Kikonde School is Standing up for Girls

Mr Kennedy receiving a light library of 15 lights in 2018. The Mwezi Foundation has donated 30 lights to Kikonde.

Kikonde School demonstrates how tough life can be for girls in Kenya. At the Mwezi Foundation we like to celebrate how our lights have enabled schools to raise their average scores in the end of primary school (class 8) exams. However, Kikonde’s average has actually dropped this year. The girls are complaining that their parents are overburdening them with housework chores in the evening which prevents them from studying. They have to fetch water from wells and collect firewood from a long distance.
We have heard similar reports from other schools, that the girls are at a particular disadvantage. They can’t stay to do their homework at school because almost all will have to walk several kilometres to get to school and they can’t walk home in the dark (it gets dark about 6pm). Boys have more opportunities to stay and study and are not expected to help out so much at home.
Kikonde school is one of several that the Mwezi Foundation supports which is looking to introduce a boarding programme, particularly in the run up to exams. Mwezi is keen to support these initiatives with solar room lights, which can light up a whole room through solar panels on the roof, which John installs.
We would, however, like to congratulate Binti Mangale (who features in one of our YouTube videos, thanking us for the lights – see link below). She is from a poor background but managed to achieve 100 marks higher than the school average of 186 and came second top, just beaten by Hassani Alfani, who achieved a brilliant 324 marks out of 500. Mr Bakari, their teacher, said they had both benefited significantly from the lights. Binti had been the top pupil all year so Hassani must have really made an effort with the help of the Mwezi light to study at night. The Mwezi Foundation offers a hand up, not a handout.

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