Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu
“Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu” means “Let Our Girls Succeed” and is a holistic six year project specifically designed
to remove cultural and socio-economic barriers that have prevented or made it difficult for primary school girls in
arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) and urban slums in Kenya to transition to secondary schools and other
alternative pathways. Kesho Kenya is one of four partners in Kenya with whom Education Development Trust
implements the project. The project is funded by
Why We Do It
In the 2015/2016 KCPE exams, only 3.4 percent of girls in the WWW target schools in Kilifi County went to national secondary schools. One out of four girls did not transit. Nationally, it is one of five girls. Many girls drop out of school due to early pregnancy.
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Girls’ enrolment in TVET institutions is limited due to poor parental and negative school attitudes for girls’ vocational study coupled with a lack of awareness of pre-tertiary qualification option. There is a low enrolment of girls compared to boys in both governmental and private TVET institutions. Currently, there are also a very small number of catch-up centres with very low attendance.
How we do it
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To achieve these objectives, Kesho Kenya is working together with 55 primary schools, 4 TVET institutions and craftmen’s workshops in Kilifi County communities. The project focuses on three points of transition:
- From primary school to secondary school: Targeting 56,000 girls and thus increasing secondary transition from 79 percent to 92 percent
- From primary school to an alternative learning pathway: Targeting 3,500 girls entering a TVET or livelihood course
- From having dropped out of school back into catch-up class in primary school or an alternative learning pathway: Targeting 9,200 girls enrolled in catch-up of which 4,600 re-enrol to school or alternative pathway
Kesho Kenya’s project interventions in 2019 were:
- Cash transfer to enable the girl’s to go back to school, especially young mothers: We transfered cash totalling to Ksh 1, 310,000 to 655 children, especially young mothers. Each student received a one-off payment of Ksh 2,000.
- 55 patrons, one in each project school, were trained by Kesho Kenya on sexual reproductive health, peer mentorship and child safeguarding.
- Catch-up classes and centres to help girls who dropped out of school to re-enter: Renovations of four catch up centres were done. They were also equipped with desks and chairs. These centres are located within primary schools and help girls who dropped out of school to re-enter.
- Four catch-up tutors were hired to manage the catch-up classes and conduct remedial tuitions for drop out girls.
- Scholarships were issued to 762 students to reduce financial burden of school fees for secondary school girls.
- We selected and trained 102 secondary school mentors who through our support facilitated holiday mentorship trainings to other girls from the 55 project schools.
- Kesho Kenya facilitated theme days to the 55 project schools. Motivational speakers from respective communities were invited to speak to the girls and offer career guidance.
- Community conversations to raise awareness for the importance of educating girls: 55 groups meet once a week.
- We established 66 child to child clubs where students can interact and discuss challenges they are confronted with. 55 clubs are in primary, 11 in secondary schools.
- Back to school kits: We issued 776 kits to 715 girls and 61 boys. The project gives an allowance of ten percent boys.
- Income generating projects: 3 self-help groups were given grants to support existing projects. More groups will benefit in 2020
- Teacher coaching and training (done by EDT)
- System leadership (done by EDT)
To date, 14,445 girls have benefited from the various WWW interventions. In 2019, 290 mentees graduated from the mentor-mentee training and we are happy to state that they all stayed in school; there were no drop out and disciplinary cases. Other outcomes were
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- The holiday mentorship activitities have made our girls more aware of their rights and how to protect themselves. Their self-esteem and decision-making skills have improved.
- Catch up centres have brought about change in perception of education for young mothers, parents and teachers. Before, pregnancy meant an end to one’s education journey but now young mothers enrolled in our catch-up centres. Two transited to tertiary institutions while one will be joining apprenticeship. Five are now attending school normally as other students while four will be sitting for their KCPE in 2020.
- Cash transfers have improved the beneficiaries’ school attendance and livelihoods. Most parents used the cash transfers to start up businesses and are now able to buy uniform, stationery and sanitary towels for their girls.
- The dignity of girls who used to come to school with torn uniform has been promoted since they received new school kits from us.
What beneficiaries say
“I at first did not even have the courage to discuss my grades as my performance was very poor. My mentor helped me come up with a timetable and linked me up to a teacher who supports me academically. Now, my performance has greatly improved.” A beneficiary about the mentorship program.
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‘’Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu project sends me monthly cash transfers that provide for my upkeep in school and look after my child. I am so grateful to the WWW project as were it not for them, I would never have re-entered leave alone staying in school in the first place.’’ A teenage mother in the programme.
’’Catch-up centers under the Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu project will be of great help to our girls as instead of them staying home idle and giving up on their dreams, they get to attend classes and where we guide and counsel them into going back to schools and continuing with their studies.” A catch-up class tutor.
“Mentorship has given me friends with whom I can sit down to discuss academics and how to improve our grades. I initially did not have friends to offer me support as I support them too. Our mentor has taught us how to love, look after and care for one another.” A beneficiary about the mentorship programme.