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Article 03/05/2023

Celebrating ten years of the Girls’ Education Challenge in Kenya

Implemented for 10 years and supported by UKAid, the Girls Education Challenge (GEC) programme reached over 160,000 girls in eight counties across Kenya.

Education Development Trust (EDT) is incredibly proud of the success of the Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu project, which translates as ‘Let Our Girls Succeed’. The project – run in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Health, and the Teacher Service Commission (TSC), and supported by UKAid – has been instrumental in improving education outcomes for girls in some of Kenya’s most vulnerable communities.  

EDT maintains its commitment to supporting education for all children in Kenya, including girls, through its ongoing partnership with the MoE and other key education stakeholders.  

We celebrated the impact of Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu at an event with many of its stakeholders and girls who benefited from the programme. It was also a forum to discuss project learning and identify recommendations about how to sustain and scale such work across Kenya.  

Richard King, EDT's Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Regional Director, welcomed guests and emphasised the organisation's commitment to improving education outcomes for girls and all marginalised students in Kenya and across the SSA region. He thanked the partners, stakeholders, and donors for the support they provided during the project's implementation. 

Chacha Mwita, Director of Policy, Partnerships & East Africa Community Affairs, said: 

“EDT has played a critical role in the academic realization of 160,000 marginalised girls. It has really embodied the ethos that no girl is left behind. It has facilitated the transition of girls from primary to secondary school, mentorship, back to school kits, re-enrollment for those that have dropped out due to various difficult contexts, put together catchup classes as well as supporting girls, to receive vocational training.  The project has worked tremendously hard to ensure, whatever stage the girl is at, she is supported and given hope for the future.” 

What Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu has achieved: 

  • Reaching over 160,000 girls in eight counties across over 610 schools, representing the arid and semi-arid lands and urban slum contexts.  

  • A holistic gender-responsive approach, working at the level of the school, the home, the community and directly with girls themselves. 

  • Training for over 6,000 teachers and 520 headteachers and government staff working at county and sub-county levels, using a powerful teacher-coaching model for gender-responsive pedagogy.  

  • Improving transition for girls from primary to secondary, from 74% to 96%.  

  • Improving academic performance for girls, with an average increase of 11% for literacy and 12% for numeracy. 

  • Helping to shift girls’ perceptions towards technical, vocational education and training (TVET) and STEM subjects, with a twofold increase in the number of girls saying they would like to pursue a career in STEM and supported to transition to TVET.  

  • Supporting stronger policies to strengthen education outcomes for girls, and also boys, in Kenya’s hardest-to-reach areas.

One of the girls who benefited from the programme spoke of her gratitude to EDT and all those involved in the project for their dedication and hard work. 

“I stand here before you as a girl that is hopeful, confident, and full of curiosity. EDT’s programme has believed in me and has given me the best gift of excellent teachers that have encouraged me to chase my dreams.  

“Before the project, I was unsure if I would even go to secondary school at all, now I have finished secondary school and I am preparing to study special needs education at university. EDT has changed the course of my life and for that I want to say thank you.”  

Find out more about our Girls’ Education Challenge