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.
One way Girl Child Network supports our sponsored girls is by empowering their own communities to support them. Many of our sponsored girls were previously child brides, and when they leave their marriages to go back to school, some members of their communities don’t approve. However, we notice that as community members watch these girls […]
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. Some communities in Kenya practice female genital […]