Our 2022 IDG event held at Nkararo Primary School
Earlier this month on October 11, our program team celebrated the International Day of the Girl with a community-wide informational and advocacy event. The occasion was held in partnership with six neighboring schools at the Nkakaro Primary School as part of our ongoing efforts to promote girls’ education and reaffirm the necessity of engaging diverse stakeholders in this work with 1,124 attendees. Last year, we held a ceremony at the Masurura Primary School, which is located in a region where we do not currently operate programs. 646 participants attended in total, including students, community members, and our guest speakers from the Kenyan High Court and Compassion International. Each occasion to commemorate the International Day of the Girl was a unique opportunity to raise the visibility of our organization and solidify community buy-in for our programs. These events, along with other outreach interventions, are helping shift societal attitudes towards the benefits of investing in girls and away from traditional practices like FGM and early marriage.
One way we see this change is from the high demand for enrollment at our boarding schools. Before the 2022 school year began this April, we received over 230 applicants for 40 spaces in the newest Kakenya Center for Excellence I (KCE I) Class 4 cohort and 88 applicants for our Kakenya Center for Excellence II (KCE II) Form 1 cohort. The majority of these girls, including our new students, have parents or guardians who have not completed primary school, which means that we are reaching the most vulnerable student populations in our area.
Alongside their regular school subjects, students enjoyed the resumption of extracurricular activities this academic year. The journalism club at KCE II began a student-led magazine to showcase their experiences at KCE II using poems, essays, and other original compositions. Through the club, students are developing strong critical thinking and communication skills to become empowered to speak out on challenges they face and intellectually stimulated to engage with the creative process.
Throughout July and August, our volleyball and handball teams at both schools participated in local interschool competitions. We are grateful for the opportunity our students have to partake in sports, which helps build team work, goal setting, and confidence for many of them, as well as providing an outlet for their mental and emotional health. Despite only having a short time to get back into practice, our KCE II volleyball team made it all the way to the county level! In addition to their physical excellence, several KCE II students also came in second place in a chemistry contest with other schools earlier in June as part of preparations for upcoming national exams. The girls’ resilience over the past two years, exemplified by their achievements inside and outside the classroom, continue to amaze and inspire us.
As our schools get ready to finish the 2022 school year, we want to say thank you to supporters like you, who are making sure that our students remain holistically supported and protected from harmful practices. Your dedication to their physical, academic, and emotional wellbeing is helping form the next leaders of Kenya and transforming communities for every girl to thrive. We can’t wait to share the newest updates with you in our next report!
KCE I students returning from July holiday breaks
KCE II volleyball team in action!