An all-girls high school in Pokot, Kenya gives girls a pathway to a brighter future as it allows them to pursue a college education, compete in the job market, and contribute to their communities and the world at large.
Women are some of the world's greatest untapped resources. Though they represent over half of the global population, they account for two-thirds of the world's poorest citizens and two-thirds of the world's illiterate population. In the remote Pokot district of Kenya, girls have been neglected, overlooked, and forced into marriage at an early age. Born into patriarchal societies, they are unable to make decisions within their own families and are subject to the control of their husbands. For many girls, school is not an option. A family’s inability to provide financially, inaccessibility to the nearest school, and societal pressures to get married at a young age all contribute to girls’ lack of education.
THE PROBLEM AND THE SOLUTION
Educating young women is the best way to tackle gender inequality and discrimination. When girls stay in school and finish secondary education, they are given the chance to thrive. In addition to living longer and earning higher wages, girls who are given the opportunity to attend school also go on to make a significant impact in their communities through their vocation. If they choose to get married and have children, they’re doing so later in life, resulting in healthier babies, fewer complications, and more equitable relationships. Building an all-girls school in Pokot allows these girls the opportunity to create a life that fully expresses their worth, value, and God-given potential. It helps them envision a future outside of gender violence, child marriage, and female genital mutilation (FGM), which are all too common to the girls who came before them.
Alongside Kensud, our local partners, we have constructed an all-girls high school so the girls in Pokot can have a dedicated space where they feel safe to learn and study. The school is a joint initiative between the community, government, and church. While the government provides the teachers, staff, and their salaries, the community covers the fees for tuition, food, and school supplies. Meanwhile, the church provides spiritual care so these young women can come to know their identities as beloved daughters of God. The nature of the partnership aims to create buy-in between all groups to ensure the school is successful and socialized within Pokot.
This school not only trains girls in basic subjects, but it also educates them on topics such as forced marriage, early pregnancies, FGM, and the effects of joblessness in the community.
The desired impact is to provide girls in Pokot and the surrounding community with educational opportunities. After four years of high school, the girls will be able to pursue a college education and have the same job opportunities as boys. These girls will be a major asset to their families, societies, and their nation. They will become teachers, nurses, preachers, and artisans of all kinds who transform the community from the inside out. Normalizing girls’ education in Pokot will also change the way they are perceived in the community, shifting generational cycles of poverty, violence, and gender discrimination.
Mission ONE, the community, and government will partner to build facilities for grades 11 and 12 next year.
75% of the girls who attend the school will graduate and pursue higher education after high school.
100% of the girls who attend the school will be educated on pregnancy at an early age, FGM, teen marriage, and how to share this information in their own communities.
100% of the girls who attend the school will regularly hear the gospel and have an opportunity to grow in their faith.
- Construction for grades 9 and 10 has been completed.
- The government has agreed to fund the teachers’ salaries.
- The first group of students (18 girls) have completed their first year.
- 11 new families have agreed to send their daughters to school.
- Students took their first field trip out of North Pokot.