International Women's Day 2021
When girls are educated, everyone benefits. Educated girls mean stronger economies, fairer societies and more resilient communities. This is the message from Phyllis Mureu, the executive director of Windle International Kenya, in a new short film produced to mark International Women's Day this year.
When girls receive an education, they are less likely to marry young. They are better able to make decisions for themselves and their families and take part more meaningfully in conversations that affect them.
Educating girls leads to more peaceful and equitable societies, where boys, girls, men and women can reach their true potential.
The problem is that around the world, over 130 million girls are out of school. Conflict drastically reduces opportunities for girls to continue their education. Girls in conflict-affected areas are 90% more likely to be out of secondary school than those living in areas without violence.
Girls living in refugee camps and settlements, and those living in communities affected by conflict and marginalisation, are most vulnerable. Factors such as lack of adequately trained teachers, over-crowded classrooms and limited access to services result in poor quality education for many. Lack of electricity, internet and even basic necessities like food, water and sanitation all disproportionately and negatively impact girls.
In many of the communities Windle International works in, girls and women do the majority of the household chores and caring work, so that in addition to their school work, girls also must find time to cook, clean, and care; often they fall behind in their education or drop out completely. This means they are less likely to be able to pursue further studies and we see fewer girls being eligible for our higher education scholarship programmes.
Specialists in Girls' Education for refugees, conflict-affected communities and marginalised people!
Windle International has decades of experience providing education for refugee and conflict-affected communities in eastern Africa. In 2019, we supported 500,000 girls to access and continue education.
We have a long history of working with girls in refugee communities and those affected by the conflict in Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan and, most recently, Somalia. We provide truly inclusive, quality education at every stage, from early childhood development centres to postgraduate education, to vocational training.
Our approach works because of our unique and trusted position within the communities we work with. Our staff and teachers are from those communities, they live and work there, and are part of life in many of the places in which we work. Our interventions increase community support for educating girls, improve teacher to student ratios in classrooms, provide extra teaching and learning materials and offer remedial classes to help girls catch up when needed.
New project will bring improved learning outcomes to thousands of children
A new project has been launched that will see nearly 15,000 secondary school students better able to study, despite the many challenges of school life in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya.
In November 2020, a partnership agreement between Windle International Kenya (WIK) and Book Aid International (BAI) was signed for the implementation of the Mini Solar Homework Club project.
The Mini Solar Homework Club project aims provide students and teachers with access to quality up to date supplementary subject books, revision guides and youth fiction as well as solar lamps to increase learning time.
Providing solar lamps and new curriculum support books and novels for secondary school students to borrow and use to support their studies after school addresses challenges such as inadequate learning resources and lack of electricity, and leads to improved reading and learning outcomes.
The Windle International Kenya schools participating in the project are: Greenlight Refugee School; Kakuma Refugee Secondary School; Kalobeyei Settlement Secondary School; Somali Bantu Secondary School; Vision Secondary School; Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls; Brightstar Integrated Secondary School (BISS) The donations to the 7 schools participating includes: 2,800 UK donated books (400 per school) & Local curriculum textbooks and set texts/books worth £1,400 & 910 A2 solar lamps for students.
The Mini Solar Homework Club builds on the success of the first Solar Homework Club project in Kakuma, where six secondary schools were provided with a collection of supplementary books, solar lamps and training to assist teachers to set up a lending scheme to enable students to borrow books and lamps and study at home.
Book Aid International (BAI) works in libraries, schools and other contexts in and beyond sub-Saharan Africa, donating books and delivering library development and librarian and teacher training projects, directly and through implementing partners (IP).
Each year, Book Aid International sends thousands of brand new, carefully selected books for secondary schools to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya through Windle International Kenya.
Windle International Kenya, a member of Windle International, is a humanitarian organisation providing quality education to children and young people from refugee and marginalized communities. WIK manages secondary schools in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps as the lead implementing partner of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), and runs a range of quality educational programmes and scholarships aimed at improving the educational outcomes and ultimately contributing to the creation of peaceful and durable communities.
Why provide books and lamps?
The books and lamps will help students with their homework, and particularly help with improving reading and English skills. Teachers will also benefit from using the books to help enhance their lessons, and the lamps will enable them to prepare for lessons in the evenings.
The Mini Solar Homework Club project adds to the existing solar lamps that students can borrow along with their books in the evenings as most students do not have electricity at home and often struggle to study after school. This is targeted to Form 4 students with girls being given the priority.
An estimated 1,700 revision books were distributed to Form 4 candidates in the year 2020.
Investing in the most vulnerable
Studying outside of school hours is hard, especially for girls and child-headed households (young people looking after siblings without parents). They often have to use available daylight in the morning and after school for chores such as cooking, collecting firewood and fetching water. Access to lamps is especially valuable for these children who, in spite of their circumstances and busy schedules, are determined to succeed. The lamps are enabling them to study at night once they have finished their chores and also in the mornings before dawn.
International Day of Education - January, 24
Education is a basic human right. Children and young people who have lived through conflict and experienced being marginalised within society have often had their education interrupted, sometimes for many years. Their chances of succeeding and being able to live a happy, safe and fulfilled life are affected, which in turn has a huge impact on future peace and development.
We passionately believe that those who have been affected by conflict and marginalisation should be the architects of creating peaceful societies, which is why we focus on giving children the best possible start in life through education, and in providing the means for those who have the ability, to further excel in their chosen field.
You can make a difference today by participating in our International Day of Education appeal. This year, you can get involved by raising vital funds that will go towards making sure children in Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia have access to the best quality education available. From providing desks and learning materials to teacher training, scholarships and vocational training, your support can make a huge difference this year.