The Kibera Girls Soccer Academy is a free high school for girls in the Kibera slums…
Towering over the tin roof homes in Kibera, the new dormitory at the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy (KGSA) is the pride of the neighborhood. The boarding facility has a rooftop soccer field and provides a safe place for girls to study, eat, sleep (and dream). KGSA is a free, holistic high school that serves 130 girls every year located in the largest informal settlement or slum in Africa. Almost a million people live in a region the size of New York City’s Central Park with no running water, bathrooms or reliable electricity. This is where Kenya’s first free high school for girls (KGSA) was established.
Simonetta Lein, online TV host recognized by Forbes Magazine as the fifth “Most Influential Woman in the World”, recently interviewed three KGSA alumnae for her SLTV Instagram Show. She was moved by their powerful stories and the tremendous impact that a small school in Kibera had in Kenya and the world. A powerful influencer with a platform of over 12 million followers, Simonetta is partnering with KGSA to get the word out about the situation for girls in Kenya and how her community can help.
In Kenya, 44% of girls don’t finish high school. Due to high costs for school fees and materials, few families can afford to send their girls to secondary school. KGSA was founded as a soccer club for girls in 2002 by Abdul Kassim. Over the years, KGSA grew from a soccer club to a one room classroom for 13 girls to ultimately and miraculously a holistic school for 130 – whose seniors beat the national average on the Kenyan high school exit exams in 2018 and 2019! KGSA’s “whole girl” model strives each year to meet the students’ needs. Today KGSA provides lunch, sanitary pads, a school counselor, life skills clubs, mentorship opportunities, and even college scholarships for the top performing students. KGSA has graduated over 370 girls including 70 who have pursued higher education.
Simonetta’s philanthropic arm, The Wishwall Foundation, is financing KGSA Senior Aisha Sakali’s education and boarding for the current academic year and sharing her high school journey on Wishwall’s Instagram. Simonetta is a “wish-maker” who founded Wishwall in 2015 to “give a voice to the voiceless” and “help make meaningful wishes come true.” It costs $2,500 a year to educate and board a KGSA girl.
This new era of harnessing the power of social media influencers combined with easy donation platforms engages Gen Z and Millennials to contribute to causes the minute that they’re inspired to give. For the cost of a latte and with a few easy swipes, anyone can quickly donate $5 which is life-changing for the school and the girls. To join the movement to educate girls in Kibera, text KenyaGirls to 53-555.