Umoja students have lost one or both parents and benefit from extra encouragement and mentoring. The Girls Empowerment Team of Umoja Project (GET UP) and Boys Empowerment Team of Umoja Project (BET UP) focus on goal setting, career planning and healthy relationships.
GET UP Program
The Girls Empowerment Team (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 Program
The Boys Empowerment Team (BET UP) provides a safe environment for young men to learn positive personal relationship skills with other girls and boys, under the mentorship of male role models. In 2019, we implemented an empowerment program for boys – BET UP – with similar goals of improving academic performance and improving personal relationship skills.
Our young men are faced with cultural and socioeconomic challenges:
- 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 just 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