Dr Kakenya Ntaiya Media Tour


Women for Change is a subcommittee of The LBW Trust which aims to support  educational programs for  young disadvantaged women, and to drive positive, ongoing and scalable change not only to the women it supports but also their families and their communities.

Globally, 65 million girls do not attend school and of those, 31 million are of primary school age. Seventeen million of these girls – one third – will probably never attend school in their lifetimes. Of the 123 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who cannot read or write, 61 percent of them are women. There are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary school.

To address this, The LBW Trust is supporting The Kakenya Centre for Excellence (KCE).  The KCE is a registered charity in The Republic of Kenya and was founded by Dr Kakenya Ntaiya in 2009 to empower and motivate young girls through education.  It has two objectives: encouraging young women to become agents of change and at the same time, to break the cycle of destructive cultural practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and early forced marriage.

The LBW Trust’s work in Australia is in two stages;

  • Stage 1 – scholarship fundraising structured around Dr Ntaiya’s visit to Australia in March 2017 to raise funds to send her graduating students to university which can be expense in Nairobi.
  • Stage 2 – a longer term initiative to deliver technology enabled and affordable mentoring to the graduating girls to assist them with the transition from a rural school to a busy city environment to go to University.

Dr Kakenya is hugely influential in the international educational field. She was honoured with the Global Women’s Rights Award from the Feminist Majority Foundation, was recognised by Women in the World as a “Woman of Impact” and named a Top Ten CNN Hero. Dr Kakenya was honoured with a Vital Voices Global Leadership award in 2008 and as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2010. She was also named as one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Shake the World” in 2011. Her story has been the subject of a Washington Post series, a BBC documentary, and many magazine articles.

Dr Kakenya Ntaiya founded the first school for girls in her Maasai community in Kenya.   At a very young age, she dared to be bold, fought for her rights to an education, and through her journey has given girls and woman permission to hope for a better life through education. Dr Kakenya did not bring back a dozen cows, she brought back funds to build a school and she set about creating the KCE.

As the founder and president of The Kakenya Centre for Excellence, a girls’ boarding school in Enoosaen, Kenya, Kakenya believes that education will empower and motivate young girls to become agents of change in their community and country.

Dr Kakenya Ntaiya was in Australia for one week (March 5 – 11, 2017) to create awareness for The Kakenya Centre for Excellence, and also to deliver the keynote address at the National Press Club in Canberra, in celebration of International Woman’s Day (syndicated on ABC TV and Sky News).


Project Objective:

Twenty six KCE alumnae are due to graduate from high school in 2017.  As the girls selected are among the most vulnerable in the community, a university education and related costs are out of reach for most of the students and their families. Dr Kakenya wanted to use her visit to shore up a Scholars Fund to ensure o girl get left behind.  $5,000 per student per academic year covers their university fees, accommodation on campus in a girls dormitory,  books, a computer, away from home living expenses, and transportation..  It is expected at least two of the graduating students will receive a scholarship to study in Australia with Western Sydney University leading the way offering a scholarship for 1 student in 2018.


The LBW Trust contacted opr because it wanted not only to raise the funds around the Dr Kakenya Australian Press Tour, but also raise the profile of The LBW Trust in Australia. As a result Ogilvy created the strategy around the theme of Dr Kakenya’s work being “the power of education to change a life.” This would also align with the goals of the Trust and the global work it does in nine different countries, to assist more than 2,500 children, women and men. Overall opr planned to reinforce the importance of education as a way out of poverty for millions of girls globally, build awareness of Dr Kakenya’s work in Kenya, the school, its unique mandate on NO FGM or early childhood marriage which sees girls as young as 12 years old being cut and married, only to give birth when they are 13 years old and drop out of school.

opr decided to focus on dialling up the education theme across all Australian media outlets. – ‘educate one girls and you educate an entire community’.
We wanted to contain and, where possible, limit the message of FGM which could be unpalatable to some, and have a negative impact when pitching editorial to broader audiences in the Australian mass media. We also worked to align Dr Kakenya’s story with the l2017 theme for International Women’s day – Be Bold for Change, which Dr Kakenya said was a motto of her life’s work. From the age of 5 she knew she had a husband waiting for her, through to trading FGM for her right to continue her education. Her boldness shone through every story and with a small amount of media training, Dr Kakenya was able to weave her story into a framework that echoed many of the challenges women face in Australia.



Long lead pre-phase  

Our goal was to deliver an exclusive interview with Dr Kakenya Ntaiya in celebration of International Women’s Week with the SMH Good Weekend.  To gain local coverage, we worked to the theme and vision of “the power of education to change a life” and what this means from an Australian perspective. opr engaged a Good Weekend journalist to fly to Kenya for a week and have exclusive access to the school, Dr Kakenya and the students. The cover story featured in Good Weekend on Saturday March 4, four days prior to International Woman’s Day. This provided the perfect platform, and background, to launch the Australian press tour phase and also Dr Kakenya’s National Press Club speech.

Australian press tour phase

Dr Kakenya Ntaiya press interviews in studio for International Women’s Week.  Cross the theming with the vision of “power of education to change a life” and what this means from an Australian perspective.


Media included:

  • Fairfax
  • News LTD
  • ABC News 24
  • ABC Mornings with Wendy Harmer
  • ABC Lateline
  • ABC The World (Radio National)
  • ABC Breakfast TV
  • 2 x Sky News interview
  • SBS The Feed
  • Sky News Business
  • The Australian

Note: All media interviews coincided with Dr Kakenya’s National Press Club speech on International Woman’s Day syndicated on the ABC and Sky News.

Media Results

20 pieces of coverage including Good Weekend / Fairfax, syndicated across the Fairfax portals. Two separate pieces on ABC News 24, ABC Breakfast, ABC Mornings with Wendy Harmer, ABC Lateline, ABC The World (Radio National), two separate Sky News pieces, SBS The Feed, The Australian and News.com (syndicated across the network).

Project objective results:

  • With the media traction, PM Malcom Turnbull’s office asked for a meeting about next steps on what the Australian Government can do in helping the schools
  • Raised over 26 fully funded scholarships ensuring that not one graduating student will be left behind. This was an amazing achievement, and in addition they attracted 22 interested guests to be considered as a global mentor.