Introduction

The International Day for the Girl Child is a very special day not only for girls, the government and organizations working towards improving the quality of lives for girls around the globe. It gives all parties the opportunity to reflect upon the different challenges facing the girl child and also showcase work done to mitigate these very challenges. This year ACWICT in partnership with CMMB commemorated the day under the theme “GirlsProgress=GoalProgress”.

Day of the Girl

On this day, we were joined by different primary and secondary schools, DREAMS Core partners, representatives of PEPFAR and National and County Government officers. The Chief Guest for the day was Dr. Gunu, the Chief

Under the theme GirlsProgress=GoalProgress all parties were looking at reflecting on their efforts in reducing HIV/AIDS infections amongst girls and young women.

In addition to focusing on reducing HIV infections amongst girls and young women, the chief guest also emphasized on closing gaps on sexual violence, female genital mutilation, child marriages amongst others. She also encouraged all parties to work towards increasing awareness to gender equality, ending child marriages, bring innovation to girl education amongst others.

“Girls progress is not only good for girls but for the whole community, for whatever you teach a girl she takes it into their adult life, but their dreams are thwarted by various challenges. And so today we celebrate girls who come face to face with these challenges to defeat them,” says Dr. Gunu.

Ms. Brenda Asiko, PEPFAR Representative echoed the theme for the day.

“We celebrate the girls and we want to see you progress and as we support your goals,” she said.

She added that PEPFAR have championed a great deal of initiatives that work towards reducing HIV infections in Kenya, this is through injecting financial support to both government and non-governmental institutions that contribute towards their goal.

“A lot needs to be done to fight HIV/AIDS, and getting to zero requires all partners to support their efforts,” she said.

She also encouraged partners to also make investments on parents outreach program as an opportunity to addressing girl’s challenges and meeting their goals.

Mr. Boniface Odhiambo, Vusha Girls Employability Program Manager, also added that providing girls with demand driven skills as a bridge to employment also helps to reduce their vulnerability to HIV infections.

“We have been championing girl child empowerment through providing them with employment so that they earn a better living after school, we achieve this by training them on different employability skill and then provide them with job placement support,” he said.

Muthoni Ruth Kariuki, CMMB Country Director, said, “Globally international day for the girl child is a special day. There are about 1.1 billion girls in the world, and each one deserves to be given a chance and an equal opportunity to live a normal life, grow, go to school, finish school and be empowered to be a good student.”

The Government of Kenya is equally making major contributions to empower the girl by improving their learning conditions through distributing sanitary towels to schools.

Girls should see themselves as leaders, innovative thinkers and problem solvers of the society. Their dreams are valid and the need to support them to become the best they can be. Hotline numbers to report gender based violence 1190, 21094