressed before she got raped. But for me it is my duty to educate them that they're not to be blamed and that they should not hesitate to report any case of violation. The sessions that I’ve been having helped me to know that in my future life things will always be changing and that I should always be open minded to adjust more easily to the people around me and the activities that happen around me." (Janet)

"I got to know that I am special in my own way and that I should appreciate what everyone is. My involvement and participation in this has broadened my view of the community and helped me to accept the changes around me, for I now realize change will not always be awful but can be exciting and enjoyable at times. What I would change is the number of people attending the meetings because I know the more the people the more people are influenced positively and assisted in their lives." (Sally)

A special thanks to Dignitas team members Mercy, Alice and Steve who kept these sessions going, and made sure the girls received consistent support.  Some of the girls have begun to report back to school, and we look forward to each one getting their education back on track.  The support raised through this project made this work possible - thank you for being part of an important solution in such a critical season!

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Teacher Margaret
Teacher Margaret

According to UNESCO, school closures have impacted 63 million teachers and 1.3 billion students globally, including 700 million in developing countries. Schools in Kenya will be closed until at least September by which time our girls will have been home for six months.  

In Kenya’s marginalized communities, home to many of the girls, there is a very real struggle for survival. COVID-19 has brought with it severe social, health and economic hardship, and these hit the poorest communities the hardest. In these communities, more than 60% of families were unable to access public education before COVID-19, as a result of poverty and systemic exclusion. Marginalised by poverty, these are the same families excluded from a myriad of essential health and education services now.

Dignitas has been working to deliver continuous support to the girls in our program.  Our first priority has been to make sure they are safe and protected from harm in this season.  Our second priority has been to help them keep their education on track.  And finally, our third priority, has been to offer them mentoring, support, and leadership development training on a weekly basis whilst they are at home.

Whilst many of our originally planned actviites have had to be postponed or cancelled, we have been able to utilise project funds to deliver this support which has been an important lifeline. We intend to use our weekly sessions to keep track of the support the girls need and do all that we can to respond.  

Dignitas has also been working to equip our alumni to support learning and well-being at a community level whilst children are at home. These teachers will also mentor and support the girls during school closures.  Teacher Margaret says; "I am grateful to Dignitas because my students will gain a lot. We will continue to support our students...things are difficult for people & so education has been affected very much."

We are so grateful to everyone who has made this support possible.  Thank you for your generosity and compassion!

 

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Organization Information

Dignitas Project

Location: Oakland, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @dignitasproject
Project Leader:
Gloria Omuya
Nairobi, Nairobi County Kenya
$4,362 raised of $5,000 goal
 
20 donations
$639 to go
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