- The International Day of the Girl (IDG) is marked annually on October 11 as a platform to advocate for girls’ rights while reflecting on the milestones attained in championing their welfare.
- Kakenya’s Dream has been joining the rest of the world annually in marking the day.
- The event themed “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being” brought together more than 1200 residents
Kakenya’s dream, an organization based at the heart of Narok County in Kenya on Tuesday October 10, 2023, led the celebration of the International Day of the Girl at Poroko Primary School in Kilgoris.
The International Day of the Girl is a day dedicated to raising awareness and educating people about empowerment and rights of girls in the society.
The event themed “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being” brought together more than 1200 residents to remember the unique challenges and barriers girls face in the community and the urgent need to break down these obstacles for their well-being and self-development.
The International Day of the Girl (IDG) is marked annually on October 11 as a platform to advocate for girls’ rights while reflecting on the milestones attained in championing their welfare.
Kakenya’s Dream has been joining the rest of the world annually in marking the day.
The organization invests in girls through education, health and leadership to create agents of change.
Speaking during the event, Kakenya’s Dream Director of Programs Mr. Daniel Korinko said the organization’s vision is to create a world where African women and girls are valued and respected as leaders and made equal in every way.
He noted that women and girls in Narok County are still struggling with teen pregnancies and female genital mutilation (FGM), the issues that Kakenya Dream has been fighting for decades.
“As wemark this important day, we are alive to the fact that statistics in the 2022 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) show that women and girls in Narok County are still struggling with issues we have been addressing as an organization for more than a decade, among them is teen pregnancies and female genital mutilation (FGM),” said Mr. Korinko, adding that Narok county is ranked as fourth with the leading cases of pregnant women aged 15-19, posting 28% with Samburu County leading with 50%.
Korinko further noted that Narok county has cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) at 51%, urging attendees to remain conscious of the threat that lies ahead as schools closing date draws near.
“As you may be aware, this is the time that our girls are exposed to vulnerabilities. Agents of retrogressive culture, FGM, are on standby waiting to mutilate our girls, and destroy their future. Every time a girl undergoes FGM, they are likely to abandon their pursuit for education and get married as a child,” he said.
He observed that future leaders, doctors, nurses, teachers, and other professionals are lost through such issues.
Korinko also warned that FGM agents have invented tricks to avoid detection, among them being activities disguised as chama meetings, worship sessions or any other, urging residents to remain vigilant.
Kakenya’s Dream is using the year’s celebration to advocate for the rights of girls, especially from remote/marginalized communities.
As the organization marks this year’s event, it will be centering girls in protection and promotion of their rights; whether it is in schools, churches or any other institution, girls should raise their voices and champion for their rights.
They are also calling for support to create spaces and platforms where girls’ voices are heard, for instance governments, donors and well-wishers to provide funding to girls’ movements and networks.
“As Kakenya’s Dream, we have been encouraging child participation through child-led conversations where the minors speak about the issues they face and suggest solutions,” the Director of Programs said.
The organization is also encouraging girls to access essential services, such as sexual and reproductive health, attending school if they pregnant and speaking out against /reporting any form of sexual harassment to relevant authorities.
They have been distributing sanitary pads to several schools in Narok and Kisii counties, with a total of 30,000 pads having been distributed this year alone.
Addressing students and other attendants of the 2023 IDG, Hon. Mary Moranga, Senior Principal Magistrate at the Kilgoris Law Courts said she has handled cases on FGM in the court and those brought are girls who have undergone the cut.
According to Hon Moranga, they are accused of undergoing FGM despite knowledge that it is against the law.
However, she noted that the cutters are never brought to court.
“I have realized the court system is not enough to address the issue, everybody in the community should be involved. If we put the proponents of FGM on probation and turned them into ambassadors, it really works. We have them speak to society and condemn FGM to help in fighting the practice,” she said.
She urged residents to abandon the retrogressive practices and have alternative rites of passage.
She further urged parents to engage children during school holiday to avoid cases of defilement and teenage pregnancies.