Last Wednesday, October 11th, marked the 6th annual International Day of the Girl. The United Nations has recognized this day since 2012 as a way to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. This is a special day for Kakenya’s Dream, as it gives our students a chance to connect with other girls in the community, to learn about the importance of advocacy, and to lift their voices together in support of girls' rights.
This year, we celebrated by hosting over 500 local girls at the Kakenya Center for Excellence. The girls lauched the celebration with an art contest. which allowed them to conceptualize and creatively represent their vision for a bright future. The girls dream of becoming doctors, nurses, pilots, judges, engineers, journalists, and teachers and more, and they painted beautiful pictures of these dreams.
Later, the girls and teachers were joined by parents and members of the community. Together, they marched through the streets and market in the local village to raise awareness and to demand better opportunities and conditions for girls in Kenya and around the world.
Following the march, the participants shared a meal together on our campus. Cicilia Maito, a member of the county executive committee of Narok County and the first woman to lead the Trade, Industrialization and Cooperative Development committee, challenged the girls to be financially independent and to live up to their potential through hard work. County assembly member Mark Mukut addressed the group, as well, and pledged to invest in more opportunities for local girls.
By the end of the day, there were many of pledges and commitments by the girls and community attendees. Our collective challenge now is to hold ourselves and others accountable to these promises, to invest in girls and bring about systematic change for girls in Kenya and everywhere.
Thank you, as always, for being a fellow supporter of girls' education and empowerment. We could not do this life-changing work without you!
I hope you have had a wonderful summer! Our girls in Enoosaen continued with their academic schedule through the summer months, with a three-week holiday period in August. As they return for their final term of the year, I am thrilled to share some exciting news with you.
Last November, I spoke with more than 250 girls hoping for one of the 40 spots in 2017’s fourth grade class. Most of these girls would be the first in their families to finish primary school. My heart breaks turning any girl away, knowing that without our support, they will undergo female genital mutilation and early child marriage. This reality motivates me to dream bigger. As we look toward the rest of this year and into 2018, I am thrilled to announce that Kakenya’s Dream is launching an expansion campaign to reach even more youth with life-changing education and training through our three programs.
We are building a new K-12 school campus, tripling the number of girls we are able to enroll each year. Construction will begin soon, and our first class of 9th graders will enter our new high school program in early 2018. These girls will have access to high-quality secondary education, with state-of-the art science laboratories, a computer lab, and a large library. The campus will also include a youth-friendly health clinic, ensuring adolescents across the community can access vital services and resources. We will create three early childhood learning centers, one on the new campus and two in neighboring villages, giving hundreds of young children from kindergarten through third grade a solid academic foundation. This will be a locally-sourced, eco-friendly campus incorporating community members and local businesses in its construction.
As always, thank you so much for your support. Your gifts are truly changing the lives of young girls in Kenya and providing them access to quality education and a bright future.
Eight years ago, KCE completed the first building on our campus. It was small, with space for only one classroom, but it provided a safe environment for our first 26 students to learn and grow.
Today, more than 180 girls call the KCE campus home. They live in comfortable dormitories, learn in bright classrooms, and eat and play in the spacious multi-purpose hall. KCE’s newest space—the brand new library—is the final piece in our campus puzzle. After months of careful planning and construction, the library was completed at the end of March. The many shelves, movable tables, and bright blue chairs make the library a perfect space for our growing scholars to learn, create, and collaborate.
Our girls love to read, so it's no surprise that the new library is already the busiest place on campus. Students of all ages drop by to find new books to read, to finish their homework, and to study with their peers.
Teachers are also already utilizing the new space. As soon as the library opened, English teacher Mr. Okello brought his 7th graders to the library to practice their reading comprehension skills. He says the library’s setup allows the girls to help each other learn and work side-by-side. He also looks forward to seeing more books added to the shelves, which will encourage his students to read more for pleasure.
As shelves fill and time passes, we can’t wait to witness the positive impact the new library will have on our growing scholars and community. Thank you for being a part of our community and for helping make new facilities like the library possible. Our girls' lives have been changed forever by people like you!
Hello from Enoosaen and from all our girls at the Kakenya Center for Excellence!
Our year is off to a great start, with 186 students in grades 4-8 -- the largest study body we have ever had! In January, we welcomed our new class of fourth graders into the KCE family. They were all equipped with uniforms and learning materials and are now settled into life at our school. We are so excited to see their transformation as they grow in confidence and knowledge in a nurturing, all-girls environment.
After a short mid-term break, the girls returned to campus this week and are back in their daily academic and extracurricular routines. We are especially looking forward to two exciting upcoming events in the second half of the term. First, our brand new school library is nearing completion, which will give the girls a quiet place to study provide a new home for our supply of literature. Second, the season of athletic competitions has begun, and our girls are doing very well in volleyball and netball. They are heading to regional competitions next week, and we can’t wait to cheer them on!
Last week, on March 8th, our girls in Enoosaen joined with women and men around the world to celebrate International Women’s Day. They marked the occasion by sharing their hopes and dreams for the year 2030. We are so inspired by their personal ambitions and also for their vision for a better world – one of equal opportunity and dignity for all. As our friends and supporters, we wanted to share some of these dreams with you. Your support is making it possible for our girls to dream big and to believe that they can achieve their goals.
Thank you, as always, for believing in our mission to transform the lives of vulnerable girls through education!
With the holidays upon us, I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I reflect on the amazing support you have given to our girls. 100% have avoided female genital mutilation, remained unmarried, and stayed in school. Thanks to you, hundreds of girls are receiving the life-changing education they need to achieve their dreams, lift up their families, and transform the world.
The difference you’re making in the lives of our girls was shining brighter than ever on the International Day of the Girl. Every year on October 11th, communities and organizations around the world celebrate this special day. In our community, parents and friends gathered at the school to celebrate with our girls. In addition to singing, dancing, and eating together to honor the day, we also asked our girls to complete the statement “I am a girl, I have the power to…” Here’s what they said:
“I am a girl; I have the power to be educated.”
“I am a girl; I have the power to fight for the rights of girls to be educated in society.”
“I am a girl; I have the power to be the President of Kenya.”
“I am a girl; I have the power to change my society.”
Thanks to your support, our girls not only dream of making the world a better place; they know they have the power to do it. We are preparing to begin a new school year in January and to welcome a new group of girls who will soon benefit from the education and empowerment made possible by your generosity.
On November 15th and 16th, hundreds of rising fourth grade girls came with their guardians to the Kakenya Center for Excellence boarding school for enrollment. The girls represented over a dozen schools and localities. The enrollment process involves an assessment test, interviews with the girls and their family, and gathering official information about the girl and her academic record. This year, 40 girls were selected based on need and academic ability to attend the school in January 2017. We are so excited to see their lives transformed!
Happy holidays to you and your family, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us transform the lives of girls in rural Kenya.
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