350 girls representing 42 local schools participated in our Health and Leadership Training camp this November, making it one of our largest camps yet!
The girls attended numerous sessions throughout the week on topics ranging from sexual and reproductive health and rights, to leadership and life skills, to self-defense and sessions about the harmful effects of traditional practices including female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. By learning about their bodies, health, and rights in these important trainings, the girls are able to face day-to-day challenges in their lives and make informed decisions about their health, education and future.
The weeklong training camp culminated with a graduation ceremony that serves as an alternative rite of passage for the girls, as it is celebrated at a time in girls’ lives when an FGM ceremony would traditionally take place. Instead of being subjected to a dangerous and painful practice that traditionally ushers girls in the community into adulthood, the Health and Leadership Training graduation ceremony celebrates the girls’ accomplishments, new-found knowledge, and personal value.
Health and Leadership Trainings like ours empower girls to be leaders in their own lives and communities. Each transformative session impacts not only the lives of the hundreds of girls at the session, but also the lives of those around them; in addition to empowering girls to advocate for themselves, the trainings also teach them a variety of skills and tactics to advocate for and uplift others, ensuring that they can take home what they learn from the trainings to share with others.
In the next year, Kakenya’s Dream is hoping to continue expanding our Health and Leadership Training program, offering more trainings per year and reaching more girls and schools in the community than ever before.