Overview: Elimisha Msichana. Elimisha Jamii na Astronomia. (Swahili for ‘educate a girl, educate the entire community with Astronomy’)

In Kenya, although 70.4% of girls aged 15-19 years manage to achieve some sort of primary education only 4.5% complete secondary education (World Bank, 2012). Only 3.5% of women (aged 15+) have completed tertiary education (World Bank, 2015). This is due to many socio-economic challenges such as teenage pregnancies, early marriages, FGM, poverty and lack of mentorship. EMEJA will support schoolgirls and their families in rural areas of Kenya through astronomy outreach, mentorship & inspirational programmes.Mentorship: Rural areas lack leadership, mentorship and outreach for young schoolgirls. Most schemes are aimed at girls already in secondary schools, thus missing key primary-to-secondary transition where dropout rates are high. EMEJA will support and mentor girls as they complete primary education, proceed to and through secondary school. This will be achieved by visiting primary schools, engaging girls in their last year of primary education and providing mentorship throughout secondary.School fees funding: Lack of school fees is the key reason for school discontinuation in rural areas. This disproportionally affect girls. We will work with local rural day secondary schools to provide sponsorship for some of the poorest girls.STEM Mentorship: Hold intensive astronomy themed 2-day workshops 3x per academic year, targeting Forms 1&2 female students in local rural day secondary schools. Physics, Chemistry and Biology are first introduced in Form 1 and selected/dropped in Form 3. The aim is to “nip the Physics/STEM misconception in the bud” before many girls drop Physics.EMEJA aims to; 1) engage local communities in positively tackling the above socio-economic challenges; 2) increase number of girls completing secondary education in rural areas; 3) increase numbers of girls picking Physics & STEM; and 4) develop resources for often underfunded local rural day secondary schools. Astronomy is the key tool & central theme around which activities will be built.

Contact: info@elimishamsichana.org