The Kibera School for girls in Nairobi, Kenya

    17 April, 2013

    From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

    The Kibera School for girls in Nairobi, Kenya offers free tuition, uniforms, books and meals to girls who qualified. The students are from pre-kindgarden through the fourth grade. The school is the first to offer free education for girls in the area. It gets support from the surrounding community by providing people with much-needed services.

    The people of Kibera struggle to provide themselves with food, shelter, clean water and good schools. Girls face the additional problems of discrimination and violence. When money for school is lacking, parents in guardians usually withdraw their daughters from school before their sons.

    The Kibera School for girls works to help the community understand the value of education. Parents do not have to pay but a family member must work at the school five weeks a year as a way to support a child's education. Girls are chosen based on the possibilities for their success as students and on financial need.

    Ten-year-old Joyce Achieng is one of these students. She says a girl need more chances especially in kibera where she has seen a lot of suffering.

    "It is important because when they don't go to school they will not achieve their goals and their dreams will not come true. They will not be what they want to be in the future."

    And Anne Atieno Olwande is the school's headmisters. She believes that girls like Joyce have a better chance of overcoming the effect of being poor by getting a quality education.

    "It's one of my passions, to make them realize that you didn't choose, you didn't sent to be born where you born, but you can choose to go where you want to be in future."

    Helping women make better futures is why Kennedy Odede established the school almost four years ago. He says that growing up in kibera, He hate it seeing that more boys than girls could go to school.

    In 2004, Mr. Odede started a community movement that later became the organization called "Shining Hope for Communities". He bought a soccer ball with twenty cents he had earned from a factory job. Through sports, he encouraged young people to discuss issues facing them in their poor neighborhoods. He wanted to make life better for girls as well as boys.

    He said he began to see communities through the eyes of his mother and sister. But he worried some people might feel unhappy that only students were getting a better life. Mr. Odede wanted everyone in the community to feel improvement in their lives.

    Today, the school provides services for everyone in the area, not just students. People can stop by "Shining Hope for Communities" to get clean water or use a clean bathroom. They can sign up for computer training or visit the medical center. Women suffering from violence at home can get advice and assistance. The kibera school for girls has become a community center.

    And that's the VOA Special English Education Report. You can find more stories about education at I'm Milagros ardin.