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

The main aim of this project is to enable girls in Kilifi County in primary school to complete their current phase of education, achieve improved learning outcome and transition successfully to a productive and positive next phase. The girls will gain skills, qualification and confidence required to take control of their lives.

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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 2020 were focussing mainly on supporting beneficiaries during time of school closing from March until December:

Continuation of learning from home

  • We distributed solar-powered radios to 228 girls to support learning from home so that they tune in to Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) lessons being aired on radio. The total radio listenership was reported to be 5,944 among the project girls.
  • We formed 232 study groups through the support of the Community Health Volunteers (CHVs), reaching to a total of 2,088 students who were meeting in groups of 5 to 10 students to study together.
  • Through Community Health Volunteers (CHVs), we distributed learning materials to 4,470 students in their households and study groups.
  • Project recruited 65 roving teachers to support community-based learning in the study groups and remedial learning when schools were re-opening in January 2021.
  • Community groups supported community-based learning through frequent monitoring and provision of required materials/resources such as chairs, face masks, hand washing soap including sanitary pads to the most vulnerable girls.

Preparation and return to school/learning centers

  • We conducted sensitization forums with school management committees from 52 project schools on school re-opening guidelines.
  • The project in partnership with the Education Quality Assurance team conducted inspection on adherence of Covid-19 guidelines and quality learning in 36 project primary schools.
  • We supported 36 project school communities to develop action plans towards school re-opening and ensure accountability by school management and parents towards adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.
  • The project reached out to 1,605 parents in 20 community outreach forums for awareness raising, well-being and resilience.
  • We referred and linked 54 learners to counseling services/psychosocial support through use of existing trained counselors and networks.
  • Training of 112 high school girls as mentors to offer mentorship and psychosocial support to learners in their school communities. A total of 900 mentees were reached.

Well-being and resilience

  • We supported 650 girls with sanitary pads.
  • 13 community groups were supported with grants to boost their income generating activities (IGA) and enhance their ability to support girls’ education.
  • 16 girls were identified each to benefit from a business start-up kit on basis of their skills acquired in vocational training centers.
  • 115 families were supported with cash transfer of KES 2,000 monthly for three months, as a relief package during the Covid-19 period.

Our impacts

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 an apprenticeship. Five are attending school normally as other students while four were sitting for their postponed KCPE in March 2021.
  • 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.