Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya

by Kakenya's Dream
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Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Leadership Training for Girls in Maasai Kenya
Our new mentors undergo training
Our new mentors undergo training

Through its Network of Excellence, Kakenya’s Dream administers a mentorship program to provide our students with a safe space to build their self-esteem, develop their voices, and overcome negative peer pressure. Before COVID-19, we partnered with an external organization to find recent college graduates to serve as mentors by working with students at our campuses, holding sessions on personal and professional development, and communicating with their mentees throughout the year. 

This year, we adjusted our mentorship model so that over 200 of our current scholars will be paired with 46 KCE alumnae who are currently enrolled in college. Having once been in the shoes of our current students, our new mentors will be better able to identify with the challenges their mentees face. We are currently training alumnae to become front line experts, leaders, and positive role models for our younger girls, and, in the process, continue to challenge the outdated social and cultural norms in their communities. Following the training, mentors and mentees will meet every week to assist with schoolwork and provide support around communication, health, leadership, and job preparation.

Ann, who I remember from when she first enrolled at KCE I,  is one of our new mentors. Her time at KCE has motivated her to give back to her community and inspire future generations:

“The mentorship program at Kakenya’s Dream is important because I am learning how to guide my peers and those who are younger than I. Previously, we were mentored by people who we did not even know, but now we can mentor younger girls in our program since we can relate more with them. I will be able to empower my mentees to avoid the harmful cultural practices in our community...I will be able to tell them the importance of education in their lives and the dangers of getting married at an early age.”

We can’t wait to see how women like Ann will impact current KCE students. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping us inspire a future generation of changemakers in rural Kenya.

Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year,

Kakenya

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Receiving a solar radio in the Angaza care package
Receiving a solar radio in the Angaza care package

Our planned activities for the year have, of course, taken an unexpected turn with the reality of the global health pandemic. With the spread of COVID-19 and school closures around the world, many aspects of Kakenya’s Dream’s operations - including our Health and Leadership Training - have been delayed, suspended, or otherwise modified. Kenya's schools have been closed since March and the government recently announced that they will remain closed through the rest of the year. Our girls do not have access to any kind of learning materials in their homes without Kakenya’s Dream support and, if left unaddressed, this would cause them to fall behind their peers in more resourced locations who are able to continue learning through radio programs, Whatsapp, and other media. We also know that in addition to missing academics, girls are lacking medical care, counseling, and reproductive health attention and information that we provide. Unfortunately, the longer our girls are away from school, the greater their risks and challenges are when they finally do return. 

Our team has quickly pivoted our planned activities to immediately address these concerns and have been busy implementing new measures to protect and support our girls through this time. In May, we launched the Angaza Project, meaning “shine” in Swahili. Through the Angaza Project, our team is providing care packages to our students and their families that include the basic necessities they lack at home, such as soap, feminine hygiene products, and food staples. We also purchased solar-powered radios to allow the girls to access the lessons being delivered through national and local radio stations by the Ministry of Education, as well as solar lights, story books, textbooks, and other learning materials. We will be regularly distributing supplies as long as the crisis continues and hope that this support will mitigate some of the challenges our girls are facing while at home.

Additionally, COVID has only exacerbated the already alarmingly high rates of teen pregnancy in our region. Even before the pandemic, our communities have the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the country, currently at 40% - over twice the national average of 18%. Our team recognizes we need a stronger prevention strategy to combat early pregnancy and provide training on healthy interpersonal relationships. Beginning this fall/early winter, we plan to launch a community advocacy radio program to educate teenagers and young adults about how to be in control of their bodies, avoid unintended pregnancies, and learn about responsible family planning. We look forward to sharing more information in the next upcoming report - in the meantime, please sign up for our newsletter and connect with us via social media to get the latest updates!

Thank you for your continued belief in our work and your unwavering support of our girls. We are in this together.

An eighth grader with her Angaza care package
An eighth grader with her Angaza care package
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KCE 4th grader
KCE 4th grader

We hope you are staying safe and healthy as we all face unprecedented challenges. 

