Location: Kenya, Africa
Grant Amount: $45,000
Program Website: www.kakenyasdream.org
Areas of Impact: Education, Leadership, Safety and Security
Mission of Kakenya Center for Excellence
Kakenya Center for Excellence (KCE) seeks to empower and motivate young girls through education to become agents of change and to break the cycle of destructive cultural practices in Kenya such as female genital mutilation and early forced marriage.
The Kakenya Center for Excellence Health and Leadership Training program provides Maasai girls in rural Kenya with crucial information and skills on a range of topics, including female health, female genital mutilation, leadership, self-esteem, self-defense, and child rights. This gives them the tools they need to protect themselves from harmful cultural practices and pursue their dreams for the future rather than marrying young and becoming wives and mothers before completing their education.
The program provides multidisciplinary teams to conduct two week training camps with seminars, activities, and hands-on practice in leadership skills, self-defense, communication, goal setting and career building. Special emphasis is placed on female health, including menstruation, HIV/AIDS and STDs. The girls learn about the damaging effects of genital mutilation and child marriage that are still prevalent in the area. A celebration at the conclusion of each camp reinforces the dignity of females and the importance of rites of passage. KCE will continue expanding its educational outreach through monthly weekend trainings at other schools in the surrounding area. Girls practice leadership skills by making presentations to their classmates and serving as mentors to new students.
Why We Love This Project
We love this project because the young Maasai girls who are facing the customary FGM are mentored through empowerment and leadership training by an inspiring multidisciplinary staff. Together they journey through stages of growth as they learn to stand up for their rights, learn self-defense, female health, impact of child marriage, and grasp the wide range of choices available to educated girls. Due to this program, the customary girls' rite of passage is being transformed from FGM to a profound community celebration acknowledging the value of girls.