COUNTRY: KENYA
PROJECT: GOLDEN HOPE INITIATIVE – giving HOPE to the girl child
DIRECTOR: ALICE GITURU
To donate to Kenya-Samburu  click here.

Alice Gituru is the Principal of AIC Moi Girls Samburu Secondary School located in Maralal, Kenya. While there are elementary schools in every village, there are few secondary schools in rural areas. Girls from small villages must relocate and attend a regional boarding school if they wish to continue their education. Although the school is very inexpensive, less than $500 a year for tuition, room, and board, few students can afford to attend. Many try, however, because the girls dread the alternative.

We work with girls from the Samburu Tribe, in which the incidence of beading (a form of child sexual slavery), female genital mutilation (FGM), and forced child marriage are among the highest in the world. When parents can no longer afford to send their girls to school, they marry them, against their will, to old men. We target girls who are not only vulnerable to child marriage but who also have a strong drive to receive an education.

Our goal is to do more than just pay tuition for the girls. We want to build their self-confidence through girls’ clubs which use a curriculum we designed to help girls overcome challenges, build their self-confidence, and develop problem-solving and leadership skills. In short, we created it to raise up the next generation of changemakers. The girls find the curriculum very empowering, and these are some of the comments we’re hearing:

“The club has changed my life. It showed me how important girls are in the community. I used to put myself low in the community, but now girls club has made a difference. It showed me that girls can be leaders too.”

“Every week I look forward to an empowering session. I am so grateful.”

“This club changed me from top to bottom. During school holiday I was thinking of having FGM, but my friend told me to join girls club. The first day there we were taught the disadvantages of FGM. I thank the God Almighty for sending me to this club.”

“I did not become a young woman when I started puberty. I became a young woman when I joined girls club.”

When girls receive scholarships from us, they are incredibly grateful and inevitably promise to work hard. “Our gratitude cannot be expressed just with paper and ink, but by our hard work. Our happiness is beyond any form of expression. We will not let your support be in vain.” And they are making good on those promises!

When students reach the end of secondary school, they take a national exam called the KCSE. The results of this exam determine if students are qualified to continue to a university or college, though not all who qualify can afford to attend.

In 2021 when we began the program, Moi Girls did worse than the country average (much worse for university but only slightly worse for college). But our graduating seniors (Form 4) in 2023 have shown a dramatic change – out of our 164 graduating students, 94% qualified for either college or university compared to 45% for Kenya as a whole! The results were so dramatic, Moi Girls School was even featured on the local news. Our girls are indeed making us proud!

To donate to Kenya-Samburu  click here.

 

VIDEOS:

Meet our Moi Girls – short version Click Here

Meet our Moi Girls – long version Click Here

NEWS:

Making us Proud! Click Here

What Makes a Leader? Click Here

An honor for our school, plus tackling FGM among the Samburu – Click Here