Our gifts for Mission & Service support girls, human rights, and learning.
On a Kenyan mountain surrounded by farms is the Jerusalem Secondary School for Girls. The school is supported by Mission & Service global partner the Organization of African Instituted Churches. It is a safe place for young women who are escaping child marriage and the threat of female genital mutilation, or female circumcision.
The students share with pride their commitment to completing their education-students like Philomena. Philomena was able to complete primary school before her father sold her into marriage when she was 16. While her husband never forced her to undergo female genital mutilation, his family pressured her to do so. When her husband died, she was told by his family that she would now need to undergo the procedure or they would throw her out and keep her four children. In fear, Philomena and her children ran away. She returned to her home village, where her mother welcomed her and the children into her home. Philomena's mother heard about the school a short walk away and encouraged her daughter to go to it. Philomena was able to get a scholarship, and while she spends her day in class, her mother takes care of her children.
Philomena is beginning her final year of secondary school and looking forward to going to university, where she will study education. Her dream is to become a teacher because she believes that education is very important. The Organization of African Instituted Churches supports the school by providing scholarships and contributing to the salaries of three teachers.