The Kenya Oral Health and Education Study (KOES):
Mission and Background
The Kenya Oral Health and Education Study in the Daraja Academy has been in the making since 2013. The Daraja girls have no regular access to routine dental care, and they face several oral health challenges.
Our main goal is to establish a comprehensive health promotion program that will significantly improve the oral health of the girls and promote healthier behaviors. The program will serve as a model for others to be replicated in other areas of Africa and beyond. Most importantly, the girls will be trained to become leaders in oral health, leading their peers, family, and friends to improve their oral health and general health. Our mission is to empower the Daraja girls to self-sustain their oral and general health, and assist those in their communities to do the same.
Thus, we are working on creating a long-term preventive/educational program that will improve oral and general health among the girls at Daraja. Additional funding would allow for regular dental care for the Daraja girls, as well as an expansion of this oral health project to other schools in Kenya, to improve the health of other Kenyan schoolchildren.
"We hope that this heightened awareness in oral health and systemic health will have an impact on Daraja Academy, the girls and their communities. Our vision is that this leadership training will positively impact their family, friends and neighbors." – Dr. Peter Loomer
Why DARAJA Academy
Daraja Academy is a boarding secondary school for impoverished Kenyan girls with excellent academic abilities but no financial means to pay for their education. The school, through foundation support, provides full scholarships for these girls. The girls come from 31 tribes from all parts of Kenya. The academy provides shelter, food, clothing, and counseling services, which allow students to focus on their academic and personal potential, without being hindered by the everyday barriers of poverty. The campus is located 200 km north of Nairobi in rural central Kenya.
Dr. Buischi discovered Daraja Academy in 2013, when she was invited to an event in New York City by her friend Deborah Santana, a devoted Daraja Education Fund supporter. Immediately touched by the mission of the Daraja Education Fund, Dr. Buischi began to plan a project with the students. When Dr. Loomer was recruited to NYU as Director of Global Health for Oral Health Sciences in early 2013, their collaborative effort to bring the Kenyan project to life began. Both doctors visited Kenya for the first time in February 2014 for an initial assessment and feasibility study.
Support our Project
While this project is impactful and it is changing lots of lives in Kenya, it costs a lot. If you are interested in supporting our work please contact us.