2,000+ Marched in Kenya to "Let Girls Learn"
The second annual 'Educate HER Parade' took place in Kenya's Karura Forest to marshal in the 'International Day of the Girl' and advocate for the global movement 'Let Girls Learn'. Girls from all 47 counties in Kenya marched with photos of their mentors and heroes. Private sector organizations and NGOs also marched to show their support.
Last year's parade raised $78,000 to help 100 girls from West Pokot, Kenya go to college - girls who were rescued from female genital mutilation (FGM). This year, those girls joined the parade as empowered young women, marching to help 100 more girls to go to college, get jobs and experience economic freedom!
KPMG and Africa 24 Media were the prime sponsors with sponsorship support from Microsoft, ACWICT, Monsanto, MRM, Comcraft, ZEP-RE, GM and Andela.
Global Give Back Circle Mentors from Microsoft USA, traveled to Kenya to march with their mentees and be a voice for global citizenship and philanthropy.
Starehe Girls Centre led the parade - a secondary school dedicated to educating Kenya's most at-risk girls.
#EducateHerParade trended #1 on Twitter Kenya throughout the day of the parade.
This year's theme was 'Girls + Agriculture Skills = Economic Freedom'. Bananas, strawberries, carrots, tomatoes and honey bees mingled with the crowd. Rural Entrepreneurship (value-added agriculture) is now a popular way for young women to participate in the new economy in countries like Kenya. Agriculture is now 'cool' among girls in West Pokot.
Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at USAID, traveled to West Pokot the day after the parade to see firsthand how agriculture skills are being embraced by the girls in the Global Give Back Circle at St. Elizabeth High School. Learning how to market peanut butter, sunflower seed oil, honey, sundried tomatoes, jam and aloe cream is empowering and just the beginning of an agricultural revolution in Africa, propelled by women and girls.
Africa 24 Media is producing a documentary on the parade, and the journey of girls who said 'No' to FGM and 'Yes' to education. We will send you this soon. In the meantime, you might wish to watch this five-minute video that mentors from Holland, Belgium, Canada and the USA created to share how mentoring changed their lives. A Mentor's Journey
We hope these photos bring to life the spirit of 'once at-risk' girls in Kenya who are now devoted to being the voice for 62 Million Girls around the world who are not in school.
WPSP partner The Global Give Back Circle is a proven transformation process for girls. Comprised of a kit–of–parts, it is a process vs. a quick-fix that builds upon existing infrastructures and is implemented through a knowledge transfer model designed to build implementation capacity at the grass-roots level. Today, the Circle is run by a group of dedicated staff, whose combined passion for helping the world’s disadvantaged girls, builds a solution for sustainable development on the ground in Rwanda, Kenya, China, South Africa, India and the United States.