We imagine a world where girls are healthy, educated, and in control of their own destiny – free from violence, disease, and limitations based on gender.
WISER works with girls to transcend poverty, HIV/AIDS, and gender-based violence. We do this by creating environments that empower young women to drive change in their communities.
The WISER Girls Secondary School takes a holistic approach to the boarding school environment. Unlike other schools in the area, WISER provides everything a girl needs to be successful including — clothes, books, safe housing, female role models, leadership training, healthy food, mosquito nets, HIV education, and essential medicine.
WISER is also committed to providing engaged and supportive teachers who live on campus. These role models spend time during the evenings and weekends empowering girls through competitive sports, academic clubs and competitions, career counselling, and academic tutoring. WISER is committed to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education for girls and all students have access to a computer lab as well as two university-quality science labs.
WISER builds an environment where girls excel. In fact, for the past three years, WISER has been ranked in the top 1% of the nearly 400 secondary schools in Migori County.
Offer health education and essential resources
WISER removes barriers standing between a girl and her health so that she can pursue her dreams without hesitation. All students at WISER receive sanitary pads, information about menstrual hygiene management, and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health training. WISER is committed to connecting girls with youth-friendly health services and since opening, WISER has had a 0% dropout rate due to early pregnancy.
Girls at WISER also receive three balanced meals each day – often featuring food from our on-campus sustainable garden! Girls are given access to free HIV and TB screenings multiple times a year and essential medicines to treat malaria are available on-site.
Create opportunities for psychosocial support
Girls at WISER are sorted into “Houses of Wisdom” – peer-led guidance
and counselling groups that meet weekly to discuss health, psychological challenges, or social issues in a safe environment. Teachers and administrators are assigned as mentors to the Houses of Wisdom and also to the different graduating classes in order to provide additional emotional support. WISER also offers one-on-one staff-led guidance and counselling sessions for all students. Twice a month, WISER girls meet as a school to discuss sexual and reproductive health issues with a teacher present to help guide conversation.
Engage and support the community
Annual Health Fair
Each year, WISER brings ear, eye, and gynecological healthcare providers to Muhuru Bay who offer free screenings to community members.
In partnership with UNICEF-WASH and the Government of Kenya, WISER built and maintains a clean water system that provides the only source of clean water for 5,000 members of the community. This water is dispensed via community kiosks run and managed by AIDS widows, providing much needed employment for this vulnerable population.
To reduce the risk of HIV, WISER has partnered with Duke University to create the READY Program, which improves family communication skills and interactions to promote healthier lifestyles and mental well-being. The READY Program is implemented by community members at local churches and schools.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Training
Completely led by current students, WISER offers sexual and reproductive health training sessions to hundreds of youth in Muhuru Bay each year. These sessions take place in local primary schools and cover pregnancy and disease prevention, partner communication, menstrual hygiene, and more. Through these sessions, youth are equipped to better address their own health needs and the WISER girls leading the sessions learn valuable leadership skills while increasing the visibility of female leaders.