Empowering Girls in Kibera

 
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It was all pomp and celebration as the Binti Pamoja girls celebrated their 10 year anniversary, thanks to your continued support. The Binti Pamoja Center is a reproductive health and women’s rights center for 11 to 18 year-old vulnerable girls in Kibera, that give them an opportunity to express themselves through dance, drama, writing and also  group discussions.

Over the 10 years, the center has helped the girls explore the issues that are prevalent in their daily lives and they had all reason to celebrate the success so far. The day started well as it could be told from the smiles seen on the children faces. These clearly portrayed achievement. All of the children, leaders and the program officers waited patiently outside the Binti Pamoja Centre and at 9:30 am, the leaders led the procession of the guests and the children towards the destination, which was the famed ‘Toi market’, a local open air market. Their music gave everyone energy to walk as they could be seen dancing to the tunes. A group of young girls led the procession with a banner that read out their mission – celebrating 10 years. We remain grateful to your past support and look forward to your generous support, to see us through the next 10 years!

The girls kick-off the Fun Day with a parade.
The girls kick-off the Fun Day with a parade.

This month, the Binti Pamoja (Daughters United) fun day was celebrated by all the girls within the Binti Pamoja program which included Core group, Mapping safe spaces, alumni leaders and school program.  A total of 1,200 girls came for the event.

The Day was done in collaboration with the savings group which enables girls to save and be economically empowered; some of the activities in savings includes earning money, budgeting, savings and bank visit.

The objectives of fun day were to encourage the girls to mingle and learn from each, to nurture different talents that the girls have and to inform, educate and entertain the girls and the community members who attended the event. The activities which took place were dancing, acting, discussions on the importance of savings, a fashion show and eating competition.

A sample of girls from all programs within Binti Pamoja did participate in the fashion show and one girl from the Mashimoni  village emerged the winner. She is now “Miss Binti.”

The girls were full of excitement to see that they have different talents which they can nurture as they grow.  Awards were given to the winners as a form of motivating the girls to continue with their different talents.

The ‘Binti Pamoja’ (Daughters united) in Kibera is a center for vulnerable 11 to 18 year-old girls. The ability of an individual being able to speak effectively, efficiently and with ease has been attributed to good public speaking skills and now the girl center gives the young girls and women a forum to express themselves through their various talents like dancing, drama, writing, life skills trainings and recently, public speaking skills, thanks to Tanya Smith, a volunteer from the American University. Through this skill the girls will be able to express themselves comfortably as they seek to educate the community on issues on reproductive health. Women and girls have been looked upon with great ability to change the world, and if public speaking is impacted in them, then their quest to changing the world can easily be achieved. Apart from educating the girls, the public speaking skills aims at helping these vulnerable girls write speeches on issues that affect the community and how to overcome them. Despite the challenges the girls living in pitiable conditions face each day, they trudge on with a positive attitude to triumph over poverty that has engulfed them. Educating the girl-child is educating the whole community in retrospect and indeed there is no other better way than imparting them with one of the most important tool; Public speaking skills.

For nine years the Binti Pamoja Center has been providing safe spaces for adolescent girls and young women in Kibera, giving them an opportunity to receive quality comprehensive education on reproductive health and financial education. We begun with 12 girls and over the years and through the determination and hard work of the Binti Pamoja girls we are now able to work with over 1000 girls in Kibera. Working towards building their assets and fighting for and promoting a safe environment for young adolescent girls in Kibera, an environment that is otherwise hostile to the growth of young adolescent girls. The Binti Pamoja Center has promoted and appreciated the value of peer education, to give young adolescent girls an opportunity to act as agents of social change in their community among their peers and thereby creating an environment that is safe for young adolescent girls to grow and excel in their lives, an environment that enables them to reach their full potential.

This year 81 adolescent girls who recently graduated from our comprehensive two year training on reproductive health and financial literacy will now have the opportunity to be part of this great initiative by recruiting girls and forming their own groups, thereby being leaders in their community that empower other girls in the community and being role models and mentors for other young girls.

Links:

Starting June 2011, the Binti Pamoja Program has partnered with Krep Bank to strengthen the financial assets of adolescent girls in Kibera, by opening savings account for Binti Pamoja safe spaces girls, through the Go Girl Account initiative. The project aims at opening accounts for 600 girls in the safe spaces program.

This opportunity will enable the girls to fully understand the concept of money and how to manage it wisely, by practically applying the basic skills taught in their weekly financial literacy session, such as budgeting and savings. Apart from giving them the experience of using financial services, it will also increase their confidence to make financial decisions and to become more economically empowered in the future by being able to take control of their finances.  The opportunity will also give the girls accessible and formal ways to save money which will reduce the risks and challenges faced when saving at home.

The Program has taken a strong asset development approach to address the economic vulnerability of young girls within Kibera especially.

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Organization

Carolina for Kibera, Inc.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
http://cfk.unc.edu

Project Leader

Leann Bankoski

Executive Director
Chapel Hill, NC United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Empowering Girls in Kibera