Because students in the Umoja family have lost one or both parents, extra encouragement and mentoring are essential. Umoja’s empowerment teams allow students to envision a productive future and provide tools to ensure they achieve to the best of their individual abilities. Our local staff members lead 40 empowerment teams across 20 partner schools.
GET UP Teams
Created in 2012, our Girls Empowerment Team – Umoja Project (GET UP) connects girls with mentors and peer groups, adding stability for girls who may not have family role models, while teaching productive personal relationships and career options for women. Our young women face enormous obstacles to completing school and securing stable employment
- Societal norms discourage girls from believing that they have rights and privileges equal to the boys.
- Family responsibilities affect girls’ ability to attend school regularly and to use their evenings for study.
- Sexual exploitation often leads to pregnancy and dropping out of school.
GET UP addresses girls’ needs through programs focusing on health education, positive relationships, life skills, and girls’ rights. Community women are trained to serve as mentors, and professional women provide vocational guidance.
BET UP Teams
Created in 2018, we implemented an empowerment program for boys with similar goals to the girls of improving academic performance and improving personal relationship skills. Our Boys Empowerment Team – Umoja Project (BET UP) provides a safe environment for young men to learn goal setting, career planning, and healthy relationships under the mentorship of male role models.
Our young men are faced with cultural and socioeconomic challenges such as:
- History of gender bias in the Kenyan culture
- Temptations of peer pressure, drug use, and substance abuse
- High unemployment rates
BET UP fills a need to focus on equal opportunities for boys and girls, as well as assisting young men in understanding personal health and hygiene, maximizing career opportunities, and understanding socioeconomic and cultural realities.
students in GET UP
20% of our students have lost one or both of their parents
Teen pregnancy fallen from 4 or 5 a year to less than 1 a year on average
students in BET UP
Proven Impact of These Programs:
Students enrolled in the BET UP and GET UP programs consistently live out the impacts of positive mentoring:
- Higher academic performance
- Increased graduation from secondary school
- Increased matriculation to post-secondary education
- Understanding personal health and hygiene
- Preparation for career opportunities and higher education
- Resilience against substance abuse, unhealthy personal relationships
- Drastically reduced teen pregnancy occurrence