It is hard to believe, but we have begun the last term of the year at the Kakenya Center for Excellence. The girls are happy to be back together, and are ready and eager to learn! The teachers and staff are thrilled to have the classrooms filled once again with energetic, smiling faces.Many of our students have overcome great obstacles to pursue an education at the Kakenya Center for Excellence and truly appreciate and understand the real gift of KCE in their lives. “Anna’s” story below provides a glimpse into how the Kakenya Center for Excellence is empowering our students and strengthening our community. It is a reminder how communities can change, one girl at a time.
Anna, now a 7th grader at KCE, was born in the village of Sikawa, an hour long journey from the KCE campus in Enoosaen. She is the second youngest of five children --- four girls
and a boy. Anna’s parents divorced bitterly when she was very young. For many years, Anna and her siblings endured hostility and cruelty from their father. Both of Anna’s older sisters were forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), a Maasai tradition that marks a girl’s passage to womanhood and early marriage. Encouraged by her mother and siblings, Anna applied and was accepted to the Kakenya Center for Excellence. With Anna’s tuition, uniform, and school materials fully funded by KCE, Anna has begun a new chapter in her life. Anna will be spared from undergoing FGM because her mother wants her daughter to pursue a new path through education.
Since beginning at KCE, Anna has blossomed. “I learn about self-esteem, confidence, and about FGM… I learn about FGM and the effects … I feel empowered.” When asked about her relationship with her father, Anna starts to cry. She is saddened by the rift in her family and the suffering of her older sisters. She cries, too, when asked about how the Kakenya Center of Excellence has impacted her life --- but these are tears of joy. Anna is keenly aware that her mother is not able to pay for her education, and she is deeply appreciative of this opportunity. Anna now dreams of becoming a policewoman and supporting her community. “Education can help me learn more things and to help many people in my country.”
The transformation that has occurred in Anna’s life would not be possible without the support we receive from our generous friends. On behalf of Anna, and all the girls we serve, thank you!