Kakenya’s Dream is excited to congratulate our Founder and President, Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya, on receiving the 2019 Break The Silence Rosie McGrath Activist Award, presented on the margins of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
Awarded by There Is No Limit Foundation, the Rosie McGrath Activist Award recognizes activists who are working every day to break the silence about harmful practices and human rights abuses—individuals who are creating impact and using their resources and talents to achieve a world where women and girls are free from violence and live in dignity. The Break the Silence Campaign, after which the awards were named, was launched in 2016 in an effort to mobilize people worldwide to speak up and take action to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) and other forms of violence against women and girls by 2030 in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
FGM is recognized globally as a form of gender-based violence and a major violation of human rights. Sadly, it remains a prevalent global problem today. Worldwide, 200 million women and girls in more than 30 countries around the world have undergone FGM, and an additional 3 million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM each year.
Dr. Ntaiya’s lifelong contributions in the global movement to end FGM have been recognized by this award. After escaping child marriage and surviving female genital mutilation as a young teenager, Dr. Ntaiya became the first woman from her village to attend university in the U.S. Upon earning her PhD in education, she founded Kakenya’s Dream in 2009 to serve her community. Kakenya’s Dream leverages education to empower girls, end harmful traditional practices including FGM and child marriage, and transform communities in rural Kenya.
To date, Kakenya’s Dream has educated and empowered 470 girls at our boarding schools, supported 200 girls continuing on to high school and university through the Network for Excellence, and trained over 12,000 boys, girls, and community members at our Health and Leadership Trainings. 100% of the girls in our programs are living free from FGM and child marriage.
Kakenya’s Dream is proud of the efforts of Dr. Ntaiya, and would like to congratulate Dr. Ntaiya’s fellow award recipients, Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, Sika Bella Kaboré, First Lady of Burkina Faso, Julia Lalla-Maharajh OBE, Founder of Orchid Project, and #MenEndFGM.