Organization Profile

Daraja Education Foundation

What We Do:

OUR VISION: That every girl receives the education she needs to better her life, her community, and her world.OUR MISSION: To educate and empower Kenyaâ??s next generation of community leadersEvery girl has the right to learn. This is the idea behind the founding of Daraja Academy. When Jason and Jenni Doherty â?? educators from the Bay Area â?? visited Kenya in 2006, they were struck by the degree that gender determined opportunity. For families living in deep poverty, access to education was already limited, but sons were still far more likely to attend secondary school than daughters. Girls were being left behind.Without secondary education, girls in Kenya are often condemned to early marriages and pregnancies, and are unlikely to attract the professional opportunities that enable economic self-sufficiency. Education is the fastest bridge out of poverty, and so many girls have no hope of crossing it. :Daraja Academy was founded collaboratively in 2009 by Jason and Jenni Doherty, Californian educators, with Victoria Gichuhi and Charles Mbuto, Kenyan teachers. A boarding high-school, each year Daraja provides comprehensive scholarships to 30 exceptional Kenyan girls born into extreme poverty from diverse religions and tribal backgrounds.Our curriculum and programming is tailored to meet the following objectives:â? HER LIFE: A Daraja Girl has the knowledge and skills to achieve (1) improved Health, (2) entrance to Higher Education, and (3) access to Employmentâ? HER COMMUNITY: A Daraja Girlâ??s education and improved employment prospects enable her to provide her home community with (1) Financial Remittances, (2) Service initiatives to improve standards of living, and (3) Mentorship to young girls and their familiesâ? HER WORLD: A Daraja Girl is trained to be a thought leader and advocate of (1) Peacebuilding, (2) Sustainability, and (3) Womenâ??s Rights

Who We Are:

Daraja is in the business of educating leaders Daraja Academy provides an exemplary secondary education to girls who have no other means of continuing school. We choose girls who, despite their circumstances, have earned high grades and give back to their communities. We choose them because every girl has the right to learn. We choose them because the best indicator of leadership potential is the ability to display grit, courage, and kindness when faced with adversity. We choose them because the best disrupters of poverty are those who were born in it.Daraja offers extraordinary leadership education to even more extraordinary girls. Daraja Education Fund provides resources to Daraja Academy in Kenya; Daraja Academy provides:Academics Daraja Academy provides an intense academic curriculum designed to prepare girls for their K.C.S.E. (Kenya certificate of Secondary Education) Examinations. These exams determine whether students qualify for higher education at either a college or university level, and whether they will receive government grants. Darajaâ??s class schedules includes English, Swahili, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Religion, Agriculture, Business Studies, History & Government, Physical Education, and W.I.S.H. (Women of Integrity, Strength, and Hope â?? a class unique to Daraja Read More Here). Our goal is for every Daraja girl to receive a score that will enable her to continue on to higher education.Campus Daraja Academy is located on a scenic 60 acre plot about 15 miles north of Nanyuki. Many of the campus buildings were originally built in 1996 for The Baraka School, until it closed down in 2003 (fun fact: a documentary called The Boys of Baraka was made about this school in 2005, in which you can see our campus!). The Dohertys discovered the campus and rebranded it as Daraja Academy. Today, our campus includes 4 classroom blocks, a science lab, a cafeteria, a library, a basketball court, a soccer field, 3 dormitories, many bandas, a campus store, a handful of administrative buildings, and a farm.The 4 Pillars At Daraja, everyone is expected to live by the following community standards: PILLAR 1: Be accountable for the role you play at Daraja, neither neglecting it, nor abusing it PILLAR 2: Maintain open communication, speak honestly and listen effectively PILLAR 3: Embrace differences and treat all with dignity and respect. PILLAR 4: Every day, leave it better than you found it Family Trees The day a new Form 1 (first year) student first arrives on campus, she is placed in an academic family. A Form 2 student becomes her â??Big Sister,â? a Form 3 student becomes her â??Auntieâ? and a Form 4 student becomes her Shosh, or grandmother. Often, the family will be casually linked to another, creating more aunts and cousins, and sometimes even siblings if the numbers donâ??t match up. By design, these family groups mix students from many tribes and religions. These academic families form a studentâ??s first layer of support as she adjusts to a new environment away from her home and family. Her academic family will guide her around campus, offer advice, and guarantee her a friendly table to sit at during every meal. When she graduates to Form 2, she too will become a â??motherâ? and be entrusted with mentoring and providing support to a new student. These relationships are strong, and last long after the girls graduate.Extracurricular Activities: SPORTS: Daraja fields sports teams that compete at district, regional, and national levels. Rugby, basketball, and soccer are the most popular sports on campus. CLUBS: Girls participate in a variety of student-led clubs, including Media, Peacebuilding, Debate, Grassroots leadership, and Science & Conservation. STUDENT NEWSPAPER: These girls can write. Darajaâ??s recently launched student newspaper, Voices of Daraja, has three sections: Features, Opinion, and Creative Writing. All girls are encouraged to participate, and are guided by our on-campus Communications Intern. Their articles (which were originally drafted by hand) are published online. SPIRITUAL LIFE: Weâ??re proud of our diverse student body and the many religions they represent. Each denomination hosts student-run services on Sunday, as well as weekly spirituals before evening study-hall. RECREATION: Every Saturday night, the girls lead a night of fun and entertainment. The night starts off with an hour of watching the news, which devolves into an enthusiastic dance party, and ends with a movie. The girls look forward to this all week and often dress up for the big event.

Education & Schools
San Rafael, CA, 94913