Causes of Kenyan girls dropping out of school (Trócaire)

Not completing secondary education increases a girl's risk of HIV infection. In Kenya, what are the barriers to adolescent girls and young women staying in school?

Causes of Kenyan girls dropping out of school (Trócaire)

The DREAMS Challenge called for innovative solutions to help reduce HIV/AIDS infections among adolescent girls in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Trócaire in Kenya successfully won a DREAMS grant with Africa’s Voices and other partners.


Over two years, Africa’s Voices will be one of the partners of a multi-faceted intervention that will focus on keeping Kenyan girls in secondary school — which has been proven to dramatically reduce girls’ vulnerability to HIV infection. The DREAMS Innovation Challenge is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The project aims to support over 5000 adolescent girls and young women (15-24 years old) in the rural area of Siaya County and in two urban informal settlements in Nairobi (Mukuru and Kangemi) to return to and/or remain in secondary school. Three key pathways to impact will be pursued:

  1. Improved access to age- and gender-appropriate information and support through:
    1. Interactive radio-programmes (led by Africa’s Voices);
    2. The ‘One2One‘ Integrated Digital Platform (led by LVCT Health);
    3. Tailor-made educational materials (led by Grow and Know).
  2. Support services that empower girls and build their capacity via Bridge Centres (led by The Girl Child Network).
  3. Community and duty bearer mobilisation and capacity building.

Interactive Radio Programming

Working together with community radio stations, Africa’s Voices will be sparking radio discussions on topics of relevance, including issues of education, puberty, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS. Girls and young women will be encouraged to interact with the broadcasts via free SMS.

Data Analysis

Africa’s Voices will also carry out near-time analysis of the attitudes and perceptions of adolescent girls and young women in the target communities, and more broadly in Nairobi and Siaya, throughout the project period. We will analyse three principal data sources: (1) SMS received in response to interactive radio broadcasts, (2) SMS and social media generated through the One2One Integrated Digital Platform, (3) data generated from mobile phone surveys. The rich insights we generate will inform the project partners, so that they can design and deliver services that are tailored to the priorities and needs of adolescents girls.


Top image was taken in Narok, Kenya. Credit: The Girl Effect.

Second image was taken in Kibera, Kenya. Credit: The Girl Effect.