The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Taking the Slum out of the Girl

The students of Kibera School for Girls
Bella Zanesco (www.bellazanesco.com)

Kibera is Kenya's largest slum.  Young girls in Kibera can be seen selling sex for food; they have little to no value in the eyes of the community, and are thus brushed aside.  But at the back of an alley, there's a cheerful, bright pink and blue building.  The girls there are running around, cheerful and happy.  They're at the Kibera School for Girls, and, as young as they are, they know exactly how lucky they are to be there.

The Kibera School for Girls is completely free for the girls who attend.  They pay no tuition, are given uniforms and school supplies for free, and are provided with (free) meals.  Instead of paying for these services, parents volunteer at the school and the attached community centre for five weeks a year, which serves to invest all parties in both the success of the girls and of the school.  In this way, whole families get access to clean water and facilities, and a better way of life.  To read more about the Kibera School for Girls, read "A Place Where Girls Matter."

Organizations like the Kibera School for Girls can transform both the lives of the girls who attend as well as communities.  Girls who attend school are less likely to be exposed to HIV, and are less likely to get married or pregnant while young.  They have more self-confidence, and are more likely to stand up and fight for their rights.  For more benefits of girls' education, visit The World Bank's Girls' Education page.

-Katie Weidmann
Junior Girl
Girl Museum, Inc.

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