Meet Esther

By Sarah Neff, Duke Divinity School Intern, Summer 2016 This is Esther. When we first met Esther a few weeks ago, she came running around the side of her house to greet us. She is amazing to see: tall, strong, vibrant, with a smile that takes you in immediately. She ushered us in, come in,…

This is Esther

Written by Sarah Neff, Duke Divinity School student and 2016 Umoja Project Field Intern: When I first met Esther several weeks ago, her home was the seventh home that we visited in one day. My malaria pill had burnt my esophagus the night before, so I was tired, discouraged, wincing at the thought of another…

Caroline excels in spite of her obstacles!

by Madeline Watts and Lori Galambos – Project interns Caroline’s parents died when she was young. She and her younger siblings moved in with their grandmother, but the grandmother’s own frail health meant Caroline had a lot of responsibility taking care of the family. In spite of these challenges, Caroline was the top performing student…

Meet Carolyne, GET UP participant

  By Ellen Daniels-Howell – Project Leader One of the joys of running a program designed to empower young women to follow their dreams and reach their full potential is that we get to witness it happening!  Carolyne is one of the remarkable young women who has been participating in GET UP programs for the…


In our efforts to understand better the needs and concerns of adolescent girls in rural western Kenya, we have conducted a number of “key informant interviews.” We have talked with female teachers and guardians, as well as primary and secondary school girls. Tomorrow we will meet with a group of women professionals, hopefully to begin sorting out how best to respond to all that we have learned this week.

Tie-Dyed Carport

Yesterday, our group gathered under St. Anna’s carport to begin the first step in tie-dying prep for Saturday’s seminar. Yes, we came to Kenya with enough dye to color the 120 GIS t-shirts we brought in tow. It turns out that tie-dye works on carport concrete just about as well as it does on white cotton t-shirts.

Grace and Winnie

Today was a great time visiting a wonderful friend, Grace Atero. Grace and I met in 2007 when the Project just had gotten underway and we had enrolled only 7 secondary school students (we are over 100 now). One of those 7 students was at Ogada Secondary School, where Grace served as the visionary and dynamic Principal. We quickly became friends, and I have visited with Grace every trip since.