When the Daraja girls are home for term break they are required to commit between five and ten hours to their communities. The girls get to choose where they do their community service: some work in local hospitals – mopping floors, directing visitors to patients, or fetching water – others volunteer in churches or dispensaries. But Joyce, a Form 2 student, did something different over the last term break.

Joyce went to her church and a local primary school

Form 2 student, Joyce

to teach her peers about HIV and AIDS. Equipped with the information she learned from volunteer Maggie Gaughran, she led discussions about the virus and disease and worked to drive out the untruths that her peers believed.

Director Jason Doherty says there are two reasons the girls are required to do community service. “First, it’s part of the way they pay back for their education. And second, we want them to maintain connection with where they’re from.” With girls coming from all over Kenya to attend Daraja, any way to build a connection with their communities is essential, he says. Joyce’s move to improve and protect her peers’ health has definitely established a relationship with her community.

Alone, this 17-year-old girl spoke to 150 primary students and 30 teens at her church. Her students wer