African Initiatives is launching a new Dare2Dream campaign appeal, which aims to empower girls by giving them a bed for the night near school.
Our goal is to buy 85 bunk beds so 170 schoolgirls have a safe place to sleep and can continue their studies.
In the remote north of Tanzania, a bed can truly be a springboard to changing lives. Many Maasai and other pastoralist girls have to walk 10-22km to get to their nearest school. The journey is not only exhausting but dangerous – there’s the constant threat of attack by wildlife or by young Maasai warriors determined to prove their manhood by sleeping with a virgin.
To address the issue, African Initiatives and our grassroots partner CASEC (Community Aid & Small Enterprises Consultancy) got involved with the construction of 45 school dormitories. That was in 2009 and, in subsequent years, more funding was secured to provide beds for 31 of the dormitories. Of course, that leaves 14 of the dormitories still unfurnished and girls forced to sleep on the floor.
Lack of a bed leads to pneumonia (it can get exceedingly cold at night in the East African Rift Valley) and malaria (there’s no bed frame on which to attach a mosquito net)… a reason we decided to launch our Dare2Dream campaign on World Malaria Day (25th April 2018).
Lack of a bed also leads to poor education performance and girls dropping out of school, which is especially troubling as being away at school is often the only way a Maasai girl can escape child marriage.
Please get involved with our Dare2Dream ‘beds for girls’ project in some way. You could make a donation here or organise a fundraising event for us – a ‘Wear a Onesie to Work/School Day’ perhaps or how about a sponsored sleep-in at the office?!
Our Dare2Dream ‘beds for girls’ project is about so much more than a bed and a mosquito net. It’s about enabling girls to access an education and enjoy equality and opportunity rather than a lifetime of domestic slavery and abuse.
Please donate here.