Mentoring can empower girls in slums

Pupils of Star of Hope Primary School in Lunga Lunga slums, Nairobi take a lesson while perched on their desks. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • For over a year, the girls went to after-school sessions where they could do their homework, and talk with someone from the community about the challenges they faced in and out of the classroom.
  • We saw a clear improvement in girls’ marks in English and Maths, and even in other subjects where they did not receive coaching. We saw improved attendance in classes. And we heard from parents that the project actually had an impact on their relationships with their daughters, their belief in education, and their entire wellbeing.

For two days in February, I was privileged to lend a hand to 139 girls from Nairobi’s Viwandani and Korogocho slums. These girls, who live precarious lives in difficult environments, were reaping the benefits of their hard work: Rather than ending their education in Standard Eight, they were off to secondary school, with a modest stipend to make that transition a bit easier.

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