As we take stock of the past year, we are astounded by the success that new partnerships, innovative initiatives, and determined girls created for WISER in 2018. And we are beyond excited to say that we have even more in store for the year ahead!
Here are five things to keep an eye out for in the coming year.
Through a new partnership with the Center for Global Reproductive Health (CGRH) at Duke University, WISER is thrilled to be facilitating free HPV testing for women in Muhuru Bay in early 2019. As a part of the testing event, WISER girls will be leading educational sessions that inform women and girls in the community about HPV and its relation to cervical cancer. The team from CGRH will also be providing information about next steps and treatment options following the results of the free testing. This partnership is an exciting opportunity for the WISER girls to both advocate for themselves and to champion access to healthcare and health education for other women in their communities.
Houses of Wisdom are WISER’s main psychosocial support program, where girls have the chance to meet in small groups with peer mentors, WISER faculty, and each other to offer support in their educational journeys. A welcome addition to Houses of Wisdom coming this year is a human rights-centered curriculum developed by students at the Teachers College at Columbia University. These modules will challenge WISER girls with hands-on learning in areas such as financial literacy, healthy relationships, preventing gender-based violence, and, of course, understanding human rights frameworks. We are excited to be adding another way for WISER girls to grow in empowerment and independence through our programs.
WISER girls know that working lights can make all the difference in their studies. That’s why we were so excited to bring solar power to WISER’s campus thanks to We Care Solar and their We Share Solar program last year. After the overwhelming success of last year’s solar panel installation, WISER is the lucky 2019 recipient not only of more solar panels—bringing clean, efficient, and reliable energy to more of WISER’s campus—but also of hands-on workshops where the girls can learn to assemble solar packages themselves.
In 2019, WISER will be hosting a formal training for these workshops for teachers at other secondary schools, allowing the workshops to be replicated for students throughout Muhuru Bay. While We Share Solar has been running these workshops in the US for some time, WISER is one of the first African schools to ever host the program!
Thanks to an exciting new partnership with the Morris Family Foundation, the ever-growing network of WISER alumni will have access to more supportive resources than ever in 2019. We’re continuing our partnership with Lumen Labs for the second year in a row to provide STEM skills-building and computer training for recent alumni, preparing them for their next steps into university or the workforce. We’re excited to begin partnering with Eneza Education to provide recent alumni with on-the-go training modules in business skills that they’ll be able to access from anywhere via their mobile phones. Closer to home, we’ll be expanding our highly successful Alumni Day programming to include an Education Day, where we can grow our support of alumni pursuing teaching degrees. Last, but not least, we’ll be training interested alumni to lead sexual and reproductive health outreach through our partnership with Huru international. It’s a great time to be a WISER alum!
2019 marks the third year of WISER’s historic expansion. Our first, second, and third year classes all now have 60 girls, giving WISER a total capacity of 210 girls this year. That means that more girls than ever are the recipients of the programs like the ones listed above, which exemplify what WISER has always done best—give girls the best education possible, through holistic academic, health, leadership, and support programs.
We could not be more excited to share with the Global WISER family all that this year has in store!