At the foundation of Get it Girl! is the belief that micro change can have macro impact. Educating just one girl can result in exponential positive change for the communities of northern Kenya. No one should be denied an education, but in remote northern Kenya factors like early marriage and a lack of resources severely marginalizes girls and school is not an option.
Since 2019 Get it Girl! has been supporting two girls from the vulnerable region of Turkana by providing them with a boarding school education and support as they live away from their families.
We're working to set up a regular fundraising model through selling Kenyan Tea, and are always looking for others to volunteer and help Get it Girl! grow.
What does growth for Get it Girl! look like?
Where we're headed
Lead a rural Education to Empower campaign in Turkana to encourage investment in girls' education
Enrol 10 new students into grade 1 over the next year
Two secondary school graduates in the next five years
One university graduate in the next two years
Our graduates find employment and return to their communities to create positive change
Our commitment to students
Students travel from the rural region of Turkana to schools a two-day bus ride away.
Why do they travel so far for school?
The local government school is severely underfunded and is often closed. To ensure they have the chance to attend university we spend more per student to provide a privet boarding school education.
Helping build a generation of female leaders in northern Kenya
By: Emily Sheff, Founder of GIG!
When I started travelling to Africa in 2016, it wasn't long before I'd fallen in love with the continent. At the end of my year and half journey through 17 countries, it was this love for Africa, and gratitude for the experience it had given me, that led me to starting GIG! as a way to give back to the continent.
Nearing the end of my year and half journey, the universe gifted me with the unexpected opportunity to travel to the far reaches of northern Kenya with a Canadian who was funding the college education of a man named Damian Napulo (a member of GIG!'s team).
The members of Damian's village welcomed us with an outpouring of joy and hospitality I couldn't have predicted. We spent 3 days in celebration with song and dance. Afterwards, I spent another week on the shores of Lake Turkana in the central town of Loiyangalani. I got to know the plight of the Turkana people, who live in an incredibly beautiful place but suffer under the weight of many challenges.
Northern Kenyans experience extreme marginalization, especially when it comes to education (check out a UN paper on the subject)
Some of issues they struggle with include:
Lack of basic necessities such as food and water
Absence of education and health care
Regional violence due to territorial disputes
With central government far away the region lacks resources
Climate change causing draught in an already vulnerable agricultural landscape
Empowerment through Education
Because of a lack of resources, and the expectation that girls should abide by the traditional family roles of the Turkana people, girls from this region very rarely attend school and almost never leave to attend higher levels of education.
During my visit, I asked to meet a girl who had made it through the local government school, and who had a dream of continuing her education.
I was soon introduced to Sylvanna, who had been the top performing student in her school. She dreams of becoming a doctor and returning to live in Moite to help with issues such as malnutrition and infant mortality. Seeing as Moite has yet to secure a permanent resident doctor, because of the challenge of briging people to live in such a harsh climate and remote community, empowering girls like Sylvanna who want to return to northern Kenya could have a major positive impact for the region.
While in Turkana, Damian and I talked about how we might help improve the lives of women and girls from the region. Damian committed to help with on-the-ground coordination if I could find a way to fundraise. When I left Turkana and returned to Canada, I immediately pooled my friends and family resources together and we supported Sylvanna's schooling in 2019.
At the end of 2019, I realized supporting girls to attend underfunded government schools that often close due to lack of resources, would never result in developing the capacity these students need to become true leaders in their community.
This is when I fundraised through the organization Women Helping Women. With WHW's generous donation we could afford to support a second student and place each girl in a private boarding school closer to an urban centre.
We're currently in the early stages of the organization, with plans to fulfill a board committee and register for charity status in Canada. Visit the FAQ page or email us with questions if you want to know more about GIG! We'd love to hear from you!