Despite reports of early pregnancies in Kenya, a recent report shows there are low rates of early marriage and childbearing in Kibera and Wajir. The Adolescent Girls Initiative Kenya (AGI-K)...
Adolescent girls in Kenya face considerable risks and vulnerabilities that affect their education status, health and general wellbeing. In addition to low educational attainment and health risks – including early marriage, teenage pregnancy, early and unprotected sexual activity, non-consensual sex, and HIV/STIs – other factors that impact education and health outcomes include household poverty, lack of economic independence, limited income earning opportunities, illiteracy, violence, and social isolation. For the most part, younger adolescent girls ages 10-14 who live in environments laden with these vulnerabilities have not yet experienced the associated critical negative outcomes – school dropout, first sex, unwanted pregnancy, early marriage, and experience of sexual and gender based violence. Therefore, it is critical to intervene at a time when girls are experiencing a myriad of challenges, but before those challenges have resulted in outcomes that may be irreversible.
The Population Council led program, aims to reach at least 6,000 girls ages 11–14 in the northern arid lands and urban slums of Kenya with education and information about health, violence prevention through intensive community engagement, education subsidies, and wealth creation initiatives. These interventions will be implemented in different combinations and rigorously evaluated through a randomized controlled trial to determine which combinations of program elements have the greatest impact on improving health and other outcomes in girls’ lives. The project will identify best practices, and help to refine the critical content themes of girl-centered programs and eliminate ineffective approaches.