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
Student is congratulated after completing Training
Student is congratulated after completing Training

Thank you so much for your support of our work in rural Kenya. This summer, we have been reflecting on the reasons we believe our Health and Leadership Trainings are so crucial. Children are directly and indirectly affected by the decisions made on local, national, and global scales. Too often, they are left out of the conversations about their lives and wellbeing, even though they have a right to participate.  

In 1989, the UN General Assembly passed the resolution for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This Convention, as well as the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, protect a child’s right to grow up in a healthy, safe, and nurturing environment. The Convention also describes children’s right to their own opinions, to be listened to and respected by adults, and to be involved in matters affecting them.

At Kakenya’s Dream, we have seen that training youth on their rights and their health has empowered them to join the conversation in our community and to become their own advocates. We center our programs around the needs of youth, specifically girls who are most marginalized. Prior to attending our trainings, young girls are unaware of issues that violate their rights. In fact, in many cases, they are not fully aware of their rights as a child. This is why we created our trainings - to first educate the girl of her rights, then to empower her to act.

Through our Health and Leadership Training Camps, we invite girls and community members to realize a child’s rights together. At the end of these trainings, the girls are motivated to be advocates for their rights. By inviting family and community members to celebrate at the end of each training, we are demonstrating the importance of combining adult support with the empowerment and engagement of a child.

At Kakenya’s Dream, children are at the center of everything. We listen to them, believe in their potential, and we empower them to achieve their dreams. To learn more about how we are empowering girls in our Health & Leadership Trainings, visit our website.

Again, thank you for supporting this life-changing work. We couldn't do it without you!

 

 

Girls learn FGM and other abuses are illegal
Girls learn FGM and other abuses are illegal

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Students celebrate Zero Tolerance of FGM Day 2018
Students celebrate Zero Tolerance of FGM Day 2018

February 6th marked International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM is a dangerous violation of women and girls’ human rights. It leads to many harmful outcomes for survivors, including child marriage, leaving school, and maternal mortality. We marked this international day with students from our school and young people from the community, as well as community leaders, parents, and health professionals.

In our community, more than 80% of women have undergone FGM, but at Kakenya’s Dream, we stand with the survivors, parents, advocates, and lawmakers next door and around the world saying “no” to FGM.

Ending FGM lies at the heart of our work. When girls enroll at the Kakenya Center for Excellence boarding school, their parents or guardian sign a pledge to never permit their child to undergo FGM. In our Health & Leadership trainings, we teach young people about their rights to be free from FGM and the harmful effects it can have on womens' health. We teach both boys and girls about FGM so that the next generation will be united in ending the practice. While many come into the trainings not sure what FGM is, or wanting to undergo the practice to please their parents and begin 'womanhood', we ensure that they know what exactly FGM is, that is is illegal and they are entitled to protection, and that FGM can have negative effects that last a lifetime. We have conversations about why FGM often leads to girls dropping out of school, how it can cause maternal mortality, and why it is improtant for boys and men to stand up against the practice, too.

Traditionally, talking about FGM is a taboo, but from youth trainings to community dialogues, we are starting the conversation, educating about its risks, and empowering people to say “no” for good.

 

Nurse Martha on Zero Tolerance of FGM Day
Nurse Martha on Zero Tolerance of FGM Day
Philip, parent of a program participant, on FGM
Philip, parent of a program participant, on FGM
Grace has been learning about the effects of FGM
Grace has been learning about the effects of FGM

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Last month we embarked on a week-long journey to educate and enlighten through our Health and Leadership program. With your help, we were able to train over 300 girls across rural Kenya. The camp provides these girls with both information about their own personal strength and importance and a sharing environment for girls from the surrounding community. Most importantly, many girls have formed strong and lasting bonds from this experience.  

On the Sunday 3rd of Dec 2017, 189 girls from over forty schools reported to Kakenya’s Centre for Excellence and joined 71 girls from Enkakenya ready to undergo the week-long health and leadership training. The training content ranged from self-defence, FGM, leadership, self-esteem adolescence and matters of children rights. The campers were guided on how to seek help in cases of rape and/or forced marriage. We also dedicated one day to a group of motivational speakers. These speakers educated us on several issues affecting the girls such as children legal rights, girl child education, and women leadership. We were honored to have Cicilia Maito, a member of the County Executive Committee for Trade, Industrialization, and Cooperative Development, as a speaker. We also had entertainment from the local musician Julius Olekapio.

