How this Project Started
In September 2009, Margo Day had the opportunity to travel to Africa and during that time, she devoted four days to travel to northern rural Kenya to experience first-hand the work World Vision does on the ground. While there, World Vision took her to visit a primary school educating over 700 children. During this part of the visit, she met 35 young girls living in a rescue center on the primary school property. She discovered these young girls (ages 8-13 at the time) had fled their homes due to the oppressive and brutal cultural practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriage. The girls wanted a better life for themselves however once they reached the 8th grade, they would have no opportunity to continue their education, as the closest secondary school was miles away. With no money for tuition or books, or access to transportation these young girls would effectively be left with no hope for a better life.
With the help of many people, over $500,000 was raised to build St. Elizabeth Girls Secondary School and the supporting facilities. In May, 2011 the school was commissioned. The Kenya Department of Education has sanctioned the school and is providing the required curriculum and teachers. There are 165 girls attending the school today, those from the rescue center and from the broader community. Operating at full capacity in the next year, the school will serve over 200 girl-students. Margo says “I was present for the school commissioning ceremony and experienced the girls’ joy and saw their transformation when they realized they have hope and a safe place to live and study. They are preparing for their future, aspiring to be journalists, doctors, biologists, civil engineers … compare that to 24 months earlier where their only next step in life would probably be marriage by age or 13-14 and start having children, well before their bodies were ready.” The school facilities include classrooms, computer lab, twin sciences laboratory (chemistry, biology, physics), dormitory, kitchen, teacher/staff housing, administration block, rescue home.
Bringing Hope through Education and Child Protection: Scaling the Work!
Education- and specifically ensuring that communities have better school facilities- is a pivotal piece of this new program. Child-friendly schools will contribute to increased enrollement and retention. Through the new program, we will construct and equip the following:
The project’s emphasis on enhanced school facilities underscores that education is the best hope children have to break free of poverty’s grip. Being in school also reduces children’s vulnerability to abuse.
Protecting children The project will heighten community members’ awareness of child rights and what communities can do to protect children. Parents will learn about positive parenting, which will help reduce violence and abuse of children. Children will be taught about personal safety, building resilience to difficulties in life, good decision making, communicating their ideas, and how to be positive influences in their communities.
Reporting of abuse and aftercare services Channels for reporting abuse will be improved, along with training of law enforcement personnel, healthcare workers, teachers, and volunteers who handle and refer abuse cases. As this occurs, survivors and their families will receive the assistance they need, whether protective services, medical attention, legal support, or other aid to recover. Children will have access to psychosocial care and support reintegrating into their communities, including returning to school.
Beneficiaries and participants will be the children and families living in our target development areas along with service providers, community groups, and government agencies.
The total funding need for Kenya Child Protection is $4,866,064 over four years and will benefit approximately 17,000 children.
We would be privileged to partner with you to help communities in North Rift create safer environments for children and give them greater access to an education, which can open opportunities for them to pursue their dreams and hopes for the future.
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