Hope of a Girl Child (2018 – 2022) is a four-year project in partnership with the Community Research and Development Services, and funded by The Banyan Tree Foundation. Geographically focussed within Longido and Monduli districts, our Hope of a Girl Child project has two target groups: girls who have dropped out of school and girls who have made it through to upper primary school but need assistance with transitioning to lower secondary school.
This project’s goal is that out-of-school, disadvantaged Maasai girls, girls who have never been to school and girls at risk of dropping out of school are enrolled and retained in school until the completion of secondary education, and are equipped to improve their quality of life.
It also aims to improve the perceptions and attitudes of husbands, parents and communities towards out-of-school girls’ right to an education. Additional outcomes include: the provision of a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment in project schools and education centres; satisfactory school attendance; and advocating for government officials to improve marginalised girls’ access to quality education. Read more about our Hope of a Girl Child project here
In Maasai culture, negative traditional attitudes towards women and girls are inherent and widespread. Fathers, as the heads of the household, make all decisions regarding education and property. Girls’ education is not traditionally valued amongst the Maasai; if a child is sent to school, it tends to be sons rather than daughters, as girls will be married off at a young age and will ultimately benefit another community. For those lucky few who make it to school, girls are often forced to drop out due to poverty, unplanned pregnancy, abuse, female genital mutilation or early forced marriage. To provide an example, over 5,000 primary and 8,000 secondary school girls are expelled from school annually due to unplanned pregnancies.