Meet Chamkal. Chamkal escaped female genital cutting and early marriage when So They Can offered to sponsor her through school. Our Family Strengthening Program ensures that Chamkal and her 9 siblings receive the education, food and support for the future they deserve.
Location: Tiaty constituency, East Pokot Sub county, Baringo county
3 words her friends use to describe her: “Likes to read.”
Until she was 9, Chamkal could only dream of going to school. Instead, her childhood revolved around staying at home to help with chores, fetch water and look after a few goats.
Chamkal’s parents separated when she was young, leaving her mother to care for her 10 children alone. As her mother struggled to make ends meet, it became increasingly likely that Chamkal’s future would succumb to Female Genital Cutting (FGC) and early marriage. Thankfully, So They Can found her, and through our Family Strengthening Project, enabled her to fulfil her childhood dream of attending school.
“Since 2017, So They Can has sponsored my education at Chemolingot primary school. They pay all my fees and ensure I have stationery, food and a new uniform each year. So They Can also helps my younger siblings and many other children in my community to attend school. My family also receives food support.”
It is through the generosity of our supporter community that we can continue to give families and children like Chamkal the education and future they deserve. Now, Chamkal dreams of being a nurse so that she can help people.
“I love going to school. At school there are many other girls and boys learning so they can have a better life and help their families. My family is better now because the children are now in school. My mother is able to have time to do other work and get some money and take care of us when we are home. The community is better with many children going to school. Because of this, girls will not be married early and boys don’t have to go and steal cows.”
Since Covid-19 hit, Chamkal and her siblings have had to return home, where her mother is struggling to feed them. Instead of learning, Chamkal is needed to help her mother during the day. At night, with no electricity, it’s impossible to study.
“I started school late, so I don’t want to waste any more time away from my studies.”
UNESCO estimates 91 percent of the world’s children are out of school, including 743 million girls. Young girls are most at risk of not returning to school after the extended shut down, as the economic shock for their families increases their likelihood of being forced into early marriage. We urgently need your support to keep our Family Strengthening Projects running and ensure that girls like Chamkal can keep learning. Find out more about our approach through COVID-19 here.
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Your support enables us to work with vulnerable children like Chamkal and their families, so they can change their future.