Girls for Leaders Club
Today there are still many challenges that leave young women prone to risk and discrimination. The Girls for Leaders program seeks to redress this balance, enabling young women to assert themselves and speak out against gender-based violence. However, this does not come easily; many of the challenges faced by women are entrenched within cultural practices, and consistent support and education remains vital.
Having been signed by the ministry of education, our curriculum reaches over 2500 girls over three counties. We provide essential knowledge for these students in sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR), menstrual hygiene, GBV, reporting sexual abuse and careers advice. But this program is not just an education; it’s a community that hosts clubs, entertainment and debates, while distributing sanitary towels to over 2500 girls throughout the year and 3000 solar lamps annually to boys and girls.
Young women often struggle to attend school during their menstruation, simply due to a lack of knowledge and resources. Many also fail to reach secondary school due to unwanted pregnancy, early marriage or parental gender bias. With Girls for Leaders, we take careful attention to combat these problems and ensure that our students can transition onto secondary school. Today, we are very proud to announce that the primary to secondary school transition average has increased from 57% in 2015 to a staggering 98% in 2019 in our Rongai and Mogotio sub counties. This year is also our first for awarding secondary school scholarships to five —male and female— students.
End Female Genital Mutilation
FGM has been recognized as a violation of the rights of women and girls by several international and regional human rights instruments. The Sustainable Development Goals include a specific target to eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and FGM/C, by the year 2030.
What are the implications of lack of education and FGM? 2 out of 10 girls (15%) aged 15-19 years in Baringo County have undergone FGM and have began childbearing, teenage pregnancies often result from low use of contraceptives and unmet need for contraceptives.
Empowering young people is crucial, we work with female survivors who have a powerful voice and play a central role. We work with women who used to do the Circumcision as champions to end FGM. We work with youth through Sport and edu-tainment to reach and engage young people in a fun way.
In our communities in Baringo County, there is a close relationship between FGM and poverty and one of the most effective way that we have used to educate our communities to end this retrogressive culture is through the engagement of Boys and men through Boys for Change program. We work with all the 35 schools and 30 villages to raise awareness through dialogues, sports, forums and radio shows on the effects of FGM on women and the community.
Sexual Reproductive Health Education in Schools
Education is an important determinant for sexual and reproductive health particularly among girls. Girls who complete secondary and higher education have better sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Whilst Baringo County and Rongai Sub County is doing well on primary school enrollment at 85%, less than half (45%) of children in the official secondary school-age are enrolled in secondary school. In Baringo County only 8% of currently married girls aged 15 – 19 use modern contraceptives according to (KDHS 2014). This is mainly due to lack of accessibility, lack of information and poor infrastructure.
We conduct weekly workshops in 35 schools to build the capacities for girls to improve performance of girls from underserved communities in rural areas, understand their sexual reproductive health rights and reporting systems of abuses including rape and all forms of gender based violence. We provide Sanitary Pads to over 2500 girls every year and provide solar lamps to 3000 students to improve studies at home because most of these children do not have access to electricity.
Through our Youth Peer Provider program, youth peers go to schools to conduct debates, use our curriculum to train on SRHR and through our inhouse youth friendly nurse, students are able to access SRH services.
In 2017 donations from all-over the world transformed
the lives of more than 5,000 people