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When the girls first arrived on campus for Wasichana Pamoja Jamii, they were shy, quiet, and barely took their eyes off the floor when speaking. After four days on the Flying Kites campus learning, bonding, and growing, the girls showed an incredible increase in confidence – eagerly asking questions in group settings; answering queries posed by the teachers in a strong, loud voice; showing their personal strength in the physical exercises, and volunteering to lead discussions and role-playing activities in front of large groups.
— Rahab Wambui, Program Coordinator

While access to education for girls has increased in Kenya, wide disparities remain in poorer rural communities like those served by Flying Kites. In our district, girls are at significant risk for dropping out of school due to early pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence, and cultural misconceptions about an educated girl’s potential to contribute to her family’s livelihood.

Girls United empowers and supports young women across our rural district to stay in school, stand up for their rights, plan for their future, and become confident agents of change for themselves and in their communities.

At Flying Kites Academy, girls in grades 4-8 participate in weekly Girls United meetings throughout the school term, learning about sexual and reproductive health and rights, building skills for positive decision-making, and developing their leadership capabilities.

Young women from the Flying Kites School Network also benefit from Girls United programming. In August 2019, we welcomed 91 girls from grade 7 classes across our district to a series of workshops hosted in partnership with Ujamaa on our campus. Over the four days of intensive training – utilizing the No Means No Worldwide curriculum that includes group discussions, games and physical activities, and role-playing – the young women made significant gains in their knowledge about sexual and reproductive health, as well as their confidence in defending themselves against sexual abuse.

 
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In Kenya, 32% of young women report that they experienced sexual violence, and 66% report that they experienced physical violence, before the age of 18.