Supporting Girls Education in Kenya

Tutor Elizabeth Wanjiriu Kamau, a University of Nairobi Astrophysics graduate, provides mentorship to schoolgirls by talking about her own journey through education and her career path

this article on girls education was published on DARA Big Data. Read the full article.

Elimisha Msichana, Elimisha Jamii na Astronomia (EMEJA) started as a mentorship programme to support girls education for school girls in Kenya between 12 to 18 years old. The programme was founded by Kenyan DARA Project student Ann Njeri, who is an Astrophysics PhD student at the University of Manchester.

Statistics show that less than 20% of girls aged 15 – 19 in Kenya complete secondary education and even fewer go on to further education. These statistics are even worse in the large rural regions of the country, leading to continuing inequality. This hampers the social and economic growth in poorer regions, with girls not able to realise their full potential by developing careers outside of the home. EMEJA wants to widely promote the fact that girls education is just as important as boys, and to encourage communities to support their girls to stay in education.

EMEJA is working with local teachers and tutors to jointly organise activities to support girls education such as Astro-STEM Workshops & Mentorship in rural secondary schools throughout the year. These events allow female pupils to get involved in fun activities related to astronomy, physics, electronics, geography and computers. The Astro-STEM Workshops & Mentorship have been very successful and have so far reached hundreds of young schoolgirls who have been very keen to participate. One of the schools involved in this project had only 1 female physics student before the workshop. But as a direct result of Astro-STEM activities, it gained 16 more!

EMEJA serves the purpose of opening student’s eyes to other parts of the world that they had not considered. It was gratifying to see the possibilities expand for them as they began to set their bars higher.

Schoolgirls at St Peters Girls School read about EMEJA and the support that the project is offering them to stay in education