We are thrilled to be the recipient of a $10,000 Circle of Sisterhood Grant, Girl Power, Empowering Students in Health, Leadership and Life Skills, as part of our new initiative to combat teen pregnancy and reduce violence against women and girls. During the pandemic, we saw 97 girls at our 62 partner schools become pregnant while schools were closed; many as a result of non-consensual relationships.
Through this program, Kenya Connect has brought together community stakeholders for the first time; child protection officers, police, teachers, village leaders, pastors, public health officers, media representatives and parents, to discuss the challenge of increased teen pregnancy. Our team is working with these stakeholder groups and faculty at the University of New Hampshire to develop a research plan and to conduct in-depth interviews to understand the scope of the issue in an effort to develop a comprehensive action plan.
Part of the plan will include a Girl Power program that will bring girls and boys together in grades 6 and 7 to develop leadership skills, build confidence and provide education on sexual health and reproduction. It will provide a safe place for them to ask questions and to give them the tools to protect themselves and be advocates for one another.
“We are grateful to the sororities who have raised funds for the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation for this grant program. The pandemic deepened the educational divide for our rural learners, while at the same time, created the conditions for sexual predators to take advantage of our girls. We are heartened by the response of the community leaders who came together to discuss this issue and their willingness to work together to keep girls, women and youth safe.” Sharon Runge, Executive Director, USA.
We look forward to updating you on this important project.