We propose developing student health clubs in 40 secondary schools in the sub-county of Ugunja in Siaya county to instruct around 2,000 students on various life skills subjects such as health, sanitation, hygiene, reproduction, diseases, public health issues, kitchen gardens and subjects the students requested, such as bullying, drugs, dealing with unwanted sexual advances. One of the sessions is community service, consisting of trash pickup and another on kitchen gardens.
This is a scaled-up version of a successful prior proof of concept global grant, GG2120402. In that grant, the pregnancy rate for girls in our program was only 1.09% compared to 9.02% for the entire sub-county and 11.75% for the whole county. Such results call for expansion.
The classes are student-directed, run by boy and girl Champions, overseen by a health teacher, and have equal numbers of boys and girls. Rather than learning by rote, the standard practice in Kenya, the classes are discussion-based, bringing forward many views and allowing the girls to participate equally with the boys. It was a self-esteem builder for both genders, especially the girls. The girls, especially, are empowered, creating profound cultural changes. The school health teacher oversaw all the classes. We will also have a few sessions for parents; in the past, they found them helpful.
This project is a scaling up of the prior proof-of-concept project. We kept the initial project strictly confined to the core mission and mostly avoided project drift to make future comparisons with non-participating teens statistically valid.
The community was involved in creating and designing the project, as were parents and even students. Experience has modified the curriculum further. The sub-county ministry of health asked us to expand the program to all schools in the sub-county as quickly as possible. Officials in Nairobi want their schools on the program, too, and we've had inquiries from as far away as Cameroon.
The funds will be used for expert instruction, staff travel between locations, a small office, favors for meetings, a student celebration, and a small administrative fee.
The host Rotarian witnessed the problem, found a local vendor to address it, helped design the
solution, and will disburse and account for the funds. The International Rotarian crafted the appeal, raised the funds, will oversee the project, and will visit the site during or upon completion.
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