In August 2009, Shining Hope for Communities founded The Kibera School for Girls, the first tuition-free school for girls in Kibera. By providing a superior education, daily nourishment, uniforms, and schools supplies all free of charge, we are able to give the brightest and most at-risk girls the power of hope and education. Instead of traditional curricula used across the developing world where students passively listen, demonstrate knowledge via exams, and suffer corporal punishment, education specialists helped to design our innovative curriculum to capitalize on how children best learn. Our hands-on curriculum fosters independence and creativity, instilling a love of learning that motivates students to surmount the many challenges that they face.
The school is housed in an eco-friendly building in the heart of Kibera. Community members helped build the school, which includes thirteen classrooms, a large library, and a great hall. The school also provides students with after-school programs and psychosocial support to prevent further rape and abuse and address trauma. Run by a staff of expert female teachers, the school gives students and community-members positive female role models. Instead of paying fees, parents agree to work at the school and community center, which creates a community of caregivers invested in their daughters’ education. After graduating 8th grade, we will funnel students into area high schools. Aiducation International, a partner NGO, has committed to providing full scholarships for 15 of our students to attend boarding schools in Kenya each year. We will provide college/career counseling and academic support to graduates.
The Kibera School for Girls currently serves 140 students grades pre-K through 4th grade. The school will follow students through 8th grade. Already 80% of students are performing at grade level or above. Some of our 3rd and 4th grade students are even reading at 8th and 9th grade levels! With your support, we are building a global model of linking tuition free schools for girls to accessible social services for all.
Our school has already saved the lives of many of our students, protecting them from rape and prostitution while providing the educational foundation for a path out of the slum. Students at The Kibera School for Girls are Kenya’s future leaders!