In Pokot, Kenya, a nomadic people group is navigating their way in a changing society. Known for their investment in agriculture and animal husbandry, the community’s wealth is measured in the ownership of cows.
As students in the US go back-to-school shopping, many girls in Pokot are preparing for their weddings or nursing newborns. The pandemic has economically impacted the hardest places in the world. These young girls are too often given in marriage for a dowry in a desperate attempt to save their families from starvation.
Mission ONE is working to transform this cultural practice through a local Indigenous partner living and working in the community. In 2021, the All-Girls School in Pokot, Kenya was established and enrolled 18 girls, many of whom had never attended school before.
The All-Girls School, run by educators who have been to university themselves, gives the girls an opportunity for a future filled with hope, dignified work, and overall community transformation. Committed to teaching not only traditional school subjects and the life-changing message of the gospel, but also educating about the damage caused by gender violence, child marriage, and female genital mutilation (FGM) – all typical obstacles faced by this community.
Child marriage has been a practice in this community for generations. To change it takes time and trust. Sylvia Chepkemoi, one of the teachers at the school, talks about the hope of transformation in a recent interview, “So when they come here and get educated, I think there will be a lot of things that they have gained. One of them is confidence in their homes. Secondly, they will have a future for themselves and even for their kids. They will see a future for all women. They will try to go and convince the other women [in the community] that education is good for generations to come.”
This influential change is going to be felt for generations to come in Pokot, Kenya, because of the investment in these 18 girls’ lives. We are already celebrating some of this year’s successes, including 11 new girls enrolling as first-year students for this upcoming school year.
44 acres of land were given to the school by the local community. Not only does this communicate trust in the work that is being done, but it also provides room for necessary expansion as the school nearly doubles in size this upcoming year.
Prayerfully consider giving toward the expansion of the All-Girls School. Your gift will leave a legacy for generations in Pokot, making this community look a little more like the Kingdom of God.
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3 Ways to Honor God on Your Next Mission Trip
We're sharing three things you should consider before you organize or participate in an international mission trip, seek to do work in the multicultural neighborhood in your own city, or embark on any cross-cultural partnership.