One can only excel academically after developing positive attitude and being optimistic towards academics, however ,in most African societies setup, most girls are neglected when it comes to education . When the family is poor, focus tends to be directed to boy child, hence living girls to be married in their early stages, ruining their lives.
Thanks to Girls fighting illiteracy in Kenya (GIFK) Project. GIFIK is an education for development project that is shaping the lives of girls in society by sponsoring them to pursue their studies in various colleges, universities across the globe .This project runs its operations from Kibera.
The project is meant to promote gender equality among the youth by offering equal study opportunity for a balanced society.
The program combines education and the social development to turn out better future citizens.
At the moment 10 bright girls from humble backgrounds are benefiting from the education programme of the project. Most of these girls are orphans, either their parents died of HIV/AIDS, Illicit brew among others.
They were recruited to the programme when still at primary level, after realizing their potential to make it to higher level of education. Besides, five girls are currently pursuing various degree courses in Germany, Three are taking various courses in Kenyan universities and two more are still in high school here in Kenya.
To ensure proper focus in education that result to a better life in future,GIFIK also offers behavior change programs to the girls .GIFIK organizes psychosocial sessions for the girls where they share their different life experiences and how they want their life to be after school.
Girls fighting illiteracy in Kenya (GIFIK) has several programmes in place that run to empower the girls in different areas of life.
The programmes include; Girl child education. Education is a non depreciating asset that one can never afford to miss .Young girls from 10 years are recruited into the programme and are taught psychosocial lessons that help them develop positive attitude towards education and life. This message is passed to the girls through theatre and sports to convey the wonderful thematic messages to the girls and also help them develop self expressions and gain of confidence. They are then sponsored up to the higher level of education.
Sports being another programme, besides nurturing talent, it has power to bring people together ,it brings sense of peace as well as teaching people in various ways. So far 20% of the GIFIK girls are playing for various clubs in Kenya, this project has enabled them develop their talent.
GIFIK believe in maximization of girl’s involvement in the exchange programs, developing self confidence hence change of behaviors and later become community role models.
HIV/ AIDS and Illicit brew has affected many children academically, emotionally, physically and psychologically .This leaves the children hopeless and tends to indulge in dangerous activities such as prostitution, premarital sex, early marriages, smoking bang, conning and theft among others. GIFIK is working closely with HIV/AIDS positive children to ensure that they receive proper nutrition and treatment on time to reduce the risk of their conditions becoming worse. GIFIK also ensures the children are not stigmatized and discriminated at all cost.
Despite the amazing job, GIFIK Faces a number of challenges that hinders smooth progress of their activities .Some of them are; there is an increased number of children seeking support, and GIFIK can’t afford to host them since they lack an established rehabilitation centre, where they can be hosted and taken care of. They also lack resources to do community awareness campaign properly and support to reach to as many girls in Kenya as possible.
GIFIK partners with a number of organizations that contribute to their progress in one way or the other. The partners include; Ministry of gender and social services of Kenya, PHYDO Kenya, HOYWIK programs and individual families and members.