Reinvigorating Efforts for Secondary Education in Nairobi slums

July 21, 2014

Participants at the global meeting on the Thematic Consultation on Education in the post-2015 development agenda held March 2013 in Dakar, Senegal underscored the importance of education as a human right and the basis for the realizing other rights. Education empowers people and produces significant development benefits. Education is the foundation for sustainable development, promoting inclusive human development, economic growth, environmental sustainability, peace, and security. Good quality education is central to the realization of development priorities, in particular that of overcoming inequality and eradicating poverty. Evidence suggests that each year of schooling translates to a 10% increase in potential income and a 1% increase in a country’s GDP. Educating women and girls also has a catalytic effect: for example, each additional year of a mother’s schooling reduces the probability of the infant mortality rate by 5- 10%.

In 2003, the Government of Kenya introduced free primary education. The policy saw an increase in the number of pupils enrolled in government primary schools, including the slums. Despite this, completion rates and transition to secondary school among the urban poor remains low. For instance, among pupils in the slums who were in grades three to six in 2005, 76% completed primary school with only 46% transitioning to secondary school by 2010. This is in comparison to 92% and 72% completion and transition rate among their non-slum counterparts over the same period .

This is the reason why Miss Koch Kenya with the support of APHRC holds a dinner every year to raise money to support secondary education of the bright and needy children from informal settlements, particularly Korogocho. The approach that Miss Koch uses is to negotiate a low-cost meal package in five-star hotels which are then sold for a margin during the event. The organization then seeks a prominent personality to grace the event and make their contribution.

The Miss Koch Kenya 8th Annual Fundraising Dinner, dubbed ‘A Night of Empowering Minds’ took place in November 2013 at Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi. The guest of honor was Dr. Ida Odinga, the wife of Kenya’s former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and a philanthropist in her own right.  Miss Koch staff organized the event with the help of volunteers drawn from business, media and entertainment. By helping plan the event, the volunteers gained an intimate knowledge of Miss Koch’s work and objectives. By the end of the event, most of these celebrities had agreed to be ambassadors of Miss Koch and help promote the aim of supporting the children of Korogocho to continue their education.

This year, Miss Koch endeavors to raise even more funds to help keep more young people in secondary school by growing its network of friends and partners. To lend support, please contact Miss Koch at

This post was written by Benta Abuya, Maurice Mutisya and Emmie Erondanga of Miss Koch Kenya.

Miss Koss Kenya is APHRC’s partner in implementing the Improving Learning Outcomes and Transition to Secondary School through Community Participation and After School Support among Disadvantaged Girls Project