Thursday, July 24, 2014

Venus Williams launches online drive to help Kenya's girl-child education

US tennis legend Venus Williams. She has partnered with CARE International to raise funds through an online platform to support girl-child education in Kenya. PHOTO | FILE

US tennis legend Venus Williams. She has partnered with CARE International to raise funds through an online platform to support girl-child education in Kenya. PHOTO | FILE 

By JAMES KARIUKI
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World tennis sensation Venus Williams has partnered with an international charity to support girl-child educational initiatives for students in Kibera slums in Nairobi.

The Sh6.6 million donation will also help promote interests related to girls in Siaya County, which she visited in 2012 under the auspices of CARE International.

In a press dispatch, Ms Williams said she had launched an online campaign Join My Village (JMV), a charitable partnership between CARE, Merck and General Mills whereby she will contribute Sh2.2 million.

The two-week campaign has also seen JMV’s corporate sponsors, General Mills and Merck, pledge a shilling-to-shilling offer to match the tennis legend’s fans’ contribution up to Sh2.2million.

ONLINE PORTAL

Ms Williams' commitment will be unveiled through JMV's online portal.

It will help those interested in the programme to learn about and help advance programmes that expand girls' access to education.

Accompanying the contribution from Ms Williams is a challenge to her fans, whom she is calling on to help unlock the Sh2.2million pledge. When they "Like" JMV content on Facebook, or "re-tweet" JMV content on Twitter, $1 is unlocked up to the full pledge by Ms Williams during the two-week campaign.

Ms Williams said she was thrilled to be partnering with CARE to help these remarkable young women reach their life goals.

VISITED KENYA

She said that during her visit to Kenya, she experienced first-hand how education can transform the girls themselves and benefit their families and communities.

The funds, once raised, will also help girls in Malawi access secondary-school education.

The total campaign has the potential to provide up to Sh6.6 million ($75,000).

It will bring vocational training to as many as 50 young women in Malawi who have already completed secondary school with support from Join My Village and who were selected to pursue their career choices based on their academic performance.

Ms Williams has been instrumental in setting up a secondary school for girls in Machakos County, as well as running a tennis training programme for children in the Kibera slums.

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