The situation

Daraja GC supports Daraja academy in Kenya. Daraja provides education for girls in Kenya.

Girls are often denied education over boys, as it is believed that boys will bring upon a more promising future, an ideology that is enforced by societal roles. Without secondary education, the girls are often sent into premature marriages and pregnancies. Daraja believes education is the bridge out of poverty and into promising and exciting opportunities, hence the name ‘Daraja’, which means ‘bridge’. Daraja opened its academy for the first time, bringing in the first 26 students in 2009. Eager to bring not only education to the girls but also the promise of a self-efficient future, Daraja Academy is stronger than ever today.

The beginning

Daraja has evolved over the past years starting with the Baraka boys. This was an aid given to young African American boys in the US specifically Baltimore, Maryland who had a very high chance of being incarcerated or killed before they reach adulthood. These kids were offered education in Kenya a project founded to break the cycle of violence through an innovative education program that literally removed young boys from low-performing public schools and unstable home environments.

How Daraja Evolved

The academy began in 2006 when Jason and Jenni Doherty visited Kenya.  They were surprised that gender determined the opportunities one could get. They also realised that only boys who went to school had the opportunity to change the financial status of their family leaving the girls with no education. These girls were forced into early marriages and pregnancies, and were unlikely to find any professional opportunities that would enable them make a living. They concluded a education was the only way to bridge this gap and create a future for them.

They resolved to establish a school for exceptional girls who had no other means of continuing their education. They found other partners who shared their dream . Together, they began a boarding  school that would see to a girl’s physical needs , provide her with a rigorous academic curriculum, and empower to be a leader in the future. This was named Daraja which means ‘bridge’.