At Daraja, each student has a requirement to “pay” for their time at the academy by performing 30 hours of community service each year. This service-learning strategy changes the way communities see girls, empowering our students to see themselves as vital and integral parts of their community’s health and management.
Students conduct community service at schools, community centers, churches and mosques, and NGOs educating others on a number of diverse topics ranging from HIV prevention to sustainable farming techniques to environmental clean up.
The exciting part of this “service learning chain” is its immense potential to affect change. Many students volunteer in local hospitals and clinics, which are very understaffed, working in the maternity ward doing everything from weighing babies to cleaning rooms.
To date, the largest group taught by a Daraja girl had 140 participants at a seminar in the small city of Kitale in Western Kenya. Another student gathered garbage in her town center by herself, only to have her entire community – from children to elders – turn up to help clean-up their neighborhood.