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Girls’ Education Challenge visit from UK’s Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford MP

We were delighted to welcome Vicky Ford MP, Minister for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Jane Marriot, the UK’s High Commissioner to Kenya, along with Kahlif Hussein, County Director of Education from Kenya’s Ministry of Education, to the Girls’ Education Challenge programme led by Education Development Trust in Kenya on 17 January 2022.

Ms Ford was welcomed to the Mkwajuni Primary school in Kilifi County, a participant school of our Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) programme – Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu (which means ‘Let our Girls Succeed’), funded by UK Aid. Head Teacher, Ms Charity Mapenzi, greeted the delegation, along with Rosa Muraya, Deputy Director of the programme and Regional Girls’ Education Lead.

Ms Mapenzi gave an overview of some of the programme’s interventions, for example how solar lamps and solar radios have supported girls to continue to learn when at home, and how cash transfers and provision of dignity kits have enabled girls to continue attending school. She also shared how we responded to the Covid-19 crisis to ensure continuation of learning for girls, including developing tutorials and resources via low-tech and no-tech solutions, and engaging Community Health Volunteers (read more on this here). Our approach led to 91% of GEC girls living in the arid and semi-arid (ASAL) and 72% of those in urban areas spending upwards of two hours per day learning during the period of school closures – quite an achievement and a higher figure than many countries, including parts of the UK at the time of school closures.  [1] 

It was also great to demonstrate in-person the impact on the girls in the school. We shared with the Minister and High Commissioner how the programme has led to an improvement in learning retention and the transition of girls from primary to secondary education. We are proud to have been able to demostrate this improvement in our latest impact report which highlighted that we helped to improve learning outcomes and transitions for 59,500 disadvantaged girls during our 2020-21 year.

[1] https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/2020/06/11/the-numbers-behind-homeschooling-during-lockdown/