About Us

With the support of the Hilton Foundation, BPE was created as an independently governed faith-based partnership created to improve access and quality of education for girls in Africa

The Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network-Africa (JENA) launched the Bakhita Partnership for Education in October 2020 as a platform for collaboration among some Catholic Church actors in the field of education to protect girls’ right to quality education during COVID-19 and beyond. Currently, the BPE has pilot programs in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia and so the partnership is among the Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa (JENA), the Association of Religious of Uganda (ARU), the Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya (AOSK), and the Zambia Association of Sisterhoods (ZAS).

The Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa (JENA) is a diverse community of faith- inspired Jesuit NGOs, also known as Social Centres, related Jesuit Institutions, individual Jesuit peace and development activists and scholars driven by a vision of a just, poverty-free, peaceful and ecologically regenerative Africa.

The Association of Religious in Uganda (ARU), ARU is an umbrella body for all Religious Institutes working in Uganda, it is led by the body of the Assembly of Major Superiors of Religious Institutes in Uganda (AMSRIU).

The Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya (AOSK) is an umbrella association for consecrated women founded in 1962. It is an ecclesiastical organisation of pontifical right, which directly relates to the Holy See under the congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, (CICLSAL) that oversees issues related to religious life worldwide.

The Zambia Association of Sisterhoods is an Ecclesial Organization of pontifical right, which relates to the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, (CICLSAL).

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The BPE Flagship supports three pillars of action

Through the BPE, the Jesuits, the Catholic sisters and their collaborators who have a very large network of schools across countries in Africa leverage their long experience in education to advocate for better pathways for holistic education and formation and suggest policy responses to the crisis of education in Africa.

Policy advocacy

Policy advocacy based on the generation and use of data, research and evidence to inform public policies for gender-responsive education systems and education transformation.

Return to School

Action, advocacy and communication efforts to ensure return to school for drop-out-of-school girls, to promote continuity of learning and partnerships for the advancement of girls’ education.

Collaborative Action

Country, community and school-level action to promote safe schools and holistic education and formation that empowers in order to prevent widening gender inequalities in education.

We are Supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

In his last will and testament, Conrad Hilton characterized the sisters as “protectors and defenders” of children, and encouraged generosity to their schools, hospitals and places of worship.  It reflects this legacy in the continued commitment to support the apostolic works of sisters in their direct service to the vulnerable and disadvantaged within the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

For more than 30 years, Hilton Fund for Sisters (HFS) has awarded over $133 million to Sisters’ projects throughout the world. This has been possible thanks to the generosity of Conrad N. Hilton, the hotel pioneer who gave the bulk of his personal fortune to the foundation that bears his name. Hilton singled out Sisters, who devote their love and life’s work for the good of humankind, as especially deserving of the foundation’s help and support. Being impressed by their focus on mission and their unusual ability to stretch the dollar to its maximum, he favoured their commitment over “organized, professional charities with high-salaried executives and a heavy ratio of expense.”

Our team

BPE Steering Committee which consists of all Heads of the partners (JENA, AOSK, ARU and ZAS)









How & Where we work

How we work

We work to promote individual girl empowerment and societal transformation by creating a new model of systemic change founded in power-sharing at the grassroots. Our model mobilises an entire social infrastructure around girls to support their development, beginning with secondary education and progressing into young adulthood and working life. We bring together, often for the first time, the many influential community actors on a girl’s life – teachers, health workers, traditional and faith-based leaders, police, parents and female role models – all of whom are in a position to bring about improvements to girls’ and young women’s futures. We recognise the role of policy in girl education and so we form partnerships with government agencies related to girl education and advocate for sound policy

Where we work

BPE Headquarter is at the Jesuits Africama House in Nairobi, Kenya. The overall objective of the programme is to improve access and quality of education for girls. Initially, in three SSA countries, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. The second objective is to scale up the programme to other schools in the three countries and later to other SSA countries starting with Malawi and Tanzania. This will depend on the project review annually as well as national consultations with local governments.