240509 Girls from Ol Donyo Oibor Primary School stand in front of their new dormitory funded by Big Girls Foundation Joshua ClayLast week we were delighted to celebrate the opening of a brand-new 96-bed girls’ dormitory at Ol Donyo Oibor primary school near Kimana, made possible through our partnership with the charity Big Girls Foundation.

The school borders the ALOCA conservancies, which protect a vital wildlife corridor connecting Amboseli National Park and Kimana Sanctuary, and this dormitory is a brilliant example of how conservation can offer significant benefits to those living in wildlife areas.

Girls and young women in Amboseli face particular challenges. It is unfortunately still common for families to send sons to school instead of daughters, particularly when finances are limited. The setbacks do not stop there - domestic responsibilities, menstruation, teen pregnancy, and early marriage all play a role in preventing girls from completing their schooling.

Under these circumstances boarding schools become something of a refuge, providing a safe space for girls to focus on their education.

We are grateful to the Big Girls Foundation, who donated $65,000 to fund the construction of this dormitory and have had an enormous impact on Big Life’s education program. Of the 679 students sponsored this year, 180 are supported by Big Girls Foundation, including 17 at tertiary level.

Together with our donors and partner organizations we are laying the groundwork for positive transformation throughout the Greater Amboseli ecosystem, and a future that is bright for both humans and wildlife.

Photo: Joshua Clay