About the Girls for Girls Program

Girls for Girls views the education of girls and young women as a fundamental human right.

If a girl is educated:

  • She has better knowledge and skills including economic skills.
  • She can make more informed decisions about her health.
  • She can build her self-esteem
  • She marries when she chooses.
  • She has a greater understanding of health issues, and so raises a healthy family

Girls for Girls aim to improve access to affordable sanitary products for school going girls

Lack of access to sanitary hygienic products and facilities is one of the main reasons why girls in slums and rural drop out of school.

Chariots of mercy foundation’s Girls for Girls believes thatno girl should ever miss a day of school because of lack of access to affordable hygienic sanitary products’.

The Girls for Girls program seeks to provide access to a variety of affordable sanitary products and sufficient and hygienic toilet facilities for girls in the community. The Girls for Girls Program is integrated in the Healthy School Program and includes three parts: hygiene/ health education, infrastructure development and economic empowerment.

The principles of the Girls for Girls Program are:

Sustainability – year on year (for a lifetime)

Educational opportunities – information not myths

Health, hygiene and sanitation – individuals, homes, and facilities

Cost-effective solutions – choice of alternatives

Environmentally friendly – minimize waste

Financial empowerment – no embarrassment in asking for money each month

Girls for Girls is programmed to address Millennium Development Goals for health, education, and gender equity by providing basic sanitary products and proper facilities so that girls can pursue education after puberty.

The community has identified that its lack of ability to address this simple issue leads to girls leaving school at an early age (at a disproportionate rate than boys) and leaves girls without skills necessary to participate in money-earning activities later in life, and unable to make informed decisions about their future.

 

Costs

The average cost per school to implement the complete programme is €11,038.

This cost includes:

“Girl Friendly” washrooms and latrines with a water supply = €6,684

Training costs for a school = €613

Program support costs for a year including staff, transport, administration, M&E = €2,028

Sanitary kits and resources for girls = €1712 (Approx. €9 per girl)

Average cost of entire program per girl (200 per school) = €47

Testimonials

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.

 

GIRLS’ Stories

Naomi

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.

Evaline

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.

 

Rose

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:

Creating connections

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.”