A partnership between
United Nations Alliance of Civilizations & BMW Group

2016

The Coexist Initiative

Kenya

The Coexist Initiative promotes enrolment and retention of girls in primary school, particularly within the Daadab and Kakuma refugee camps. Men, boys and communities are engaged to address the complex social and cultural barriers that continue to impede girls’ education. The camp comprises of refugees from Uganda, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Somalia.

About the Project

The Coexist Initiative promotes primary school enrolment and retention of girls in the Daadab and Kakuma refugee camps by engaging men, boys and communities to address the complex socio-cultural barriers that continue to impede girls’ education. The camp comprises of refugees from Uganda, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Somalia.

Girls in these camps are challenged by the time-honored customs of their diverse communities, particularly on the issue of male dominance and the traditional roles of women. The prejudice against girls in refugee settings is not about race or ethnicity, but rather about gender and sexuality.

Too often, initiatives seeking to achieve gender equality and female empowerment sideline or narrowly define the role of men. Using strategies such as community assessments, outreach and awareness-raising through media and other local information channels, the program reaches its objectives by encouraging men and boys to be champions for girls’ education.

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