The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust uses TeachAids software to empower girls in rural Kenya
Health experts from Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) have been working to educate and empower vulnerable girls, particularly in Chyulu Hills, Kenya. Their goals are two-fold: First, to ensure that female students are attending their classes, and second, to educate them around ways to protect themselves from an HIV infection.
Due to the lack of sanitary supplies, millions of girls miss school every month. In an effort to make it more affordable for girls to attend school during their menstrual periods, MWCT worked with Huru International to obtain free cloth sanitary pads and systematically distribute them. MWCT used this opportunity to educate the girls on reproductive health and HIV prevention, using the TeachAIDS Swahili animated software.
MWCT health educators shared the TeachAIDS software with 99 young girls (13 to 15 years old) at Kuku Primary School. Given that the school did not have electricity, MWCT used a generator and projector to create an entertaining education session to enhance learning in the classroom.
“The room was silent during the viewing as the girls were fully engaged with the TeachAids educational program. As a public health worker, it was satisfying to know that the girls were simultaneously entertained and learning from these sound and comprehensive materials. We are so thankful to the TeachAids team for developing these life-saving tools for our communities.”
– Lena Koh, Health Program Development Director, Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust
With the positive response from the youth and educators, MWCT plans to feature the TeachAids technology in all their health activities, including during their regular medical outreach and in their work with women’s groups and community health workers.
MWCT has made significant efforts towards increasing knowledge levels around HIV prevention, treatment, and promotion of behavior change in Kenya, a country that has the fourth largest population living with AIDS in the world. School-based HIV education efforts face significant challenges in Kenya; few children attend secondary school and many parents, teachers, and health officials are reluctant to speak openly about sex publicly. With the majority of the population living in rural areas, such programs are particularly important to engage youth.
The TeachAids Swahili tutorials have catalyzed numerous partnerships in Kenya. The software has been used by organizations such as A Better Education Club to educate children in regions inhabited by the Taita tribe, Dignitas Project as part of their leadership programming in Mathare, and Arché-ONLUS in its rural school education efforts. TeachAids is delighted to participate in this new alliance with the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust and is proud to contribute to the MWCT mission of educating youth about HIV and AIDS in an accurate, engaging, and culturally appropriate way.
Photo: Girls, ages 13-15, watch the TeachAids Swahili animated tutorial in Kuku Primary School, Kenya.