School that is safe haven for girls now goes green

Caroline Menach, the principal of St. Elizabeth Girls Secondary School and the director of Perur Ray of Hope organization pouring soil to the cone kitchen gardens as its establishment continues at St. Elizabeth Girls Murpus high school compound in West Pokot County on March 07, 2024. [Mike Ekutan, Standard]

In the heart of the county, St Elizabeth Girls' Secondary School in Morpus stands as a beacon of hope and progress.

Beyond its role as an educational institution, it serves as a sanctuary for girls fleeing from the shackles of forced marriages and female genital mutilation

Under the leadership of Caroline Menach, the school has not only provided a haven for vulnerable girls but has also embarked on a journey of environmental conservation, nurturing both minds and landscapes.

Since its establishment in 2008, the school has witnessed a steady influx of girls seeking refuge and education.

Menach reflects on the growing numbers, saying: "Several girls have gone through our institution and the demand has compelled us to seek innovative ways to sustain our mission."

Recognizing the interconnectedness of education, empowerment and environmental stewardship, the school embraced the challenge of environmental conservation. She emphasizes: "We started with the school premises, nurturing and planting trees to transform our arid landscape.

"Through a strategic partnership with Perur Rays of Hope, a local organisation, the school ventured into raising tree seedlings, symbolizing resilience and growth amidst adversity.

The impact of their environmental initiative extends beyond the school gates. Over 50,000 seedlings have been distributed to neighbouring schools in West Pokot, with an additional 10,000 shared with the community. Moreover, 20,000 seedlings have been planted in Kapkanyar forest in Lelan, Pokot South, contributing to the region's forest cover and resilience against climate change.

Through their commitment to education and environmental conservation,the school has become a catalyst for change in the county. 

The impact of their work has garnered praise from education officials and community leaders alike.

Evans Onyancha, the Director of Education in Pkomo Sub-county said: "St. Elizabeth Girls' School exemplifies excellence in education and environmental conservation, empowering girls and nurturing responsible citizens."