Education for young women is a pretty precious thing in Kibera. Free access to secondary education is not guaranteed in Kenya, especially for girls. Patriarchy is still a dominant force there, so it is not a priority for families to pay to educate a girl, especially if they have any boys that also need schooling. Instead, many young women are married off, become indentured servants in wealthy households, or are forced by circumstances into sex work.
A Kiberan man named Abdul Kassim founded KGSA in 2006 to provide women with a free secondary education and a safe place to learn and grow. The school is the first of its kind in Kibera. It’s a completely grassroots organization. Since it’s founding, it now educates some 120 students annually; some students have been able to go on to the University or vocational training, beginning to break the cycle of poverty that has trapped them and their families.—Jake Naughton
Washington DC-based photographer Jake Naughton shot his series on the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy last year in Kenya. Earlier, he had visited the school during a period of three years in a study-abroad program and was then invited back as a volunteer to assist in projects for the school. The resulting photographs came out of his close relationship with the community.
Feature Shoot Contributing Editor Carolyn Rauch is the Director of Photography at Newsweek.