"To enable the girl child realise her potential"

Our Background

NEWI, the Women’s Initiative in Education, was founded on April 17, 2010 out of a shared vision of Kenya Literature Bureau managing director, Mrs. Eve Obara and Dr. Mark Matunga of Microsoft Corporation to champion the educational rights and welfare of girls in school.

It brings together professionals, mainly women, with the primary aim of uplifting the education of the girl-child.

“It was quite discomforting for the founding trustees, both of whom sat at the then Nyanza Provincial Education Board to witness the deteriorating standards of girls education in the region,” says Joseph Ndegwa, a member of NEWI.

The Initiative began its operations in Nyanza Region, which was at its lowest ebb in girl’s education at the time. With the support of the government and education sector officials in the region, NEWI reached out to professionals and currently boasts of a membership of over 600. The Initiative continues to attract a growing number of men, who have joined the organization as friends of NEWI. Last year, the Ministry of Education signed an MOU with NEWI to support girl child education across the country.

In its first 90 days, NEWI reached out to more than 162 girls and mixed secondary schools in Nyanza region, working with girls, teachers and communities to establish and offer solutions to challenges that hinder girl’s excellence in academics.

Since then, the NEWI caravan of hope has visited and revisited schools, offering mentorship, counseling, role modeling and material support to girls. These activities have been extended to rural villages, where girls who had dropped-out for one reason or another are helped back to school.

NEWI sees education as an enabler of social change and has, therefore, partnered with various stakeholders to enhance girl’s access to quality education. They include the Ministry of Education (MoE), Microsoft Corporation, Research Supported Centre for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, Kenya Literature Bureau, Proctor & Gamble, Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWE), Maendeleo Ya Wanawake (Women in Development), the Caucus for Women Leadership (CWL), among others.

The Women’s Initiative has enjoyed goodwill from its partners. It has experience, and has remained prudent in managing funds for research and other interventions from members, donors and other well-wishers.

Some of our programmes and interventions include:

  • Use of integration and research through community meetings, discussions and interviews to increase awareness on the need to educate the girl child.
  • Participatory rural assessment to establish the educational status of school-age going girls, OVC’s and sanitation in schools to aid identify support areas such as scholarship provision to girls in school.
  • Utilization of the home environment for learning, especially for girls who lack family support.
  • Women literacy classes for awareness creation.

Welcome to NEWI

The girl child in Kenya is facing various challenges that impede their education and participation in development. These challenges, captured in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) framework that prioritizes gender equality and empowerment of women to combat poverty, hunger and disease have weighed heavy on girls in the rural villages.

It is for this reason, the desire to make better and protect the future of girls, that NEWI, the Women’s Initiative in Education, was formed on April 17, 2010. NEWI’s mission is anchored on the belief that a bridged gap in primary and secondary education of socially deprived girls, orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC’s) will stimulate development that is truly sustainable.


The overall goals of NEWI are to widen educational opportunities of girls, enhance their retention and performance in school and also to create a sustainable and conducive learning environment for girls at home and school.

Stand Up for Girls

  • stand up for girls
  • .

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Contact Details


Embassy house, 1st Floor, Rm 117
Box 61192 - 00200, Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254-020-2613613/ +254721214718
Email: or

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