The Kibera School for Girls (KSG) is the first school specifically for girls in Kibera and the only free school in the area. This school serves the neediest girls, focusing on those most vulnerable to a life of prostitution and sexual abuse. The primary school offers the Kenyan education curriculum. However, instead of implementing a teacher-centered pedagogy, where students passively listen and demonstrate knowledge via exams, the Kibera School has enlisted education specialists to help design an innovative curriculum: capitalizing on how children best learn. Starting at the age of 4, students are exposed to quality education through these small classes, teachers who serve as positive role models, and student-centered curriculum. This hands-on curriculum fosters independence and creativity.
The overarching program aim of KSG is to reduce gender inequality in urban slums by improving socio-economic opportunities for bright yet disadvantaged girls through high quality education. KSG currently serves students from Pre-K – 6th grade and will continue on to 8th grade in the next two years. While KSG will not provide education after girls complete their 8th grade year, the program will continue to support girls after they graduate up until they reach university.
Community members helped build the school, which includes thirteen classrooms, a large library, and a great hall. The school also provides students with after-school programs and psychosocial support to prevent rape and abuse as well as address any existing trauma. Run by a staff of expert female teachers, the school gives students and community-members positive female role models. Instead of paying fees, parents agree to work at the school and community center, which creates a community of caregivers invested in their daughters’ education. The school's library services are also open to the community, and will offer employment to female adults of Kibera.
KSG is primarily funded through individual donors, foundations, and revenue gained through Shining Hope for Communities’ (SHOFCO) WASH facilities. Many individual donors choose to become sponsors, which play a pivotal role in supporting students at KSG. Sponsorships enable SHOFCO to provide children with educational, nutritional, medical, and psychosocial support.
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Model details2009Not-for-profitComprehensive curriculumActiveLong-term projectFree service or product2790%100%
BeneficiariesOrphans and vulnerable children
The school is located in Kibera, Nairobi's largest urban slum, and aims to serve disadvantaged girls from this community.
Scale4422 primary schools are currently activeFebruary, 2015
In its four years of existence, Shining Hope For Communities (SHOFCO), Kibera School's implementing organization has experienced exponential success, growing from 890 beneficiaries in 2009 to a projected 50,000 in 2013. The School for Girls in itself has grown from a classroom of 15 students in 2009 to 142 girls ranging from pre-school to fourth grade. In 2012, SHOFCO opened a new two-story 22-classroom building to double student enrollment over time, expecting an increase to 200 enrolled in 2014.
Another school will be opening in Mathare (another urban slum in Nairobi) in 2014.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
SHOFCO has established clear measurable outcomes for each of its programs, reflecting the organization’s overall goals and allowing for continuous evaluation of its success and impact. SHOFCO has a custom-built, electronic data system that allows for safe data storage and easy analysis and utilization of data. Each program has an annual work plan developed by the local program managers providing a road map for achieving the established program outcomes and annual beneficiary and outcome goals. With these tools SHOFCO are able to regularly evaluate and adapt its services to ensure the highest possible impact.
Progress of the girls at Kibera School for Girls will be monitored through a standardized system of monitoring student performance. Other measures used include:
% of students testing at or above grade level (Kenyan)
% of students testing at or above grade level (American)
% of students who complete up to 8th grade at KSG
Academic performance throughout grade levels 5 through 8 and other forms of academic achievementStandardized assessment performanceUser satisfactionGraduation or promotion ratesTeacher attendanceStudent attendanceTeacher retentionStudent retentionIncreased enrollmentOtherDailyNo
100% of KSG 2nd graders can read a 2nd grade level English paragraph, compared to only 14.9% of 2nd graders nationwide in Kenya.
Kibera School for Girls’ students ranked #1 in the district on the 2013 end-of-the-year national exam by a 50-point margin.
62% of women whose daughters attend KSG either jointly control or spearhead household financial decisions, compared to 44% of married women in Kibera.