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AIC Girls School 2017 Visit and Update

The AIC school is a public primary boarding school in Kenya. Most of the students are from the Maasai community as this is their land. Of the 700 girls that attend the school, there is a special program… the “Bride Rescue Program” that currently assists about 125 students This program was created in 1986 to rescue young girls from harmful cultural practices such as female genital mutilation (circumcision) and early marriage. The girls make their own choice of leaving their families and villages to make their way to this incredible school to get an education and respite from early forced marriage. Early forced marriages are quite common as the fathers of these girls decide they would be better off being someone’s wife in exchange for some cows and money for her dowry

Some of the donations delivered in September

The girls arrive at the school with little clothing and no possessions. The teachers take them shopping, and with the support of donations, they take care of their basic needs - food, clothing, textbooks, school and personal supplies. Over the years, Carefree women have sent many school supplies, clothing and monetary donations to help supply the basic needs of the rescued girls at the primary school. This year many suitcases were packed full with hundreds of items for the girls.

Three couples on this year's Safari group became new sponsors of AIC girls bringing the current number of girls sponsored by Carefree women to 22. Eight of them are primary students at AIC, and the others are attending various secondary schools all over Kenya. We had a chance to visit with the primary girls and a few secondary students. Most secondary students attend school too far away to return to Kajiado, but we left lots of packages from them to open during their next school break. Sponsors wrote letters and sent individual gifts for their girls, and each girl received a new item of clothing thanks to a few generous sponsors.

The secondary students attend schools throughout southern Kenya,

Each secondary girl received a note from her sponsor, and item of clothing and other individual gifts.

Teacher Hellen with Lynn and an assortment of gifts.

Bikira, Lucy and Gloria model their new outfits they received thanks to Carefree donations.
Mayian Mopia has just found out she will be sponsored through her primary education.

Lea and Arlene chose Mayian after spending time with the girls in the 1st and 2nd grade unit.

Anastasia is lucky enough to now have Deb and Joanne as sponsors.
Debbie and Deb pose with their new girl, Sally. Based on her score on her 8th grade test taken in November, Sally will start secondary school in January.
Jana and Cindy with our three second grade students.

The Kenyan school year has three terms. The students have 2-3 week breaks between each term and most girls go home for these holidays. However, some of girls in the rescue program cannot return home for fear of forced marriage or abuse. During these breaks, the girls are taught things such as cooking, embroidery and beadwork, which earn them a little income for their personal needs. We send extra money at this time to provide food and basic supplies for the girls in the program.

When we visited the AIC Girls School in October of 2014, the Shamba Project (Garden Project) was the one thing that the teachers and administrators thought would benefit the girls the most. The school had a garden plot, but without a fence, domestic and wild animals reaped the benefits rather than the girls. At an estimated cost of $10,000 the project was only a dream. Members of the safari group were determined to make that dream a reality. An educational program about the school was held in March of 2015 at the Clubhouse Salon at the Resort on Carefree Boulevard. One of the safari group members, Carolyn Boran, pledged $1000 to get the project started, challenging others to do the same. By the end of the afternoon, the $10,000 goal had been met.

Preparation for the fence

Sturdy corner posts

Fence posts are in place and the ground is readied for planting.

Completed section of the fence.

A new water tank is constructed to irrigate the garden.

Hellen shows off the emerging corn stalks.

Our first visit to see the garden in person.

A successful season!

Deb and Carolyn are excited to see the garden for the first time. Carolyn pledged the first thousand dollars and challenged others to help after visiting the AIC school in 2014.

After visiting the garden, we also visited some classrooms, the cafeteria and a dorm.

New girls start in Grade 1, but often quickly catch up to their age mates.

As is common in most Kenyan boarding schools, the girls must provide their own bowl or plate for their meals.

The girls were only too happy to pose for photos as they left the dining hall.

The smiles say it all.

Some of the dorms have been equipped with mosquito netting for protection against malaria.

These girls in Grade 8 are preparing for their Primary School Exam. Their individual scores will determine if and where they may attend high school. Although it is a big stakes test, all of the girls are confident they will do well. The AIC has an excellent record of qualifying girls for secondary school.

Purity stopped by to say "Hi" and a message to thank Tricia and Yolande for her high school education. She now hopes to attend college.

When we returned back to Nairobi, Esther Mwangi joined us for dinner. Esther was one of the first AIC students to have a Carefree sponsor. Thanks to assistance from Ginny Renick, Esther completed secondary school and college and is now a successful ER nurse at a Nairobi hospital. Her story is an impressive one, and she is a perfect example of how education can empower young girls. We finished the evening with Esther sharing her musical gifts with us. A perfect ending to the day!

Thanks to all of the women who have contributed in various ways to make a difference in the lives of these girls.

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