Through education, a brighter future for girls in rural Kenya

Following her own traumatic childhood, a doctor seeds hope in her community through the Kakenya Centers for Excellence

Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya is a leading advocate for girls’ education and empowerment in Kenya. Having survived female genital mutilation and avoided an arranged marriage as a child, Kakenya went on to become the first woman from her community to go to college, graduating with a Doctorate in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She founded Kakenya’s Dream, an organization investing in girls from rural Kenyan communities through education, health, and leadership initiatives.  

In 2020, Kakenya visited the Wonderful College Prep Academy, the charter school we support in California’s Central Valley. Lynda Resnick was so inspired by Kakenya’s work that the Resnicks became supporters of the Kakenya Centers for Excellence, all-girls boarding schools in Kenya that provide life-changing education to vulnerable girls.  

Not only do Kakenya’s boarding schools provide a world-class education, but holistic programming also ensures every girl’s complete and unique needs are met, so each can achieve her full potential. The Resnicks’ support made it possible to provide two wells at one school delivering access to clean water, saving the girls a 30-minute walk each way to the nearest river. Their support also funded solar panels to ensure reliable electricity, eliminating frequent and often long-lived power outages.  

As the school continues to expand, the Resnicks funded the building of a new dorm and classroom for an additional 40 girls to join.

I look at the girls I have in my school, and it’s one of the most satisfying things making somebody know and believe that what they dream in life can actually become a reality. It’s a joy.

Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya

Founder and President, Kakenya Centers for Excellence

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