To celebrate International Women's Day, Dr Kakenya Ntaiya will visit ANU to deliver a public lecture about her childhood in Kenya and the Kakenya Centre for Excellence, which she founded.
Dr Kakenya Ntaiya is a globally-recognised education expert who runs an international foundation based on her ground-breaking school in Kenya. She has a PhD from the United States and a vision to inspire her students to dream big.
Kakenya grew up in the village of Maasai and was engaged to be married when she was just five years old. Despite her young age, Kakenya was determined to get an education and made a deal with father that she would undergo the tribal ritual of circumcision if he would allow her to finish school.
As an adult, Kakenya set up a school where parents must agree that their children will not be married before they graduate, or undergo female circumcision.
Kakenya's story is raw, moving and inspirational.
About the Kakenya Centre for Excellence
The Kakenya Centre for Excellence is a registered charity in The Republic of Kenya. It was founded by Kakenya to empower and motivate young girls through education to become agents of change and to break the cycle of destructive cultural practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and early forced marriage. The objective is that these future leaders will improve their community, their nation and the world. For thousands of families in Kenya, seven cows are more valuable than a girl's future. Those cows, a typical bridal dowry in Maasai culture, prove so tempting that most fathers in rural areas decide their daughter's education will end and marriage begin by age 13. Traditionally this event is preceded by female genital circumcision, a mutilation that remains a mystery to the girls until the moment it is performed. The girls, children themselves, will immediately start their own families and live out their days carrying water from the river, gathering firewood, and tending the treasured cows.
Kakenya's visit to Australia is supported by the LBW Trust. More details about her tour visit here.