At Dignitas, we believe that every child deserves an excellent education.

We know that many children around the world still struggle to access the education they need to develop themselves and transform their future. In some countries, education is said to be free, though multiple challenges still affect access to education. Children from marginalized settings experience various barriers in their pursuit for learning. There are many potential challenges faced with infrastructure, sanitation, lack of quality teachers, unfair cultural practices, cost of supplies and uniforms.

In Kenya, uniforms are compulsory and are a prerequisite for school attendance. They ensure children have comfortable clothing for learning and foster a sense of school identity and belonging. However, uniforms can present a barrier to education for families living in poverty. These obstacles must be addressed if we are looking to support all learners and leave no child behind.

Dignitas partners with Tailored for Education to provide quality and durable school uniforms to students in our partner schools. These schools are located in the urban settlements in Nairobi.  Tailored for Education strives to increase school enrollment in marginalized communities by providing children with the school uniforms they need.

A school uniform gives a student a sense of pride, identity and promotes the feeling of community. There is also an element of security, when students from various schools can be easily identified, it makes it easier to keep track of them in and out of the school. In our context, this is very important.

Take a minute to remember yourself back in time, when you got a new school uniform. For many of us, we could barely sleep we would prefer to sleep in the new attire, waiting anxiously to show up in school with our uniform! Students feel confident and excited to go to school when their school uniform is in excellent condition. This then contributes to them being active and engaged in their learning.

With this project, we are not only distributing uniforms, we are leading long-term sustainable change!

We have double benefits for our schools! At Dignitas, we empower educators to transform their schools through leadership development and instructional coaching. The goal is for their schools to become vibrant places of learning where all children thrive and succeed. Schools that receive uniforms are also being supported in teacher development which complements the whole cycle of education transformation in the school.

As part of the uniform distribution process, Dignitas engages parents in school development initiatives. Parents come together to make small contributions that are used to address pressing needs in the school. Schools have implemented projects like classroom repairs, purchase of desks and chairs for students, water tank installations and purchase of needed textbooks. These projects continue to create safe and conducive learning spaces for the students to succeed in their learning.

Tailored for Education values development of local communities. The projects implemented directly support the local economy since we work with local tailors to provide all uniforms. The tailors receive income to sustain themselves and their families which boosts their economic capabilities.

In partnership with Tailored for Education, Dignitas has reached 15,292 children between 2012 and 2019.

Every child deserves an excellent education and the lack of a uniform should not stand in their way.

Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make a change. –Barbara Mikulski

When children have access to great teachers, a safe learning environment and access to materials they need for school, they will be able to thrive, succeed and reach their potential. In partnership with Tailored for Education, we are leading long-term change and impacting the next generation of leaders!

Contributor: Gloria Omuya – Operations Director