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
Camp group photo
Camp group photo

“I love my body, I say NO to FGM!”  This chant rang out across Kakenya Center for Excellence’s campus during our most recent Health and Leadership Holiday Camp.  Girls proudly declared the empowering phrase, reflecting the sense of self confidence and strength they cultivated over the 6-day camp.  From April 23-28, we hosted 120 girls in grades 6 and 7, the largest camp we have had so far!  As in previous camps, we invited half the participants to come from over 24 schools across the Transmara district.  This gives us an opportunity to build mentoring relationships between our KCE students and girls from the rest of the neighboring community, spreading our hopeful messages and important health and leadership information to girls who do not usually have access to our programs. 

The week was filled with fun activities, starting with a full day of training by I’m Worth Defending, a group based in Nairobi that teaches girls to defend their bodies, to say “NO!”, and to have greater self esteem and confidence.  The girls practiced moves and techniques to protect themselves from physical violence as well as positive self talk to empower them as individuals.  Throughout the week, the girls participated in trainings by several other health and human rights professionals, learning about sexual and reproductive health, life skills, healthy relationships, children’s rights, and other topics. 

The campers also benefited from group and individual counseling sessions, reinforcing these lessons and providing them with a safe space to voice their feelings, questions, and concerns.  This type of open communication allows the girls to seek help for the often serious problems they are facing and for us to gauge the greatest needs of adolescent girls in the community.

Our camps continue to grow in numbers and in impact.  We hope to hold another camp in December 2012 that will reunite the participants from all of our previous camps – 300 girls altogether!  These camps are one of the most exciting, effective, and fun elements of our program, and we are so grateful for the supporters who partner with us to allow them to continue.  Thank you for believing in our mission to empower young Maasai girls to follow their dreams and to see the potential within themselves.  Together, we are changing the lives of future leaders in Africa.

Girls practicing self defense moves
Girls practicing self defense moves
Big group activity outside
Big group activity outside
Life skills and decision making
Life skills and decision making
Happy camper
Happy camper

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KCE girls playing together
KCE girls playing together

With a fast-approaching holiday break from classes at the end of April, we are excited about the next Health and Leadership Holiday Camp that we will host at Kakenya Center for Excellence.  The upcoming camp will be held from April 23rd to April 28th.  As with previous camps, we will invite girls from schools in the surrounding area to participate in the trainings alongside our KCE students.  In the past, we have held the camps for 6th grade girls only, with 30 of our students and 30 students from other schools.  This time, we are increasing the number of participants from 60 to 120, inviting 7th grade girls to join, as well.

For the 7th graders, we are developing new training topics and curriculum.  These will include stress management & dealing with depression, child rights and sexual abuse/rape, and volunteership.  As in previous camps, topics for the 6th graders will include basic leadership skills, health & hygiene, and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDs.  We will bring in trained professionals to work with the girls and run their sessions, including a police officer who will instruct the girls about their rights and what to do if they are physically attacked.  We also will have a counselor on site throughout the entire camp who will be available for both group and individual counseling sessions.  As always, we look forward to a week filled with lots of learning and laughter.

Our Health and Leadership camps are some of the most enjoyable times of the year for the girls who participate and for all of us at KCE.  We are so thankful for your partnership as we plan, implement, and improve upon each holiday camp.  As we reach more and more girls through these camps and have opportunities to equip them with crucial skills and information, we know that we could not accomplish this mission without wonderful support throughout the process.  We will keep you updated with highlights from the April camp!

Engaged in a classroom activity
Engaged in a classroom activity
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December 2011 Health and Leadership Camp
December 2011 Health and Leadership Camp

In December 2011, we held another successful Health and Leadership Camp for 65 girls aged 13 and 14.  The participants were a mix of KCE students and girls from the surrounding community.  Each Kakenya Center student was paired with a girl from another school for the duration of the camp to encourage the participants to make new friends.  Each day had a different theme, such as Health and Hygiene or Leadership and Life Skills.  On the Health and Hygiene day, our knowledgeable trainers gave the girls information on health issues ranging from how to properly wash their hands to facts about sexually transmitted diseases.  The girls also learned about the harmful effects of female genital cutting -- from a trainer who is also Maasai.  On the Leadership and Life Skills day, they participated in group games and activities, discussed qualities of a good leader, and were educated about their rights by the district children’s rights officer.  

Evenings were filled with fun activities such as story-telling by local grandmothers, a movie night, and a talent show.  While at the beginning of the week many of the girls were timid and afraid to speak up, by the end of the camp almost every girl was eager to answer the trainers’ questions and to participate.  During dinner time on the final night, all the girls sat together and spoke and laughed energetically - an amazing sight to see after the dinner on the first day where girls from different schools sat far apart and whispered quietly amongst themselves. By the end of the week, everyone had made new friends and acquired lots of new knowledge.  The girls did not want to go home when the camp was over!

Altogether in 2011, our Health and Leadership camps reached over 120 girls.  In 2012, we hope to increase this number to 200.  We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have supported our project and our vision to empower young Maasai girls with knowledge and leadership skills!  Together, we are changing the lives of girls in Enoosaen.

Girls playing tug-of-war
Girls playing tug-of-war
Reflection time with Kakenya
Reflection time with Kakenya
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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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Pay Bill: 891300
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