“I am black by nature but proud by choice,” writes Suzanne, a senior at Daraja Academy, in a scathing condemnation of discrimination and skin bleaching titled The Neglected Species. Suzanne wrote this article by hand, sitting in her classroom in the Rift Valley, Kenya. “We only have two tribes worldwide: the rich and the poor,” she concludes.
Indisputably, every girl at Daraja Academy was born into Suzanne’s latter-mentioned tribe. Not one student would have been able to attend high school without Daraja, whose mission is to give its students the tools they need to fight for a world less defined by the privileges of birth.
The Daraja Times, the official school newspaper, is the first online student newspaper in Kenya. Every article was written by a Daraja girl, and published with as few revisions as possible. Our purpose is to provide a platform for the Daraja girls to be heard. We believe that leadership is achieved by words, and that if the world truly wishes to empower girls, we must first serve as a conduit and amplifier of their voices.
“I strongly believe that a girl can do wonders if just given a ground to stand on,” writes Maureen (a senior) in Girl Child. “Girls need to use their voices because this is their moment.” Daraja’s new journalists are using their voices – we hope you enjoy reading what they have to say!