Returning home with the tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19
On Sunday, March 15, the Kenyan Ministry of Education followed the example of governments across the world to close all schools. Before sunrise on Tuesday, March 17, Daraja girls gathered their belongings and left in travel groups that would deliver them home safely.
All students and Transition Program participants received the news that classes and internships were cancelled on Monday. They were then organized into discussion groups where fears could be voiced and facts could be shared about the virus and preventative measures. Many of them come from communities with poor sanitation and they were given special hygiene training in techniques like proper hand washing. They have all been asked to go home and train their families. Daraja girls are taught from day one to be community leaders. And in this time of uncertainty, each girl truly believes she is part of the solution.
As the girls prepared to leave at 6 AM on Tuesday, one girl began singing the Daraja Anthem, and soon everyone had joined in. You can watch them sing with all their hearts on social media (links below). In that moment they more than a group of students returning home from school—they are an army of changemakers.
Over the last 10 years, Daraja Academy has faced more than one crisis. Each time we have emerged stronger than before. After severe post-election violence in 2008, Daraja developed an emphasis on tribal diversity and peace. After weathering 2 extreme droughts, Daraja built a water storage system that can support hundreds of people year-round. And now as the world faces COVID-19, our commitment to training a new generation of leaders in community health has only grown.
Jenni and I want to thank you—now more than ever—for continuing to believe in the value of a Daraja girl’s education.