This is a guest post from Aid for Africa.
Josephine Sabina Lekuton grew up in Karare, a small drought-threatened village in rural northern Kenya, where people historically relied on livestock for their livelihoods. Both of her parents died, leaving Josephine, three brothers and four sisters orphans. Josephine finished primary school, which is free in Kenya, but could not afford tuition to attend secondary school.
With a scholarship from the Aid for Africa Girls Education Fund, Josephine, 20, trained to become a cosmetologist in Nanyuki, a bustling market town with a population of 30,000. Her tuition included hands-on training at the De-Batas Hair Salon and funds to purchase the supplies needed for training and her future career.
Josephine earned her certificate in cosmetology in May 2013. Because of the opportunities available in Nanyuki, she now works there as a cosmetologist. She plans to send money home to her two younger brothers to ensure that they finish secondary school.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to help myself and my family,” she says.
Josephine’s Aid for Africa Girls Education Fund scholarship was facilitated by The BOMA Project, an innovative microfinance organization that helps women to start small, sustainable businesses and adapt to a changing climate in northern Kenya. Kathleen Colson, founder and CEO of BOMA, says the women who receive education scholarships in their programs “have become critical lifelines of support for their families—especially pastoral families.” As the frequency and severity of droughts increases in the area, people must find ways to diversify their incomes.
The Aid for Africa Girls Education Fund is dedicated to helping girls like Josephine achieve their dreams of education. The fund supports member organizations that provide scholarships for girls and young women to attend school – primary, secondary, college and vocational – and have control over their futures.
The Aid for Africa Girls Education Fund is part of a larger dialogue about access to quality education worldwide. You can find out more here.
Photo Credit: Aid for Africa