Starehe Girls' Centre and School is a national boarding school in Nairobi, Kenya, that gives access to quality secondary education and leadership opportunities to disadvantaged adolescent girls from all the counties of Kenya. The Centre provides a supportive environment where the girls develop their full academic and personal potential. The Louise Martin Memorial Scholarship provides girls access to education for all four years of secondary school.
On August 7, 1998, Dr. Louise Martin was working in Nairobi. Louise was among 12 Americans and 200 Kenyans killed in the American Embassy bombing. A lack of education is a challenge for girls in Kenya, but learning changes lives. In Louise's memory, friends, family, and colleagues at the Task Force for Global Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established an endowment to provide scholarships for disadvantaged Kenyans to attend Starehe Girls' Centre and School.
The Louise Martin Endowed Memorial Scholarship at the CDC Foundation has sponsored 13 young women through all four years of secondary school to date, and currently is supporting an additional six students. The goal is to increase the number of ongoing scholarships from six to ten. To reach this goal and in honor of the 20th anniversary of Louise's death, a colleague of Louise's from the CDC has generously pledged to match all donations dollar for dollar, up to $20,000.
Starehe educates 560 girls each year and provides scholarships for 480 of them. Starehe's motto, "Elimu Yetu, Nguvu Yetu" (Our Education, Our Strength), reflects the spirit of academic excellence found at the Centre. For the past 10 years, 95 percent of graduates have gained admission to various universities. The Centre continues to play a significant role in developing the physical, intellectual, spiritual, and social attributes of each student to compete in today's world.