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Let girls learn

More than half of all girls in Kenya drop out of education before reaching secondary school*.

Instead of gaining the skills they need to achieve their ambitions, girls as young as 10 years old face female genital mutilation, forced marriage and early pregnancy. Without an education, girls cannot change their lives and the cycle of poverty continues for their daughters.

Coronavirus closed schools in Kenya, putting even more girls at risk of dropping out of education entirely. Your donation could help open more catch-up centres to reach more out-of-school girls like Elizabeth (14, pictured) and bring them back into the classroom.

Please donate today to help more young girls back into education.

Donations will be distributed across all types of VSO’s work in health, education and livelihoods.

Education for Life: breaking the cycle

Poverty, early marriage and motherhood are robbing girls in Kenya of an education.

When a girl drops out of school, poverty is often the root cause. Without the skills or knowledge to earn a living, most girls have few options or opportunities. Marriage, early motherhood and a continuing life of poverty may be the only path ahead – unless, with your help, they can return to education.

VSO/Paul Wambugu

Girls focus on developing essential skills, such as functional maths.

How Education for Life works

Open to girls aged 10-19 who dropped out of primary school, Education for Life offers girls the chance to attend catch-up centres three days a week. The focus is on essential skills, including maths, reading and writing.

Many of the girls who attend our centres are already mothers to one or more children. To help ease the burden of early motherhood, a group of childminders care for the girls’ babies during class, enabling them to focus on learning.

Girls receive additional support to enable them to attend:

  • hygiene kits including essentials like soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush, pants and a supply of sanitary towels,
  • education kits that provide a school bag, books, pencils, pens and erasers.

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Inspiring girls through role models

VSO/Paul Wambugu

Teachers like Christine are also role models for their students.

Education for Life teachers are all newly qualified, but receive ongoing training from VSO volunteers. As women who have come from similar backgrounds, this training is vital to give them the skills they need as teachers and role models to the young girls. Together with our volunteers, the teachers draw up lesson plans for engaging and interactive lessons, which help to maximise students' learning.

To ensure they keep attending classes, each girl is also paired with a mentor, who supports them with their studies and helps them through any problems they face outside of school. As local women who have experienced similar challenges to the girls, the mentors make fantastic role models - demonstrating that, with the right education and support, a secure and happy life is possible.

Girls who graduate from the project can then:

  • re-enrol in school,
  • receive support to set up a small business, like a shop,
  • take a vocational course or start an apprenticeship.

Please support our Education for Life project to help girls get back into the classroom and out of poverty.

Donate now

*Source: EFA Global Monitoring Report 2009.