Current Projects

Bridge Centers

Across Kenya, girls’ enrollment in early years of school is high, but by the end of Standard 8, many classes don’t have a single girl. Once girls drop out, either to take care of a child or to try to find low-paid employment, their future employment possibilities are significantly restricted. Without finishing primary school, they are not eligible to start secondary school, attend government-run vocational training schools, or apply for many jobs in the formal sector. Often, they also don’t have the capital needed to start their own businesses.

Bridge Centres re-open these possibilities for vulnerable girls and youth in Kenya. To reduce school re-entry barriers, the centres are located in easily-accessible spaces and provide child care for mothers who need it. Qualified teachers teach an accelerated academic curriculum so that students can quickly master the content and be eligible for certificates of primary education. Additional classes ill focus on developing the leadership and business skills young women need to succeed in higher education or to start and run a profitable business. At the same time, students have access to an online platform that provides information about HIV and sexual reproductive health and rights and provides virtual counseling, and in-person counselors work one-on-one and with small groups to help students create family and career plans for the future. We also connect the students with health care and business loan providers who offer affordable rates and comprehensive services.

Inclusive Education for All

Inclusive education is a process that involves the transformation of schools and other centers of learning to cater for all children – including boys and girls, students from ethnic and linguistic minorities, rural populations, those affected by HIV and AIDS, and those with disabilities and difficulties in learning and to provide learning opportunities for all youth and adults as well. From a policy perspective, inclusive education means taking a holistic approach to education reform and thus changing the way the educational system tackles exclusion. By contrast, inclusion is about the child’s right to participate and the school’s duty to accept the child.

For the purpose of this project emphasis will be given to children with disabilities and change in attitude and practices will be central to the project desired impact. In light of this, the project therefore would make all effort to see that all children particular those with disabilities have a right to inclusive education. The quality education will improve the learning outcomes of all learners through basic literacy, numeracy, life skills and rights. This will be achieved through effective teaching, social mobilization and community awareness, capacity enhancement of the duty bearers to meet their duties and obligations, promotion of disability friendly seeking learning environment, direct support to EARCs, schools, needy children(with assistive devices) and community participation. The Project will target to reach approximately 2,607 people directly (boys 862 and girls 934, men 354, women 457). Approximately over 12946 people will be reached indirectly by the project.

No One Out
Sponsorship

At Girl Child Network, we do much of our work at the community level. We focus on empowering change agents to make their own communities places where girls and boys have opportunities to succeed. But some girls need even more support. That’s where our sponsorship program comes in. The girls we sponsor fall into two categories.

Girls rescued from harmful cultural practices

Some communities in Kenya practice female genital mutilation (FGM), a traditional ceremony in which a girl’s clitoris (and sometimes other parts of her vagina) are removed. The procedure can cause severe bleeding and infection, and can complicate childbirth. After undergoing FGM, girls are considered ready to be married, although they are often as young as 11 or 12. Even after we work with parents and community leaders to try to prevent FGM and child marriages, we find that some girls are still in danger of being circumcised or married. In those cases, we work with sympathetic family and community members to place the girls in schools where they will be safe and protected.

Girls from economically disadvantaged households

Although public primary school education in Kenya is free, schools do not provide the required uniforms or school supplies, and they often charge extra fees. When households only have enough resources to send some of the children to school, daughters are often passed over in favor of sons. We support these families to send all of their children to school, so that sisters are on track to have the same opportunities as their brothers.

Kenya Equity in Education
Champions for Change
Vaccination Campaign

Learn more from our partner, Alabaster Mobile Clinic.

Endonyolasho Clinic

Learn more from our partner, Alabaster Mobile Clinic.

Past Projects

Our Right to Learn

When Kenya instituted Free Primary Education in 2003, the number of children enrolling in school increased dramatically. Since then, enrolment of both girls and boys has continued to increase. But there are certain areas of the country where many children are still not going to school, either because of the community’s attitudes or because they support their families by making money and doing chores around the house. Girl Child Network works with Educate a Child (a programme of Education Above All) to enroll and retain children in school in three of Kenya’s most marginalized areas: Garissa, Kajiado, and Tana River. Education is a difficult investment for some families to make, but with our support, they are creating more opportunities for their children in the future. So far, we have helped enroll over 31,350 students in 120 public primary schools.

Let Girls Learn

Wasichana Wote Wasome (Let Girls Learn) is part of UKAID’s Girls Education Challenge. The goal of the project is to improve school enrollment, retention, attendance and learning for girls in Kenya’s arid/semi-arid regions and urban slums. Girl Child Network is targeting 124,000 marginalized girls in Tana River, Kwale and Kilifi counties. Through hosting community dialogues about the importance of educating girls, training teachers in gender pedagogy, making schools more gender-friendly, holding Back-to-School events, and making household visits to identify out-of-school girls, we are seeing thousands of girls enroll and re-enroll in school!

Righting the Future
Urban Slums Basic Education
Inclusive Quality Basic Education

In Kenya, students with disabilities of all kinds are often sent to separate “special” schools, where they learn alongside people who share the same disability. In addition to segregating these students from their nondisabled peers, special schools do not always hold students to the high academic standards they need to succeed in higher education. We have been working with Save the Children to improve children’s access to inclusive and quality education in 54 public primary school in Kwale and Vihiga counties. We work with the government-run Education Assessment and Resource Centres to identify students with disabilities, and we offer direct support to schools to improve the services they offer students with disabilities. We also initiated the National Technical Working Group for Inclusive Education to push the national government to review the special needs education policy. The government has now begun the review process, and we are supporting them as they collect data!

Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response
Stop Violence Against Girls in School
Girls Leadership Development Program
Diversion Project
School Sanitation Improvement

Health and education are closely linked because children attend school more frequently and learn better when they are healthy. Girl Child Network and Aidlink aim to improve access to education by improving water and sanitation practices in 120 schools in Kajiado. This year, we built latrines with separate rooms where girls can change their sanitary towels, and provided underwear to girls so that they can use sanitary towels. In addition, we trained teachers and school board members on creating gender-friendly schools that respect children’s rights, and we then worked with them to start Rights of the Child clubs in their schools. Two other serious health issues in this region are female genital mutilation and early marriage (which often leads to early pregnancy). We worked with community leaders and community health volunteers to intervene when we knew FGM or early marriage was going to take place. Girls who are able to manage their menstrual hygiene and avoid FGM and early marriage are more likely to finish primary and secondary school… and their children are too!

Integrated Gender and HIV

Health and education are closely linked because children attend school more frequently and learn better when they are healthy. Girl Child Network and Aidlink aim to improve access to education by improving water and sanitation practices in 120 schools in Kajiado. This year, we built latrines with separate rooms where girls can change their sanitary towels, and provided underwear to girls so that they can use sanitary towels. In addition, we trained teachers and school board members on creating gender-friendly schools that respect children’s rights, and we then worked with them to start Rights of the Child clubs in their schools. Two other serious health issues in this region are female genital mutilation and early marriage (which often leads to early pregnancy). We worked with community leaders and community health volunteers to intervene when we knew FGM or early marriage was going to take place. Girls who are able to manage their menstrual hygiene and avoid FGM and early marriage are more likely to finish primary and secondary school… and their children are too!

School Health Nutrition
Climate Change in Education

In arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) like Tana River, climate change is making water and energy increasing difficult to access. And when children have to spend their time traveling longer and longer distances to fetch water and firewood, they miss valuable school days. But with the right resources and education, students can take an active role in creating a cleaner, more sustainable future for their communities. This year, we worked with UK Aid to address environmental issues that impact school attendance and health in 40 public primary schools.