Maryan Mohamed, KEEP student, speaks to project stakeholders on the value of girls' education at HEA event. #KEEP © WUSC
Maryan Mohamed, KEEP student, speaks to project stakeholders on the value of girls' education at HEA event. #KEEP © WUSC

“Do not underestimate girls’ education.” Community reflections from our recent radio programming in Kenya.

The COVID-19 pandemic confirmed what we already knew – girls’ education is most at risk during emergency and crisis situations.

Many girls, particularly those in refugee camps and their surrounding host communities, may never return to school. That’s why we quickly adapted our conditional cash transfers (CTs) approach and our radio programming in Kenya to keep girls’ education a priority during this time.

What radio listeners are saying about girls’ education

Through live broadcasts of our interactive radio programming, in partnership with Africa Voices Foundation, listeners have told us what they think about girls’ education. Episodes were aired over a period of five weeks, with each weekly episode dedicated to a topic related to the pandemic and education

Many community members and parents in the Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps and surrounding host communities recognize that there is a role to play in protecting vulnerable groups, particularly young girls, from violence during the pandemic. They also recognize the importance and challenges of learning from home, and the need to provide motivation and encouragement, as well as equally allocate chores to girls and boys so that girls can continue their education.

WUSC is using the data from these interactive radio broadcasts to guide our ongoing gender analysis and to learn about what issues are most important to the families that we are working with across northern Kenya. With this information, we are adjusting our community mobilization approaches to focus on issues that families are prioritizing, and developing new approaches, such as WhatsApp video training sessions for teachers, that can provide the tools and resources to address issues that radio listeners are concerned about.

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