In an area of the world where inequality between gender and opportunity have a deep-rooted history, Kensington Hall Oloosinon Secondary School for Girls in the Trans Mara district of Kenya is putting all its focus on empowerment through education and career development.
Kensington Hall is part of an ongoing education project funded by Kensington Cares, a non-profit organization created by private-guided travel company Kensington Tours.
The first project was the build of a co-ed primary school which to date has 700 students enrolled. As the newest secondary school in the region, Kensington Hall includes accommodations, a dining hall, classrooms, administrative offices and communal space, allowing students and teachers to stay on the premises without travelling far. There are currently 44 students enrolled.
Principal Nelson Kipteng said, “Many children could not go to school since the nearest primary school is 7 km away and the nearest secondary school is about 20 km away. Education and [Kensington Hall] are important to the community. Through it, the Maasai are investing in their own prosperity and growth.”
The intention for Kensington Hall is to develop a vocational-style curriculum that will include skill building in agriculture and dairy production, and career development in trades such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing and engine mechanics, as well as information technology, accounting, and hospitality and tourism.
Jeff Willner, founder and CEO, Kensington Tours, explained, “This is in our DNA. Travel and tourism have always enabled sharing, learning and growth. The focus with this school is on empowering Maasai girls to have access to skills and training that enable them to succeed. My hope is that Kensington Hall will be enduring; positively impact the whole community; and be a gold standard example of what can be created when travel serves a greater purpose.”
Willner launched Kensington Cares in conjunction with founding Kensington Tours. Growing up in Africa, he saw first-hand the good that can come from travel and tourism, and the benefits it can generate for local communities.
Since the beginning, “Giving Back” has been one of Kensington Tours’ core values and the reason the company and its employees continually support local, global and environmental initiatives.
www.kensingtontours.com for more.
Images: Courtesy of Francis Aho