Students in Kenya: Doing the Best They Can With Our Help
Earlier this month the Kenyan government announced that tertiary institutions will be able to reopen from September. This is very good news for the students we support as at the moment the students risk being robbed the girls of their dreams and their education. ‘Covid-19 permitting’, they have only a few more weeks in their villages.
Earlier this year, Kakenya’s Dream realised that our tertiary students are not safe at home. While living with their families they are at risk of being married to provide their family with a dowry. In addition, the government reported incidence of teenage pregnancy across Kenya has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic. Both scenarios spell the end of a girl’s dreams of tertiary education.
Dr Ntaiya identified that the girls at greatest risk were the recent high school graduates who have finished school but are yet to start their tertiary studies. These girls have been allocated university places but have yet to set foot on campus. Sadly we are now aware that 5 of these 42 students have been married since the outbreak of Covid-19 marking the end of their education.
In June, Women for Change raised emergency funds to enable Kakenya’s Dream to provide each of the remaining tertiary student with a pack that contained basics, such as food and sanitary products, as well as phone data packages and a solar radio. Dr Ntaiya believes that the emergency packs are keeping the remaining tertiary students connected to Kakenya’s Dream, thereby helping them to stay safe from marriage and teenage pregnancy, and to stay positive about their future.
Nearly all the girls in cohort 1 and 2, who were studying at university, have already signed up to take short online courses in areas associated with their studies or other areas of interest, using the data packages. The remaining students are being encouraged to join in.
The tertiary students from Kakenya’s Dream in Kenya are doing their best to get through the global pandemic so they can resume their studies to fulfill their dreams. For them September can’t come soon enough.