The Lwala Community Alliance aims to prepare the next generation of local leaders through universal quality education. School has the potential to create social capital, building stronger connections between people of different tribes, networks for future businesses, and support systems that can better adapt to social ills like HIV. Our efforts to build capacity through educational opportunity include the following:
The positive effects of keeping girls in school are well documented: higher wages, later age of sexual debut and marriage, better farm productivity and family nutrition, smaller family size, lower infant and maternal mortality, higher rates of school enrollment for future children, and, notably, a reduction of HIV rates.
In partnership with Harpeth Hall School, we provide school uniforms to school girls in grades 6-8 in 13 local schools as incentives to stay in school. Through the support of Johnson & Johnson, we also provide pad kits (consisting of reusuable sanitary pads, underwear, soap, and sexual and reproductive health information) to the same girls in order to boost school attendance and provide health education. Both the uniforms and the pads are locally produced by our women’s sewing cooperative. Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation supports Salama Pamoja, a girls mentoring program to reduce vulnerability to unplanned pregnancy and HIV and improve their access to social and health services. In addition, we partner with Together for Girls, BD, and Johnson & Johnson to combat gender-based violence through mentoring in-school girls, clubs for girls who have dropped out, and trainings for teachers. This work has been featured in the Guardian.
Through the support of our partner, Blood:Water Mission, we conduct school-based health outreach at all 13 schools that includes water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) trainings and the provision of clean water resources and latrines. At the same schools, we work with our partner PPFA to host ongoing health clubs and to connect young people to needed health services. We also run ”Better Breaks,” a program that aims to reduce the dual vulnerabilities for unplanned pregnancy and HIV infection among adolescents during school holiday breaks.
Secondary school is not free or universal in Kenya. Thanks to our partnership with the Kenya Education Fund and Education for All Children, each year 40 talented students who lack the means to go to school receive scholarships to secondary school.
These students also receive mentoring and participate in leadership and career workshops. With support, many more of these children will have the chance to realize their educational and vocational calling.
Through a partnership with Development in Gardening (DIG), we have established permacultures at three schools that function to improve student performance by beautifying the grounds with lush productive gardens, promoting sustainable agriculture to the larger community, and providing food on school grounds.
With 15 local schools in our catchment area, we hope to expand this program in the next several years.
You can help us sustain our existing programs and roll out further initiatives by making a donation now.