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Wasichana Tunaweza (Girls We Can)

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

For the last project of the PISCCA series, the Photographer’s Association of Kenya headed northward. After driving for about sixteen hours from Nairobi, our team made it to Turkana.

Glorious sunrise at Lake Turkana

The largest and driest county of Kenya. Despite the heat, we were lucky enough to witness the country’s breathtaking landscapes as we traveled through different cities and villages. One of the places we visited was Loropio, a small and quiet town located near Lake Turkana. We explored the area for a few days, discovered new cultures and traditions, and continued our journey to Kakuma town.

Cruising through a dried river bed on our way to loropio, Turkana

We documented TYSA’s project in three different schools. TYSA (Transforming Young Stars of Africa) is an NGO based in Trans Nzoia County, Kenya. Its mission is to improve the quality of education and transform young girls’ futures through sports and arts. Wasichana Tunawesa (Girls We Can) is part of TYSA’s mentorship program that focuses on leadership skills development and empowerment.

Officials from TYSA have a light moment with the girls from Kalemchuch primary school

At Kalemchuch Primary school, the schoolgirls entertained us by singing, dancing and acting, dressed in traditional attire.

PAK chairman Moseti addresses the students at Kalemchuch Primary school
Students from Kalemchuch Primary school entertain Us dressed in their traditional attire

At Kakuma Girls Primary school, which is a day and boarding school, we met devoted and disciplined young girls. Part of their educational program requires them to learn a foreign language and many of them are currently learning French, in addition to English. They introduced themselves, performed some spoken word and taught us basic words in French. We also attended a basketball tournament where the young girls demonstrated their team players abilities and passion for the game.

The girls at Kakuma Girls Primary school teach Us some basic French
Girls at Our Lady's girls secondary school Kakuma during games time practicing basketball

Beyond the positive educational impact that TYSA with the support of the French Embassy has had on those girls, what amazed us was their maturity. Most of them live in poor conditions linked to poverty, including lack of sanitary and health facilities, sexual abuse and early marriage, etc. that affect them on a daily basis. Yet, they are eager to get educated. The nurturing community they belong to helps them strive to create a better future for themselves. Wasichana Tunaweza has become their motto a powerful phrase written on their school uniforms to remind them that they can achieve everything they put their mind to. “What a man can do, a woman can do better” said Faith Atol, a form four student at Our Lady's girls secondary school Kakuma.

Faith a student at our ladys girls secondary school welcomes the PAK and TYSA team

Author’s note:

The PISCCA project is now completed. Looking back to these past few months of documenting across the country, discovering places we’ve never been to, meeting dedicated young girls that inspired us, we realize that it has been an eye-opening and inspiring journey. We gained knowledge through that unique experience, and we are even more motivated and encouraged to continue telling impactful stories.

As we wrap up this project, we want to thank the French Embassy and everyone that supported us, welcomed us and helped us achieve it. Look out for the exhibition dates on PAK socials ✌.

Enjoy this short video of our trip in Turkana county.

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