Supporting Girls Education in Rural Kenya

by MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.

Thank you so much for supporting the Nanyori Shelter Network. For girls in Kenya, where drought is devastating families that depend on the land for survival, many desperate parents feel driven to marry off their young daughters for a bride price. But thanks to your support of this project, hundreds of young girls in rural Kenya threatened with forced early marriage have not only found safe haven in our shelters, but also the chance to pursue an education. Because of you, these girls are building their confidence, learning about their rights, and growing up as leaders in their communities. Thank you!

While this project is ending on GlobalGiving, our work with the Indigenous Information Network (IIN) and these young girls and their families is not. Please be sure to check out our new project with IIN helping women and girls in Kenya confront the devastating effects of climate change. Through this project, you will help teach women to harvest rainwater and store food to confront droughts, relieving the effects of climate change that compel families to marry off their daughters. And you’ll promote Indigenous beadwork to combat poverty.

I hope we can count on your continued support!

Edna Kaptoyo, member of MADRE's partner organization the Indigenous Information Network (IIN), recently visited the MADRE office to share updates on the work that IIN is anchoring with women and girls in Kenya. When we asked Edna for an update on the Nanyori Shelter Network, she told us that on a recent trip to one of the schools, a teacher told her "These girls always look forward to your visit." Edna was really touched by these words. That's because with your support, IIN is offering these girls more than just school supplies. They are teaching them lessons in self-confidence, motivating them to face challenges, helping them learn from one another, and encouraging them to step up as leaders. "We've become like a big sister to these girls," Edna told us. "And the teachers are starting to see a difference."

And that’s not all. Our partners at IIN are working closely with older girls who have finished their schooling to make sure that they share their experiences with younger girls from their communities. After completing their schooling, the older girls were motivated and encouraged to go to work to help improve their communities. The older girls want to share this and carry it forward to the younger ones. IIN has noted that this process of sharing has helped motivate the younger girls to do well in school so that they can work in their communities too. Recently, IIN met with a group of older girls to brainstorm how this sharing practice can be enhanced further to reach out to more girls in secondary and university levels.

Thanks so much for supporting this important work! With your help, these young girls have the confidence to pursue their education and the support to grow into community leaders.

As the start of the school year approaches here in the US, the young girl students at the Nanyori Shelter Network are also entering their third and final trimester before their final break in November. They are the lucky ones. Most of the girls their age from the pastoral communities of Kenya do not get to attend or complete their primary and secondary education. Many are responsible for household chores while others are forced into marriage as a way for their families to get money from their dowries.

The Indigenous Information Network (IIN) works to support the girls who are at the Nanyori Shelter Network to further their formal education. They also learn about issues affecting their communities such as HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as female genital mutilation. Most importantly, IIN works at the community level, with parents, grandparents, and leaders, to place emphasis on the value of educating young girls.

With your support, IIN can continue to provide such important training and access to education, as well as offer essential items that the girls may not be able to afford such as school supplies and feminine hygiene products.

Your contribution of $25 can guarantee school supplies and feminine hygiene products to one girl student at the Nanyori Shelter Network for this last trimester of her school year. With $100, IIN can organize a small workshop on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Thank you for your continuous support!

In the Kenyan communities of Samburu, Kajiado, and Mt Elgon, girls as young as 10 years old face the risk of early pregnancy.

Our Kenyan partners are the Indigenous Information Network (IIN). They tell us that the consequences of early pregnancy in these communities are complex. Becoming pregnant before their bodies are ready gravely endangers their health. When these girls become pregnant, they are also often forced to drop out of school to take care of their children. More often than not, these girls never return to school to complete their education.

With your continued support, MADRE and IIN are working to prevent early pregnancy in these communities. To do this, we are running a network of shelter-schools called Nanyori. We’re also organizing workshops to educate girls on their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

With your help, we’re ensuring that girls are better informed about reproductive rights. This is a key component in combating early pregnancy. Through a community mentorship program, we’re also encouraging these girls to stay in school, follow their dreams, and become leaders in their communities. Thank you!

On February 6, the United Nations commemorated the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a harmful practice that endangers the health and well-being of millions of girls and young women around the world. This is a practice that MADRE’s sister organization in Kenya, the Indigenous Information Network (IIN), works hard to prevent through the school and shelter project we run together. With your support, this project provides refuge to young Kenyan girls from pastoralist communities who are escaping FGM and early marriage.

MADRE Program Director Natalia Caruso recently spoke with Lucy Mulenkei, the director of IIN, and she asked us to pass her gratitude on to you for supporting this important project. “We are able to provide the girls with education, counseling and trainings on women’s rights and reproductive and sexual health,” Lucy told us. “Your support helps provide an important and crucial alternative for young girls: a chance to complete their education. Thank you.”

With your continued support, IIN can strengthen their efforts to advocate for girls' education and put an end to FGM and forced early marriage. Thank you!


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Organization Information

MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Yifat Susskind
New York, New York United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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