U.S. Presidential Initiative:
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
February 2011 – November 2014
- Empower disadvantaged girls to complete their education
- Support disadvantaged girls to escape the cycle of poverty
- Encourage scholarship recipients to give back by helping the next generation
- Provided over 550 girls and 27 boys with scholarship and mentorship
- Provided ICT skills training to 131 beneficiaries before they entered tertiary education institutions
Ministry of Education Science & Technology
The Global Give Back Circle integrates mentoring, private sector investment and local community support in a circle of empowerment that guides a disadvantaged girl to complete her educational journey, gain employable skills and become an agent of change herself. Girls receive scholarships and mentorship, and in return have to offer voluntary service to their community while mentoring the next generation of scholarship awardees. Over 21 partners from the public and private sectors support the project, including Microsoft, Safaricom, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, MasterCard Foundation, Equity Bank, Deloitte Kenya, KPMG Kenya, PWC Kenya, Barclays Bank Kenya, Ernst & Young USA and USAID.
Launched in 2008 as a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment, the Global Give Back Circle provides girls from disadvantaged backgrounds—many of them orphans—with the skills, savvy and support they need to escape the cycle of poverty. Girls are also empowered to lend a helping hand to the next generation.
The program matches each young woman with a mentor, either an American or a Kenyan professional woman, who maintains an open channel of communication throughout the program. Mentors provide advice to the girls to facilitate thoughtful decision-making about social, academic and professional choices. In addition to financial support for secondary school and university, the project provides special courses in managing personal finances and other life skills, and using information and communications technology.
My name is Sarah Muthoni Wang’ombe and I am a third year student at Kenyatta University. I am pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning and Management and I aspire to become an environmentalist.
For me, being a part of the Global Give Back Circle means that I am truly special. I am chosen to be an example of transformation and an inspiration to the people around me.
I have been a member of the Global Give Back Circle for the past six years. During that period my family, friends, teachers and mentor have witnessed a transformation in me. This is because the program provides complete support for the girls in the Circle. My mentor, Sylvia, and I have been communicating for six years. Throughout that period, we have evolved from being strangers to friends. She is loving, kind, resourceful and she follows up on every goal I write to her about. I am so lucky to have her as my mentor.
Thanks to bi-annual life-skills workshops, I learn new skills and get to see the other girls in the program, many of whom I probably would never have gotten the chance to meet. We compare notes on our successes and failures and in doing so, we learn from each other. The workshops are more than just a learning platform; they are like a family gathering for me.
I have learned that you don’t have to be rich to touch someone’s life. You don’t need to have the best skills, nor do you have to wait to be invited to see an opportunity to give.
After I graduated from the IT lab, I was grateful for the computer skills I acquired, because it gave me an edge in college. During my long vacation from June to August 2012, I was able to secure an internship in Juba, South Sudan. This is a newly independent country and there are a lot of people without access to adequate education or who possess important skills like the IT skills I have developed. In Sudan, I was able to assist a number of people in typing documents, sending their resumes online, designing youth group logos, and much more. It was very fulfilling to be able to utilize my skills that way. It taught me not to ignore any skills that I have, because someone, somewhere does not have them and I could be the person to teach them.
I am grateful to my family for the support and understanding they continue to give. It’s not always easy to explain why I have to work without getting paid for it. I am grateful to Linda for the humble idea and vision she had that has grown and touched so many lives. I am grateful to all the other members within the Circle and those who are not a part of the Circle who continue to make the Global Give Back Circle a success.
Christine Pagen, Director
Office of Education and Youth
Tel: +254 20 862 2755
Office of Education and Youth
Tel: +254 20 862 2000
Global Give Back Circle Contact:
Program Coordinator - Girl Child Program
Kenya Community Development Foundation
Tel: +254 20 8067440/1/2/3540239
+254 733 886561
Updated April 2014
Last updated: May 30, 2014