Since 2003, Kenya adopted a policy of free and compulsory primary education. This policy was reported to have seen an increase of the number of primary school children by over 1 million and was largely seen as a big success. While this success is undeniable, key indicators still remain low and a lot needs to be done to ensure the policy of free primary education in Kenya is also a success in terms of ensuring access, quality, completion and transition for all children.
In Garissa County for example, net enrolment rate to primary education is 23.5%, completion rate is 62.7% while transition rate is 58.3%. The education system has a lot of wastage at each stage and the situation is even worse for girls who perform poorly in all of these indicators. A number of factors have been identified as being responsible for this sorry state of girls' education in the two counties including
- Biased preference of boy child to girl child
- Cultural practices such as early marriages, and female genital mutilation
- Poverty that denies parents and girls finances to provide sanitary kit for girls to cope with maturation process thus leading to high school dropout rate among girls
- Inappropriate schools that are not sensitive to culture and religion of the communities who would prefer their girls be in separate schools from boys and be attended to by female teachers for some specific issues
- Floods that displace many communities thus leading to high school dropout
- Tribal and clan conflicts that lead to schools closure
- Lack of role models for girls to emulate
Livelihood Development Program
Most part of Garissa and Tana River counties are categorized as arid zones. Most of the residents are pastoralists and have limited source of livelihood. A small section of the county along River Tana basin practices crop farming through the waters of the river. Dependence on livestock means that during drought, most of the residents are left vulnerable and rely on food and other donations to survive. Women and children are the most affected. Women own few or no livestock in their name and have over the years depended on their husbands to provide. Providing women with alternative source of livelihood is key in addressing poverty in the two counties.
In the face of the challenges posed by climate change, diversification of livelihood becomes an important adaptation mechanism from the high risk nomadic pastoralism. However, the shift to agriculture and other forms of livelihoods required capacity building in farming techniques, inputs and other aspects.
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Environment & Natural resource Management
During the drought season the community is usually in dire need for water, the people and the animals suffer quite a lot this causes migration, death of animals and human, lack of food, malnutrition among others. As an organization we work towards supporting communities to access water through creating water pans, connecting piped water to the villages, developing of water catchment for schools to haverst rain water but more long term interventions are needed, like; constructing new and distilling of water pans, drilling of bole holes and maintaining exsisting bole holes, developing of water tanks for rain water haversting catchment in schools and also in hospitals. PGI through the support of IDRF, disilted DIISO water pan, constructed rain water haverst catchment in four schools and two hospitals
Sanitation is an important aspect of hygiene and we as an organization have been working towards supporting institutions with the construction of toilets. During the outreaches we ensure that the health officers instil hygiene mechanisms to the community so that they can prevent themselves from catching ailments.
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The community lacks information on various health aspects and it is through outreaches that we can reach to the community member at the village and ensure that the information reaches them. PGI has supported various outreaches with a focus of improving the nutritional level of pregnant mothers and children with provision of vitamin A supplements and immunizations for the children. We have also been able to properly equip and construct health care centers within and around garissa region in an aim of bringing the health care services closer to the community.
PGI has undertaken an Education campaign and advocacy program on HIV/AIDS, Child rights, in partnership with Kenya Alliance For children Rights (KAACR) the campaign targeted community members who are sensitized on children rights, management of OVCs especially those affected or infected by HIV/AIDS aiming at reducing stigma. The education campaign is also linked to with the school based Girls Forums and supports training of peer educator on Sexuality and HIV/AIDs.
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Other Cross Cutting Areas under the core thematic areas
As a woman led organization our interest is in the pastoralist women and the girl child and we work towards enlightening them on their rights as per the constitution, so that they are in a position to understand their part and also take an active role in advocating for their rights.PGI is always at the fore front in ensuring that the plights of women and the girl child are adhered to. With support from Mama Cash we have been in a position to capacity build pastoralist women and girl child on leadership skills, Gender based violence and against retrogressive cultural practices
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