WEST POKOT GIRLS STORY
Making my Pokot a Better Place….
Ensuring Girl Education through Distribution of Sanitary towels in Schools
As the sun rises over the hills of the West Pokot terrain, one in ten girls of school going age will miss out on classes for the next four days due to their menses. Anna a 15-year-old girl from Timale primary school notes that ‘I used to use cloths that I would cut from my old T-shirts to keep the blood from staining my dresses, but they were not enough and blood would still stain my clothes. Now during my periods, I will stay in the dorm until I stop bleeding, before coming to come to class’ Despite sanitary towels being one of the basic needs of girls from the age of 10, most parents in this area cannot afford to provide this for their girls. The girls are forced to either stay at home and wait out the menses or use various unhygienic materials during this period. The time missed out in school accounts to an equivalent of 36 important school days which the girl is deprived of time off school which will make a difference in her future.
The Chariots of Mercy foundation, founded by Ben and Ann, raises awareness for the needs of sanitary towels for girls in this marginalized county. With a group of friends, they set out on Wednesday 25th February 2015 to West Pokot with determination to ensure that girls in 7 primary schools are able to attend their classes for the next few months without missing classes due to lack of sanitary towels.
West Pokot County, cannot afford the cost of girls dropping out of school. An educated girl adds to a country’s GDP, and is essential for lifting herself, her family and her community out of poverty.
A 28 year old mother of 4, sits in the class with her crisp black uniform, ready to take in the knowledge being delivered by her teachers. She sat for her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations in 2005 and scored 242 marks out of the 500 marks. She was unable to join secondary school at the time due to lack of resources and this led her to getting married. In 2006 Naomi was pregnant with her first child and resolved to stay home to take care of her children, while her husband pursued his education. She subsequently had 3 other children, and once her husband had completed secondary education, they had a discussion about her dreams and resolved that it was time for her to go back to school to pursue her dreams of becoming a teacher. Mr. Musa, the Principal of Kapkata Secondary school offered her the opportunity and despite the fact that she has to walk 20 kms to and from school she has the confidence that when she finishes school she will be able to achieve her dreams. With her husband supporting her, from his teaching assistant job in the school where he studied, she is determined to make the Sook hills a better place for her children and the generations to come.
an 18 year old lady became pregnant when she was in class 7 in 2012, she delivred twins, nursed them and 2 years later she went to Kapkata primary school where she sat for her exams and scored 307 marks. Her aspiration is to become a nurse one day and Kapkata Secondary school is giving her an opportunity to get closer to her goal of becoming a nurse.
I passed my primary school exam very well and was to join high school last February 2016. Pastor William saved me from FGM and early marriage and has been my parent since then- my parents were killed after a cattle raid by the karamonjong of Uganda.
Through the help of Pastor William and the church i was able to finish my primary education and my hopes and dream of becoming a nurse is now alive hope i will one day come back and serve my community and rescue fellow girls from FGM and early marriage. Thank you chariots of mercy for making this possible.
Our strategic plan
Building on the strong foundations from the experience we have gathered in years, we have developed a new planning framework. With extensive partners engagement during 2014 to set the future direction for all the organizations in contributing to the work of chariots of mercy foundation.
These strategic directions set the path for the future.
They reflect the aspirations of the communities with who chariots of mercy foundation works and its role in supporting the realization of these aspirations.
The future direction of chariots of mercy foundation will be focused on three main areas of work:
Creating an enabling environment for communities to realize change through:
Transferring knowledge and experience
Focusing on innovative responses to opportunity and needs
Continuing, in a partnership-based approach, to deliver relevant programs to meet the needs of communities and individuals, while building new program that:
Focus on sustainable livelihoods (including agricultural diversity and productivity to increase household incomes)
Recognize the importance of a gender perspective as an important dimension of realizing change
Facilitate economic development
Promote global solidarity and understanding
Transitioning to a Kenyan led organization in partnership with an expanded and strengthened chariots of mercy foundation network by:
Building the capacity and capability of governance and program delivery in Kenya;
Establishing and strengthening other chariots of mercy foundation focusedentities to achieve these strategic directions
Focusing on financial sustainability to meet chariots of mercy commitment in supporting the aspirations of the community
Chariots of mercy foundation s operational plan from 2014 to 2017 is called ‘Creating Better Futures’.
It will be focused around four main themes, which include:
Better education – Increased access to strengthened formal and informal educational opportunities for communities
Improved healthcare – Improved health of community members together with increased coverage and effectiveness of health systems
Clean water – Access to clean water for communities
Thriving economy – Increased household income in the sub-counties
Chariots of mercy foundation’s theory of change
Chariots of mercy foundation’s programs all contribute to bringing about the change the communities want to see.
“As authors of their own development, the community led healthier lives and applies their increased education and knowledge creating sustainable livelihoods and stronger communities.”