Ondati Girls' Secondary School, Kenya

Key facts:

  • The school is located in one of the poorest areas of Western Kenya
  • The local community asked Teach A Man To Fish for help in building and running a school for girls
  • School businesses include milk production, beekeeping, selling tree seedlings, mango and pineapple plantation & beauty parlour
  • The community is fully behind the project, showing their support through harambees (local fundraisers), raising £2,000 towards the school building

Ondati Girls' School, Kenya: 30-Second Video Highlights

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Ondati is located 18 km outside of the town of Rongo (65,000 residents) in Western Kenya.

The village of Ondati is located in one of the poorest regions of Kenya, where HIV infection rates are the highest in the country. Schools are few and far between in the area, which makes it particularly hard for girls to access education. The risk of assault and rape associated with long distance walks in isolated areas, combined with the prioritisation of boys education, keeps most girls out of school. The nearest secondary school has one girl in attendance for every four boys.

Without a decent education girls in the area marry young, and without family planning most have had their first child in their teenage years. These marriages are often to much older men and occur out of economic dependency. These arrangements are frequently polygamous, and add to the spread of HIV/AIDS in the area.

In 2008 the Ondati community came together to open up the opportunities available to girls by setting aside land and collecting the materials needed to start a simple secondary school for girls. Following the success of a small Teach A Man To Fish project in a nearby primary school the community is looking to make the school financially sustainable, to empower the students and raise generation after generation of educated and entrepreneurial young women.

The community showed their support through harambees, which are local fundraisers, raising £2,000 towards the school building, a fantastic amount by any standards but especially for a rural community, and Teach A Man To Fish is supporting the school for a limited time until it becomes financially sustainable.

Plan in Action

Work began to establish a 100% financially sustainable Agricultural School For Girls in April 2009. The aim was to provide as many girls as possible with access to a high quality, relevant education every year, where they receive both standard secondary school and technical agricultural & business training.

The businesses that are being constantly developed by the school to generate profit and give students an opportunity to learn practical skills include:

  • Beekeeping for the production of honey
  • Dairy
  • Pineapple & Mango plantation
  • Tree seedlings
  • Beauty parlour (an idea developed and driven by the girls themselves)

Please help to make further progress - donate to this project!

This project needs your support to help the school's educational enterprises develop, to build a second dorm and an additional classroom for the girls, and to improve the staff's ability to provide a high quality education.

You can support the school in Kenya via our Donation page on the Global Giving site:

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