Why aren’t their more girls in the sponsorship program?
The answers to this frequently asked and important question are both shockingly simple and terribly complex.
The traditional roles of girls and women in Africa are in conflict with modern female roles and education. Traditionally, females in Africa are taught to be quiet and subservient to males. Girls, unlike boys, are expected to fetch water, cook and care for siblings and family members; chores which take hours daily to perform. Additionally, girls are often married at a very young age. Many Kenyan girls believe that their only future will be a wife and mother. Many families see little value in educating their daughter or choose to use their limited money to educate a boy instead.
These traditional roles of women in Kenyan society are slowly changing as more women are able to receive an education and work outside the home. This change is critical to the long-term economic and social success of this country where most families are run by single mothers.
Now for the shockingly simple answer.
Many girls cannot afford sanitary napkins. The lack of sanitary napkins often leads to excessive absences and, thus, poor academic performance. This is an extremely large financial and logistical barrier to girl’s education in Kenya.
What we are doing about it?
Nomad is working towards forming lasting partnerships with numerous organizations, working to provide reusable sanitary napkins to our neighboring schools. We have created relationships with schools, teachers and community leaders who share our goal of educating more Kenyan girls and assist us in identifying and nurturing promising young girls for sponsorship.
We have found that girls as a whole are most successful in boarding schools. There are over 100 secondary boarding schools for girls throughout Kenya. These schools offer girls freedom from the cultural demands of their family and an opportunity to explore new ideas in a supportive educational environment.