Impoverished adolescent girls in rural Kenya face enormous obstacles to completing education needed for self-supporting work. GET UP (Girl Empowerment Team of the Umoja Project) paves a path to success through a comprehensive program focusing on health education, positive relationships, life skills and girls' rights. Community women are trained to serve as mentors, and professional women provide vocational guidance. With effective support, girls learn to GET UP instead of giving up.
Impoverished adolescent girls in rural western Kenya, many of whom have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS and live without strong adult support, face enormous obstacles to completing education needed for self-supporting work and livelihood. Family pressures and responsibilities, sexual exploitation that often leads to pregnancy, and cultural norms which discourage equal opportunities all diminish girls' futures.
GET UP equips girls to stay in school and make healthy choices through girls' clubs focusing on health education, positive relationships, life skills, and girls' rights. Local women are trained as mentors to offer guidance and support, and women professionals inspire and provide vocational guidance. GET UP surrounds vulnerable girls with care, including school lunch and food at home, feminine hygiene products, school uniforms, high school tuition and fees, and ongoing encouragement.
Girls' lives are transformed when they are given the skills, information, and support needed to make confident and healthy decisions, and to establish and work towards goals which develop their full potential. The first five years of GET UP have shown enormous success as girls complete secondary school and often continue into higher education. Many former participants return to mentor their younger counterparts. Our fundraising goal of $62,500 would continue the program for five more years.