In 1986 IHSA obtained 1,000 acres of land in Kitenga with the purpose of providing services to empower and educate women and girls. Geographically, Kitenga is remotely located. It is inhabited by 7,500 villagers who face a lot of challenges that affect their life style. Health services and educational facilities are rarely available and where available they are of very poor quality. In addition, infrastructure such as roads, power and running water are nonexistent in the area.
The few primary schools available in Kitenga are overcrowded and have a shortage of well-trained teachers. Since there are so few primary schools, most children are required to walk a long distance to get to school. The area has no secondary school for girls so very few girls are able to obtain more than a primary education.
In order for girls to attend secondary school, they must go away to boarding schools which are located very far away from their homes. It is not customary for girls to live outside of their village. Additionally, most of the families are poor, which limits most of the children from attending secondary schools because parents cannot afford associated travel, education and boarding costs. Due to these obstacles, girls have traditionally been forced into early marriages which often lead to early pregnancy thus continuing the vicious cycle of poverty.
In order to address the above situation and problem, Immaculate Heart Sisters of Africa is soliciting funds from local and international donors to construct a secondary boarding school for girls in Kitenga. Expected results of the Kitenga girls’ secondary school:
o Better student performance
o Reduced rate of early marriages
o Reduced early pregnancy rate
o Higher school attendance rates
o Affordable cost of secondary education
o Well-trained teachers
Transform Kitenga into a center of excellence where vulnerable girls access equitable and quality education and develop their individual potential and thus help them participate fully in national development as free and enlightened GIRLS.
The Immaculate Heart Sister’s school for girls will prepare socially responsible leaders for national development. The girls graduating from the school will be able to participate in scientific activities, develop competitive analytical and problem solving skills, will be committed to fostering their basic human rights and will be dedicated to improving the lives of others through work and service.
It is anticipated that by establishing a girl’s secondary school we expect the following long-term outcomes:
o Prepare socially responsible leaders for national development.
o Increased equality of opportunity for girls at pre-primary, primary and secondary education levels.
o Increased community awareness of the importance of educating the girls.
o Increased citizen rights for girls and empowerment to fight both ethnic and social evils that hinder their development or initiate their marginalization.
o Marketable education to enhance girls and women in participation in the political, economic, planning and decision making process within the communities and beyond.
o Reduced practices of unaccepted traditions and customs that are forcibly practiced on girls.
o Fulfilling the slogan that WHEN A WOMAN IS EDUCATED THE WHOLE FAMILY/NATION IS EDUCATED.