A crash course in changing the world.
My parents were born into poverty. But because someone believed in them, they received a good basic education. From this, they raised 4 of their own children each of who are educated to post graduate level. They also educated a village of children who have grown up to be teachers, doctors, researchers, politicians (sadly), lawyers, entrepreneurs etc... I am a great believer in education and especially the education (both formal and informal) of girls and women.
As such, I support numerous education initiatives and would like to share about my work with the Global Give Back Circle (GGBC). GGBCs mission is to harness the talents of women globally to transition disadvantaged girls out of the circle of poverty and into a circle of social participation, contribution, fulfilment and independence. GGBC is all about women giving back to women. As a member of GGBC I support 2 girls from the Starehe Girls Centre, a national boarding school that offers secondary education to financially disadvantaged girls from all provinces of Kenya.
A disadvantaged girl in Kenya overcomes massive odds when she is awarded sponsorship to one of Kenya’s High Schools dedicated to educating girls. For four years she lives and grows emotionally, intellectually and spiritually in a nurturing and motivating environment. Upon graduation, without further intervention, she will return to the circle of poverty from which she came. PHASE I
In Kenya, due to a culmination of complicated circ***tances, the gap period between high school graduation and beginning university, college or trade school ranges from 4 - 21 months. For those girls awarded a university, college or trade school sponsorship, the survival challenges faced during the gap period are often too great to overcome. As a result, instead of completing university, college or trade school, they disappear from the radar and end up being married off to men not of their choice, working as domestic help, or in situations even worse. PHASE II
Everyone has different skills, capabilities and talent. Some of the girls in the program will qualify for the 4-year government scholarship university degree programs, some will qualify for 2-3 year college certificates and diplomas whilst others will aspire to gain marketable skills through certified trade schools. This is critical, because they are no longer living in collective groups with other girls. PHASE III
Once they girls have completed their tertiary education, the goal is to ensure, as best as possible, that they find gainful employment in the profession or career to which they most aspire. Maintaining a positive attitude and staying focused and motivated are essential. PHASE IV
Although each girl commits to various forms of Giving Back throughout the process once she is gainfully employed she commits to Giving Back as a Global Give Back Circle Mentor, Coordinator, Team Leader or Director and she commits to Giving Back monetarily to the Global Give Back Circle Endowment Fund. PHASE V
GGBC works with the Starehe Girls though these 5 phases to ensure they successfully complete high school, gain valuable experiences during the gap year, access quality tertiary education, gain employment and give back to girls in Kenya, re-starting the Circle and ensuring sustainability. GGBC uses technology to enable strong one-to-one relationships, across towns and borders ensuring the women across the globe can empower these girls. Personal engagement erases ignorance, fosters understanding and allows anyone to participate as a global citizen.
The GGBC website shares powerful stories of the girls (and mentors) including a clip of a presentation by 4 of the students at the very prestigious Clinton Global Initiative 2009 Annual Meeting. I encourage you all to visit the site and join the Circle today.