GET GIRLS IN THE CLASSROOM
There has been great progress globally in primary school enrollment over the past twenty years , though there continues to be pockets of out of school children, and secondary school is low in most regions of Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa. We target areas where school enrollment is low and then we work with communities to sensitize parents to the importance of education to make enrolling easier.
KEEP GIRLS IN SCHOOL THROUGH SECONDARY SCHOOL
A high portion of girls drop out of upper primary school, though research shows that it is when girls transition to secondary school that they benefit from significantly reduced fertility rates, higher incomes and more decision-making power within their family and community. After enrolling girls in school, keeping them in school is the next challenge. We use multiple approaches to further girls transistions from primary to secondary.
DEVELOP COMMUNITY CAPACITY
Girls are embedded in their communities and assume the roles, dreams and constraints of them. When a community values education and sees it as relevant for their daughters, girls ceilings are lifted. And when a community is invested in their girls educations, they become strong advocates to ensure that the government is fulfilling their obligation to provide access to quality education. In Kenya, as in most places across the globe, the communities that speak up get the most resources.
Research informs our programs at all scales, from where we decide to work to implementation of evidence-based interventions. Where data does not exist, especially at the community level, we conduct surveys and interviews to ensure we understand the context and particulars of a place before moving forward with interventions. Solving the right problem with the most effective approach sounds simple, but is very often wrongly assumed.
We work at the community level because it is big enough to have a meaningful impact on thousands of individuals and small enough to efficiently make decisions and take action. We facilitate meetings to sensitize communities to the importance of educating their daughters, and then we work closely with community and school leadership to act on addressing specific educational needs.
We strive to turn a change in knowledge in the importance of education into action in the form of school attendance. Creating behavior change is something most organizations strive for, but frankly, is difficult to achieve. It goes well beyond providing information. We use a combination of behavior change interventions directed at enrolling and retaining girls in school that are theory or evidence based.