When Eden Grace first visited Lokoyo Friends Primary School (Turkana, Kenya), there were no girls in Standard Eight (8th grade). Standard One (1st grade) was evenly split, but along the way, the girls drop out.
They drop out because:
• Parents can’t afford to send them.
• Parents need them to work in the home.
• Girls don’t have sanitary towels. They stay home one week each month, fall behind, get discouraged and leave school.
• Girls in Turkana marry in their early teens and begin having babies.
Esther was the only girl in the Standard 7 class. It was unlikely she would stay in school long enough to complete Standard 8 let alone proceed to secondary school.
Eden took a leap of faith and promised Esther that if she passed her Standard 8 exams, we would send her to high school. FUM would ensure that all the girls who passed and qualified for high school were given the necessary funds to continue their education. With this promise, girls could stay in school — not just in Lokoyo, but in all of the Friends schools in Turkana.
What if Friends promised girls like Esther a scholarship to high school? Would the girls in the lower grades feel encouraged to stay in school if they knew they had a scholarship awaiting them?The impact of this promise of scholarship has affected the number of girls entering high school. In the beginning only one girl graduated from primary school and accepted the scholarship. Now, there are more than 20 girls completing primary school and qualifying for the scholarship. Each year the number grows! Clearly the promise of a high school scholarship helps prevent drop-outs in primary school.
It costs $400 per year to cover fees for one student. What will you give to keep “Esther” in school in Turkana and Samburu?
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For more information on how to get involved, contact Terri Johns.