New Development Manager
My name is Ben Margetts and I am delighted to introduce myself as the new Development Manager, and first employee at Team Kenya. I have previously worked with NSPCC, Childline, and the Tropical Health and Education Trust within the charity sector, as well founding and running a small UK charity that operated in Kenya. My previous experience of working in Kenya highlighted the huge challenges that girls and women face in rural areas, and I am excited to be joining an organisation that is engaging an entire community in gender equality, so that girls have an equal opportunity to reach their potential.
I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Ndhiwa on a recent trip to East Africa, and see first-hand the incredible impact that Team Kenya is having on the lives of girls, women and the wider community. I was able to visit Arina Primary School, just one of Team Kenya’s partner schools in Ndhiwa. In 2013 Arina Primary School did not have a single girl in class 8 (the final year of primary school) and as such no girls in the community were progressing on to secondary school. Team Kenya began to work with the school to promote both attendance and academic achievement of girls within the school. They did this by improving water and sanitation facilities, introducing Girls Support Groups to address challenges at home and in school, providing solar lamps so that students could study at night, providing education on School Related Gender Based Violence to keep girls safe in school and introducing homework clubs.
More recently Team Kenya have introduced programmes to help address economic challenges which often act as a barrier to education for girls. Working with the school they introduced a Business Farm, which provides the school with income to provide uniforms, books and sanitary towels for those who need them. The charity also formed microfinance and agricultural training groups with the mothers of students, which helps to increase household income and provide for all of their daughters educational needs.
In 2016 10 boys and 17 girls completed class 8 at Arina Primary School and the girls outperformed the boys academically. For the first time in 2016 all students who completed class 8 at Arina Primary School went on to Secondary School. This was only possible thanks to the students’ academic performance and their parents’ capacity to continue to provide the economic support required. The number of girls in school continues to grow in Team Kenya’s partner schools and it is only thanks to the supportive environments created and holistic approach taken to tackle the many challenges facing girls.
I am delighted to be part of Team Kenya and hope that I will be able to help the charity to build on its successes to date and support more girls in Ndhiwa to reach their potential.