The Coast News Group
From left to right: Girls Rising Club members and advisors including Lindsay Zickler, Aviya Afra, Evelyne, Sarai Scofield, Shelley Joslin and Alicia Tembi. Courtesy photo.

Grauer School club seeks donations for Kenyan school

ENCINITAS — A Grauer School club is partnering with an all-girls school in Kenya to empower young women to continue their education.

Over the past decade, the Girl Rising Club has advocated for girls’ education and empowerment, aiming to create awareness and bring positive change to the lives of girls locally and globally.

During the 2022-2023 school year, Aviya Afra and Sarai Scofield, co-presidents of Girl Rising, spearheaded a series of successful fundraisers including a school-wide dance marathon; Race4Daraja, a 10-kilometer charity race; and the curation of hand-made tote bags. They raised a record-breaking amount of $15,000 after the Race4Daraja campaign, which covers the housing and tuition for six girls at Daraja Academy, an all-girls boarding high school in Nanyuki, Kenya.

Many of the students who attend Daraja Academy face obstacles such as arranged marriages and poverty, preventing them from continuing their education. Beyond schooling, Daraja provides housing, mentorship and community, acting as the “daraja – meaning “bridge” in Swahili – to empowerment and personal growth.

Daraja unites girls across 47 African countries, using education and sisterhood to break down cultural, geographical and financial barriers.

Evelyne, a student at Daraja, visited The Grauer School last year, sharing her story and connection to Daraja with Girl Rising members.

After leaving her home and courageously breaking off her arranged marriage at the age of 12, Evelyne began her educational journey, developing a passion for chemistry. Now, she is applying to college with the hopes of studying at Harvard University.

Evelyne shared her excitement for her future aspirations to one day be a professor, giving other girls the opportunity to learn and break norms.

“This is the moment for girls to rise to their potential,” she said, a quote which is now featured on every Girl Rising tote bag.

This fall, the Girl Rising Club will be traveling to Daraja Academy in Kenya to spend time with these young women, and to learn more about their experiences at the boarding school. The club is organizing a drive to collect donations of art and academic supplies to take to the young women at Daraja.

The local community can support the club’s efforts to collect art and academic supplies by following the QR code below by Sept. 22. For questions, email [email protected] or [email protected].

Grauer School Girls Rising Club

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