Thanks to your support, we started our year off with lots of exciting activities. We completed the pilot of our new Kakenya’s Dream Health and Leadership training at ten partner schools, and we began the process of gathering feedback from participants, facilitators, and school leadership to make our program even stronger for the next round of training. Then the global health crisis put everything on pause.

In times of uncertainty such as this, I see the best of our community emerge. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all who have asked, “How can we help?” As one of our most important supporters, I want to tell you how the pandemic has impacted our programs.

Like in many parts of the world, all schools in Kenya are closed until further notice, including our two campuses and the schools where we deliver trainings. The reality of a global health crisis is particularly devastating for vulnerable populations. We are more concerned than ever for the wellbeing of the girls we serve, as they will be more susceptible while at home to female genital mutilation, teen pregnancy, and early marriages. Schools often provide them with physical safety as well as nutrition.

Another major threat we currently see is the spread of misinformation and knowledge gaps. Most parents in our region are illiterate, and few have access to the internet. My team and I are actively looking for ways to continue to support students and their families as we navigate this difficult time. Aside from your amazing financial support, if you are looking for ways to help, here are some ideas:

  • Share our work: While we are physically distanced, we can still connect socially. Continue to spread the word about Kakenya’s Dream and share our work with others who care about educating and empowering vulnerable girls.
  • Create a fundraiser: Visit our website to learn how you can create your own fundraiser or host a virtual party for Kakenya’s Dream.
  • Communicate: Although our staff is working remotely, we are still available and want to hear from you, our Kakenya’s Dream family.

Please remember: YOU make our work possible. Thank you for standing with us in good times and these difficult times.

We will get through this together and continue to build a better world for everyone.

In solidarity,

Kakenya

Girls' rights are human rights
Girls' rights are human rights

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What a year! As 2019 comes to a close, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have helped us accomplish this year. Thanks to you, we have improved our Health and Leadership Training program this year and launched a new model that is creating lasting change. On behalf of all of the students in our training program, we are so grateful for your support.

As you may know from our recent updates, our trainers are teaching students during weekly after-school meetings at 10 schools throughout our region. This new model has allowed us to dig deeper into our curriculum with the same students every week over the past 6 months. In November, we held our first graduation to celebrate the students who have now completed our trainings. To help us commemorate the students’ success, we hosted Mercy Nzioki from the Population Council, who spoke about the importance of ending gender based violence and the value of our Health and Leadership trainings. The Chief of our community also attended to congratulate the students and join in the celebrations. 

After the graduation, we held a meeting with our trainers to discuss the lessons learned, including successes and experiences they had with the students during the semester. We are thrilled to announce that our new model is achieving our hopes of a stronger impact on the students and, we are excited to continue to work with our trainers to build our trainings’ impact. 

In 2019, we reached 1,661 students through our Health and Leadership Training program. In 2020, we look forward to training 2,000 more. We could not do it without you! Thank you again for your wonderful support. Our team, and especially these students, are truly grateful for change you are making possible.

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Greetings from Enoosaen!

Thank you so much for your continued support for our Health and Leadership Training program. With your help, we are improving our training model and strengthening our impact for students across rural Kenya. 

As you may recall from our last update, we launched our new Health and Leadership training model over the summer at 10 schools in our region. While in the past we delivered our curriculum in two-day monthly trainings for different clusters of schools, we are now providing it as a weekly after-school club. This format allows us to go deeper into the topics with the same students on a regular basis, and we are excited to see the results. We will also be working with parents, teachers, and community members to ensure that students are supported as they learn about their health and rights. 

Transitioning to this model also allows us to better capture feedback from the students and facilitators. At Kakenya’s Dream, we know there is always room to grow and improve. So, after this pilot phase is completed in January, we will regroup to revise our curriculum and make any necessary changes based on what we learn from the trainers and students’ evaluations. We know this will make our program even stronger as we expand to new schools in 2020 and beyond.

Thank you for joining us on this journey of improving our model and bringing transformational trainings to at-risk youth in rural Kenya. We look forward to sharing more updates as the pilot continues! 

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Organization Information

Kakenya's Dream

Location: Arlington, VA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @KakenyasDream
Project Leader:
Kakenya Ntaiya
Founder
Arlington, VA United States
$25,692 raised of $35,000 goal
 
392 donations
$9,308 to go
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