On Thursday 16 December, British actress Phoebe Dynevor, lent her Instagram channel, to Happy (13), Margaret (15) and Christine (20), from Kenya, who have been part of an ActionAid project supporting girls across the country to get back into education.
Phoebe recently met Happy, Margaret and Christine, during a video call to learn more about their lives and their journey back to education through ActionAid’s catch-up centres. For the Instagram takeover, Phoebe’s followers will get a behind-the-scenes peek into the daily lives of Happy, Margaret and Christine, who live in Kilifi county, to see how money donated to ActionAid could help young women like them around the world.
The Instagram takeover is aiming to raise awareness of ActionAid’s Christmas campaign #LetHerLearn which is focusing on improving girl’s access to education. Worldwide 129 million girls are out of school. By the time the global pandemic has passed, it is estimated that 20 million more secondary school age girls could be out of school.1
In Kenya alone, where Happy, Margaret and Christine are from, it is estimated that over 1 million children are out of school, mostly in marginalised, hard to reach or nomadic areas or informal settlements facing conflict and poverty. It is estimated that over 600,000 girls are out of primary school in Kenya2. The Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this situation; since the pandemic, increasing rates of poverty, early pregnancy, period poverty and child marriage, have pushed more girls out of education.
Happy, Margaret and Christine faced similar challenges when they were at school, leading them to drop out at a young age. However, after being enrolled in ActionAid’s catch-up centres, they have now been able to transition back to school and to vocational training centres.
The girls attended one of ActionAid’s 150 catch-up centres in Kenya. So far, 5,000 girls in Kenya have benefited from ActionAid’s project, and are currently learning literacy and basic skills in vocations such as business, electronics, and tailoring, before moving on to formal education or further training.
Phoebe Dynevor said:
“It was such an honour to meet and speak with Happy, Margaret and Christine and to learn about the challenges they faced when they had to drop out of school and to hear about how much they are flourishing and looking to the future thanks to going to the ActionAid catch-up centres. I am so happy to hand my Instagram over to these bright, young and inspiring women today so they can share their own stories with you in the hope that even more people can lend their support to this important appeal.”
Jilian Popkins, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Programmes, ActionAid UK said:
“We are delighted to have Phoebe’s support for our Christmas campaign, which is going to increase access to education for girls in some of the most difficult situations. An education can help a girl transform her own future, like Happy, Margaret and Christine are doing. We hope that this Instagram takeover will inspire others to join our campaign and give the gift of education this Christmas.”