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Female members of staff from the three organisations had a session where they shared advice with the girls on pursuing their career goals and their dreams along with practical professional skills. The staff from Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) & Women in Technology group highlighted the need for more girls to pursue more Science and Mathematics subjects that for a long time were viewed as only for men, and sought to inspire the girls to take to those subjects.
Samburu Girls’ Foundation was founded by Dr. Josephine Kulea, HSC, whose passion was drawn from being from a pastoralist community and observing practices such as FGM, beading (to mark them for sexual engagement from an early age) and child marriage where the girls are married off from as early as 11 years.
Through the foundation, the girls are given a safe place to stay and receive psychological support through counselling. The girls have overcome incredible challenges in their lives and have inspirational stories of hope. They also have a clear message for others in Kenyan society about the importance of eradicating these harmful practices and ensuring all girl receive a full education.
During the mentoring session the girls learnt how dedication and overcoming challenges was and still is the very heart of Huawei’s culture and success, as Huawei grew from a group of 6 people searching for business opportunities in rural China and then struggling in remote corners of Africa to build telecommunications networks to the successful global company that it is now.
Speaking at the session, The Foundation Head of Communications Jeremiah Kipainoi lauded its partners for their role in transforming the lives of the girls in the community.
“The livelihoods of the girls at Samburu Girls Foundation has been transformed since partners such as Huawei, UNFPA and Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) & Women in Technology came on board. Through their support, the girls have become empowered through education and have a place where they safe to call home that is safe far away from some cultural practices such as FGM. This has not only transformed lives of the girls but also of the communities around who now know that girls can be more”, said Mr Kipainoi.
Huawei’s Head of Public Affairs Adam Lane, while speaking at the event highlighted the importance of technology in increasing access to relevant resources and information.
“We have donated Matebooks, laptops and an internet router over the years, as part of our contribution towards ensuring that the girls have access to education and other information such as college opportunities. Accessing the internet with support from Safaricom has opened their eyes to the world. They’ve used the devices to set up a journalism club so the girls are able to tell their stories to their communities and the whole world, thus helping change attitudes toward these harmful practices”, said Mr. Lane.
This was the first ever trip to Nairobi for most of the girls and was sponsored by Huawei to help prepare them for college. They also met with lecturers from Zetech University and visited Nairobi National Museum.