Thursday, October 11, 2012

United Nations International Day of the Girl

The International Day of the Girl is about celebrating, discussing, and advancing girls lives and opportunities around the world, that is why the KGSA Foundation has decided to use this day to launch our 2012 Dormitory Campaign: Thriving Girls. Thriving Community.

The KGSA students and families have advocated for a voluntary dormitory providing safe and secure housing, afterschool tutoring and academic support, on-site counseling and referrals, and community programming as a way to strengthen the academic experience of our students, ultimately strengthening the larger community.  This past summer, the KGSA Foundation purchased land directly next to the school specifically for this initiative, and have been working with students, staff, and administration, along with a Kenyan architectural firm to design this very building.

In regards to community development, together the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy and the KGSA Foundation have always been about quality over quantity.  We know that through education, extra-curricular opportunities, and a supportive community, these students can become the next generation of leaders and will transform their communities and country.  We have no interest in competing in the numbers game within International Development in terms of 'how many girls we are educating' but instead, we tend to focus on how well we educate and what that translates into for the students upon graduation.  Six years after starting with a few soccer balls and interested students, nine graduates from KGSA have been admitted into universities and their final year exam scores continue to rise.  The 2012 Dormitory Campaign is a continuation of our belief in women as change-makers - when girls in Kibera thrive, the entire community thrives.

You may be asking yourself, "Why is this building necessary, there is already an existing structure?"

For most of our students, the time they spend at school is the only time they have to process and learn the material for the class.  Many of their households do not have electricity, they lack adequate space to read and study, and they have additional responsibilities within the household to attend to upon their return home. This will continue to address the issue of quality over quantity.  In order for the KGSA students to continue to excel and increase their performance, they need to be able to have the adequate space to study and learn.  This means that they space for tutoring, mentoring, quiet studies, and most importantly, distraction free housing options.  This is all voluntary, they can spend a night before an exam, or stay for a full year, it is up to them and their family.  We are only responding to what they have been advocating for over the past years.

The 2012 Dormitory Campaign will increase performance, participation and, engagement through:

1.)   Safe Housing:  Currently, one-sixth of KGSA students (~20) live in unsafe housing, including situations of abuse.  First and foremost, this dormitory will provide a safe, stable living environment for these students furthering their academic progress and development. Next, we will open the dormitory up to students in their last two years of high school.  This will provide distraction-free housing with additional academic support to study and prepare for their Kenya Certificates of Secondary Examinations (KCSE).  KCSE’s are final term exams that have a large influence on what one can do after graduation.

2.)   Academic Opportunities: We are incorporating an academic study room and library into the dormitory to serve as a quiet place to research, study, and receive tutoring assistance after school hours.  Space will contain 10 computer stations, high-speed Internet & a comprehensive library.

3.)   Counseling & Resource Referral:  KGSA Foundation is working together with the School of Social-Work at both Denver University and the University of Nairobi to find ways to create an on-site counselor to facilitate individual and group sessions for our students and families.

4.)   Community Programming /Micro Credit:  More space means more community programming.  A large community center will hold our micro credit meetings, vocational training, and social entrepreneurship skill building classes.

5.)   Craft Room: We will be expanding an already successful program of helping mothers of the students gain bead-working skills so that they can sell their products through fair trade organizations. More money in families means more meals for KGSA students, which supports their academic performance.

6.)   Eco-Friendly: The building will use solar panel technology to power the building and will incorporate a rain harvesting and water purification system to insure clean water for the school and surrounding community.

  Help spread the word about the 2012 Dormitory Campaign: Thriving Girls. Thriving Community.  Share this on Facebook & Twitter, send to family and friends, and DONATE TODAY.  To ensure that your donation will go directly to this Campaign, please write the word Dormitory in the notes section and your donation will be moved to a separate savings account.