On the last day of training, these young girls graduated. Their graduation is a milestone event that occurs annually; the ceremony was attended by parents, teachers, community members and opinion leaders. Together we celebrated this as an alternative rite of passage for the girls and recognized their accomplishments.

It was evident that the girls indeed had acquired very helpful knowledge during the week of training. The message was clear during the event that everyone must support girls’ education and defend them from any practices that will discourage them from achieving their dreams.

This health and leadership camp is possible because of your support. We greatly value your partnership and passion to make a difference.  

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Kakenya's Dream's Health and Leadership Training program has grown exponentially since it first launched in 2011. With your help, we have been able to train over 8,000 girls and boys across rural Kenya. These young people live in communities where basic knowledge about their bodies and rights is often distorted or unavailable. Thanks to people like you who believe in our mission, we are changing the lives of these adolescents by empowering them with information and skills to make informed decisions that will shape their futures.

Demand for our program continues to outpace our capacity. As we reported to you earlier this year, in April 2017, we held our largest weeklong camp to date with over 300 attendees from more than 50 schools in our region -- and we still could not accommodate every girl who wished to attend. We desire to reach each and every vulnerable adolescent in the region, and we are excited to announce our plans to scale up the training program over the coming years.

First, we will capture our unique curriculum to launch a “train-the-trainers” feature, which will reach hundreds of teachers from local schools. These instructors will be trained in delivering our Health and Leadership modules, growing capacity within the community to reach and teach even more young people. 

Second, we are opening a year-round health clinic, which all young men and women in the neighboring communities can access for health testing and treatment without stigmatization.

Finally, we are increasing the number of workshops we hold each year to educate 7,000 youth annually—nearly doubling our current reach—and train an additional 300 “peer trainers” to present the curriculum across the region. Together, these two approaches will bring this critical education to more than 500 regional schools, create a skilled corps of relatable peer leaders, and provide meaningful employment for young adults.

This growth is made possible by your support, and we are so grateful for your partnership!

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Hello from sunny Enoosaen! It's been a busy summer here, both for our Health and Leadership Training program and for our other core educational programs. In June, we held another weekend training at Poroko primary school in a nearby community. We had 373 participants, with 181 girls and 192 boys attending. This two-day training experience included sessions on self-defense, life skills such as assertiveness and boundary setting, reproductive health, sexual and gender-based violence, and other crucial subjects for young adolescents.

Since Kakenya's Dream focuses primarily on empowering and educating girls, we are often asked about why we include boys in our Health and Leadership Training program. It’s a good question, and it has an important answer. Boys and men are key to the work we do and the community-wide transformation we are trying to bring. From the beginning, we’ve worked with fathers and other men in the community to help them see the value in supporting girls, and we’ve continued to expand these opportunities.

At our co-ed weekend Health and Leadership Trainings, we provide both boys and girls with the information and skills they need to be healthy and happy. We cover everything from sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDs to basic hygiene. Boys learn about some of the challenges girls face, including female genital mutilation/cutting and stigma around menstruation, empowering them to become allies and advocates for change.

Through our programs, we are also building bridges between our girls and their fathers. In our community, fathers and daughters traditionally do not mix. Girls would be expected to go through their mother to ask their father’s permission for something, and even that is rare. We’re changing that at Kakenya's Dream. We invite fathers to be involved in their daughter's lives and to attend our annual Health and Leadership graduation celebrations. Through shared experiences, fathers and daughters get to know each other. One father recently transformed from protesting his daughter’s education to proudly escorting her to her first day of high school in Nairobi just a few years -- his first time to the city.

I hope you know just how important your support is in making this work possible. Thank you so much for helping us change lives of both girls AND boys in rural communities.

Boys participating in H&L Trainings
Boys participating in H&L Trainings
Kakenya's Dream girl with her father
Kakenya's Dream girl with her father

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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
$26,093 raised of $35,000 goal
 
401 donations
$8,907 to go
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