Education in Kenya is recognised as a primary means of sustainable economic development, social development and social mobility. The introduction of Free Primary School Education (FPE) led to an increase in enrolment across Kenya. Yet, despite the gains of FPE, there are still groups in many rural areas across Kenya that enrolment and transition into secondary and tertiary levels remains a challenge. Out of pocket payments that include purchase of school uniforms and also parents’ contribution to other costs not catered by the government incurred by families who still live in extreme poverty reduces access to schooling for many children.
COTRR collaborates with identified community structures to ensure that needy and deserving students who would otherwise never access quality education are identified and supported to realize their potential. Placement services, mentoring and coaching programmes are provided to ensure the sponsored children are able to discuss any challenges in their path.
Some indigenous cultural practices have proved to be a major hindrance in education here in Kenya especially in nomadic pastoralists communities. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which is against human rights has forced many girls into child marriages, dropping out of school while their reproductive health is compromised.
COTRR works with various stakeholders through community participatory approaches among them Community Advocacy and Education Campaigns on FGM and Child Marriages in support of pastoralist children access to education, ensuring that their right to education is protected and respected.
In working with affected communities, COTRR employs culturally sensitive strategies to facilitate community dialogues to disseminate information that encourages positive community norms as well as the abandoning of retrogressive cultural practices that infringe on children’s right to education. COTRR further educates the community on enacted laws on Children’s rights, human rights, the Ant-FGM Act (Kenya) 2011 and the Kenyan Constitution.