Thank you very much for your support of the Binti Pamoja (Daughters United) Center at Carolina for Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. Please check out the quarterly report submitted by the leaders of the Center on the ground in Kibera. Much was achieved during the 3rd Quarter!
The core Binti Pamoja program and the alumni “mapping safe spaces” project have undertaken various activities in this quarter. Several weekly reproductive health discussions have been conducted. We have an average of 267 young girls aged 11 to 17 years attending the meetings and other events organized by the Center.
Weekly reproductive health discussions
90% of the girls either in the core or the alumni programming were able to attend the meetings this quarter. Teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, adolescent reproductive health rights and HIV/AIDS were the main topics discussed. Role plays, debates, games and participatory facilitations were used to make the discussions more interesting to the members. Newer members in the program have shown a great change in terms of their self esteem and confidence. They are much freer and open to discuss sexuality issues. This is also evident with most of the girls participating in the safes spaces project.
Lynsey Farrel (A former CFK summer volunteer and Ph.D student) and the newsletter committee worked on the 14th “Tunanego” newsletter edition. The headline of the magazine highlights the sexual abuse incidences that erupted in another Nairobi slum, Mathare, in the month of July. The writer sensitizes the police force community to give protection to girls and women other than being perpetuators of sexual and other abuses. We were able to distribute approximately 750 copies of last edition of "Tunanego" to various targeted audiences in the community. This was done through community forums, drama outreaches, big Binti Pamoja events and individually to girls and youth in the community.
Life Planning Skills Training / Financial Literacy Training
The two trainings were held at Savelberg Retreat Center in August from the 27th to the 31st. A total of 31 girls were trained on sexuality and gender issues, preventing teenage pregnancy, facilitation skills, life skills and financial literacy. A trained counselor working with the Kenya Association of Professional Counselors, a child rights’ lawyer and a gender trainer were the main facilitators during the training. Four members of the group who are expected to graduate as peer leaders in December this year were able facilitate various apportioned topics. This enabled evaluation of their knowledge and the skills in order to recommend them for the next level of leadership within the Binti Pamoja Center.
The Financial Literacy Training was facilitated by the alumni trainers. They trained on topics, including budgeting, savings, banking services and earning money.
Binti Pamoja Quarterly Joint Event
On 1st September, we organized a Binti Pamoja Talent show day. This is a quarterly event organized for all the girls in the core and safe spaces groups for the sake of integration of the two programs. Different drama performances, dances, poems and reproductive health talks addressing different issues were highlighted throughout the event. Yasmin Mohamed gave a talk on HIV/AIDS while the other 10 girls representing their respective safe space groups in this activity. Swan Group headed by Maureen Wandia and Alice Nyaboke got the best group award. Shades Classic theatre group from Kibera were present and gave a stunning performance on the role of VCT to the prevention of HIV/AIDS infection among young people. Guests represented were from Kenya Development Agency (KDA), Leonard Cheshire Organization, National Organization of Peer Educators (NOPE) and many others. The event is very significant to the young women as it enables them celebrate life, exchange ideas, appreciate their talents and have fun together. 267 young girls from the alumni and 80 girls from the core program attended the function, exclusive of other youth people from the community. The event took place at Kianda village.
On 19th August, the Center was able to host a family event for all the Binti Pamoja members. This is a quarterly event that brings all the parents together to discuss project issues and decide on way forward in terms of promoting open communication with their daughters. 141 parents attended the event. This was a very impressive attendance that had a fruitful discussion. We looked at the challenges facing parents as they raise up adolescent girls, analyzed the successes of Binti Pamoja as a community project and the recommendations to make it a better project. The parents recommended that the Center needs to incorporate computer and vocational training skills to the girls for holistic empowerment to the young women.
Group 5 members had their third photography assignment this quarter. The main purpose of taking these photos is to simply use them in various discussions. We will also use the excellent photos to tell their stories through an exhibit to a wider crowd within and outside Kibera community. The major photo exhibition is planned for the coming quarter.
Financial literacy topics are of great interest to all the girls. The girls are trained in financial skills to mainly compliment their social skills to make informed choices regarding sexuality decisions, thus reduce their risks to STI infection and other vulnerabilities. Elizabeth Mukami, a project manager with the Younger Savers, KREP group was the guest speaker in September. She elaborated more on the importance of banking services especially savings for young girls.
Alumni “Mapping Safe Spaces” Life Skills Training
A total of 267 girls from 10 alumni groups were trained on reproductive health, life skills and peer education issues. This was an in-house training that was mainly facilitated by the alumni members. The main objective of these trainings is also to help analyze the facilitation skills level of all the peer leaders, their capacity in coordinating trainings and the commitment in working with the girls.
The Binti Pamoja Center has been busy this summer; the girls are taking lessons in creative writing, learning Spanish, going on field trips, and even salsa dancing! CFK Summer Fellow Laura Williamson (a senior at the University of North Carolina) has just returned from working with the girls in Kibera and sent us the attached photos.
Binti members took on a new project to beautify the CFK offices by designing, sketching and then painting a mural inside the CFK meeting hall. Through this project, not only have the girls left their mark on CFK, but it was also another exercise in teamwork and cooperation to acheive their creative vision.
Later, Binti members took a field trip to the Undugu Girls Center where our peer educators engaged the Undugu youth in discussions about reproductive health and other important social and development issues. The Binti girls also distributed the latest issue of their newsletter, Tunanego (Let's Talk).
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