Saturday marks International Women's Day. Dig Deep started with the support of women's activist Agnes Parayio, UN Person of the Year in 2005. Since then we have continued to work to empower women to overcome the challenges they face in Kenya.
In the majority of the communities we work with it is traditionally the role of women and girls to collect water and fuel. Through reducing the labour women face in doing this, our projects enable them to have a more equal role within their communities and also receive an education.
Here is one of many of our projects this year that assisted women directly:
Supporting mothers in building a school for their children – The Alton Masai Project
At Dig Deep we know how important it is that our projects are led by those that benefit from them – the local community. We also know that for a project to be successful, women must have at least an equal role to men in making it happen.
The Alton Maasai project is a community based organisation which was started by a group of women living the remote Maasai community of Oldanyati. They had a simple aim - to provide their children with the education that they never had. The local school was too far away for their youngest children to walk to so there was only one solution – they had to build their own pre-school.
After years of hard work they were able to see their dream realised with the construction of their first classroom. This incredible achievement took years of fundraising and months of back breaking work during the construction process, with the women carrying water over 7km to the construction site from the nearest river. Within the first month of opening the school had enrolled 150 students – however, there were no funds left to build toilets for the school. This was a serious health risk that threatened to undo everything that the women had worked so hard to accomplish.
Dig Deep was able to solve this problem through helping the Alton Maasai Project to construct latrines for the students and staff. We are now working to improve the school’s water supply to ensure that the community have everything they need to provide their children with the education they had dreamed of.