We are very pleased to announce that WUSC, along with Windle Trust Kenya (WTK), has secured funding to continue our work in girls’ education in Kenya. The Kenya Equity in Education Project (KEEP) was one of the initiatives selected by the UK government’s aid agency Department for International Development (DFID), as part of their Girls’ Education Challenge “Step Change” fund. DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge represents the single greatest investment in girls’ education made by a donor. WUSC will receive 12 million pounds over three years.
KEEP aims to improve the life chances of marginalized girls and boys in Northern Kenya, by improving the access and quality of education in four target communities (including the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps where WUSC and WTK currently operate). The project will work towards:
- building girl-friendly school environments,
- providing targeted support to female learners, and
- generating parent and community support for girls’ education
KEEP is the latest evolution of WUSC’s work with girl’s education in the camps and surrounding areas. In 2007, WUSC launched its in-camp strategy for refugee programming, with three key objectives:
- increasing girls’ access to education,
- improving quality and access to formal and non-formal education, and
- increasing awareness amongst Canadian about refugee issues.
With the support of 60 Million Girls Foundation in 2008, WUSC and WTK were able to pilot the girls’ education initiative. A main component of the pilot was the remedial education courses. Thanks to the after-school courses, girls were able to catch up on their homework and become more confident in their abilities. In 2011, WUSC received continued funding to help our in-camp initiatives through the US State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM).
With the funding from 60 Million Girls and BPRM, WUSC and WTK were able to learn lessons and build the evidence base necessary to attract additional donor support.
WUSC Local Committees and individual donors also played a huge role by raising money and awareness for the Shine a Light campaign, which provided refugee girls with the skills and resources needed to thrive at school. Many LCs, who were already supporting the Student Refugee Program, understood the importance of girls’ education and they encouraged WUSC to make this a top priority.
With this new DFID funding, WUSC and WTK will be able to sustain and further develop the work started in the camps to increase the number of girls succeeding in school.