— RAMAT OONTOYIE™ (‘NURTURING THE GIRL’)

EDUCATION

WHY EDUCATE GIRLS ?

Educating women is the single, most effective way to reduce poverty, improve health and economic well-being, and bring development to communities throughout the world. Persistent poverty and cultural belief in the Maasai community perpetuate the subjugation of women, denying them basic human rights.

 

If you educate a girl, she will grow up knowing her rights and have the confidence and independence to stand up for them.  that an educated man would spend.  Today, even with free primary school education in Kenya since January 2003, only 48 percent of Maasai girls enroll in school, and only 10 percent of girls make it to secondary school.

 

But the cultural pressures against women’s education are nothing short of overwhelming.

Kenya’s Free Primary Education Programme is set to reduce/end school dropouts resulting from a lack of school fees.

However, the number of girls not completing primary school education is on the rise meaning they miss out on this fundamental basic education.

This can be linked to girls lacking self-agency and community not prioritizing education for girls.

  • Economic incentives for early marriage, such as cattle and cash dowries the belief that the biological family does not benefit from educating a daughter, since the girl becomes a member of her husband’s family when she marries, and they will reap the benefits. 
  • The distances that a girl must walk to the nearest school make it unsafe, and even impossible for a nursery-school-age child
  • Fear of early pregnancy, which is a disgrace before marriage and lowers the bride price, which perpetuates the practice of early marriage,
  • The annual cost to educate girls is prohibitive for most Maasai family but, if economically feasible, sons are always given priority.

Even for those who make it to school, the long walks undermine education. Not surprisingly, teachers report that children who have spent two to five hours walking to school in the morning, often without having had anything to eat, are tired, and their ability to concentrate is impaired.

This initiative seeks to increase the number of girls who attend and complete their education from various learning institutions as well as mentor them to ensure they attain the highest level of education.

The major effects of girls lacking basic education results in a perpetual cycle of poverty, inability to make informed decisions/choices contributing to their future economic and social wellbeing. The consequences of these are:

  • Early marriages
  • School dropouts as a result of teenage pregnancies
  • Lack of agency e.g. career choices

Our solutions to address the girls’ dropping out of school is anchored in offering an inclusive and responsive learning environment that will see the girls access safe spaces for mentorship, peer to peer learning, and opportunities to build social capital.

 

Patinaai Osim delivers support in the following ways:

  • Mentorship program
  • Girl clubs to build social capital
  • Facilitate the establishment of school libraries to encourage reading culture

Donors and well-wishers are welcome to contribute. A donation to the General Scholarship Fund which will help us retain girls in school and ensure completion.