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MEDIA RELEASE: So They Can’s international community raises over $110,000 in 1HumanRace campaign to prevent female genital cutting and child marriage in East Pokot, Kenya

Over 300 participants from around the world, including kiwi Actress Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit, Leave No Trace) and All Blacks star, Conrad Smith joined forces to raise funds for So They Can in the charity’s 1HumanRace challenge throughout the month of March. 1HumanRace was designed to raise awareness of the challenges faced by young girls and enable them to receive the education they deserve.

So They Can is an international NGO that delivers education and empowerment programs in some of the  most vulnerable communities in East Africa. Working in Kenya and Tanzania, So They Can partners with local governments and communities to deliver education and empowerment projects that create lasting change. 

So They Can’s kiwi Co Founder and CEO, Cassandra Treadwell, who ran 85km over 2 days said, “Last year, I spoke to a group of young girls in East Pokot. Each one had been forcibly circumcised, each one had run away from a child marriage and some had made the heart-breaking decision to leave behind their own children to escape physical abuse and save their own lives. The girls asked me to share their story and 1HumanRace is our platform to do just that. We’re hoping as many people as possible will join us.”

According to sector research by ActionAid, 85% of girls aged 9-13 years old in Pokot, Kenya are subjected to Female Genital Cutting (FGC) and child marriage. In East Pokot, where So They Can works, an uneducated girl is seen as the property of her father and brothers, while an educated girl is seen as a person with human rights. Through So They Can’s  Keeping Girls in School project, the NGO works with the whole community to build understanding of the risks of FGC and the importance of girls’ education. 

The inaugural 1HumanRace challenge encouraged participants to ‘move’ 85km in March and raise as much as they can to help So They Can grow their impact and help  change this statistic – and the future – for these young girls. The success of this campaign has guaranteed that the challenge will now be an annual event. 

“These additional funds will enable us to expand our impact by providing education, safety and counselling for more girls, reaching more community members and educating leaders on the risks of FGC and the importance of educating girls. We know from experience that educating girls not only changes their future, but the future of generations to come.” Cass Treadwell explained. “We have been blown away by the passion and generosity of our participants and donors throughout this campaign, and we couldn’t be more grateful. $110,000 would barely cover the education of 3 children in a private school in New Zealand. Yet, in East Pokot, this money will enable us to secure the education of hundreds of girls. We can’t wait to share the stories of the impact this makes in the communities we work with over the coming years.”

To find out more and join the community, visit sotheycan.org. 


For additional information, quotes or images please contact poppy@sotheycan.org.


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