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Education is a Universal Human Right

In its recent issue of Nomadic News, MADRE sister organization the Indigenous Information Network (IIN) wrote about the importance of education for girls from nomadic and pastoral communities. Education is a universal human right, and yet many girls face barriers to accessing it.

Lack of adequate sanitation facilities and affordable sanitary napkins mean that during menstruation, girls often avoid school altogether. And a heavy workload at home, including household chores and looking after younger siblings and sick family members, also contributes to girls' poor attendance in school.

But most importantly, IIN reported that social attitudes must be changed to ensure that all Kenyan girls receive the education they deserve. For girls from poor communities, forced early marriage is common, as families resort to getting money from dowries. By sensitizing nomadic and pastoral communities about the benefits of continued education for girls, we can help ensure that education is accessible and tailored to the life cycle needs of all adolescent girls.

At the schools in the Nanyori Shelter Network that you help support, girls from nomadic and pastoral communities receive the education and support they deserve. Here, they are protected from the harmful, traditional practices, like female genital mutilation and early forced marriage, and can learn and thrive.

In May, after Lucy Mulenkei, director of IIN, visited New York, she brought back with her a donation of school supplies and feminine hygiene products put together through the generous support of our MADRE community. With these new notebooks, crayons, markers, sanitary pads and panty liners, girls in the Nanyori Shelter Network will continue to study and live in health and comfort throughout the year. Thank you!

August 22, 2013  / Africa / Kenya