Happy New Year!! 2010 has been a great year for GEMINI, despite all the challenges that faced us. With your support, we have been able to exceed our target. We conducted some of the most successful high-powered outreach activities in recent times.
Using a mutliplicity of activities, we were able to reach out to over 2,000 young people. Our main objective was to identify young men, who are sexually active and engage them in behavior change processes to enable them abstain or use protective measures with their partners.
A major roadshow, a musical concert, group counseling sessions and continuous follow-up services has seen us expand our target base. In particular, we want to reach out to young men in college and high school. We have already identified 5 mid-level colleges and 4 high schools.
"I feel like we are gaining unprecedented ground in changing perceptions," says Jasper, one of the deejays involved in the project. "Involving young men as changemakers redefines the whole concept of masculinity and provides a window of change."
This coming year, we will focus on strengthening communication messages, engaging the participants in open discussion and crusading for a friendlier environment to discuss sexuality.
We continue to thank all of you who have participated in our success through your comments, feedback, donations and site visits.
We wish each of you all the best in the new year.
Over the past few weeks, we have been executing some reproductive health projects that target high-risk adolescent girls, mostly in urban slums and other marginalized suburban areas.
One of the things we realized was that a lot of girls had dropped from school due to pregnancy but their parents had not reported either to the school authority or to other social agencies working for girls' empowerment.
"This is mainly due to the stigma associated with teen pregnancy and the social repercussions that such news would impact on the family," says Mary Kageh, one of GEMINI's Board member. "Reaching out to parents, teachers and the community still remains a key strategy in filling this gap."
GEMINI has been integrating reproductive health into health and community development issues, encouraging an open discussion of sexuality between parents and their adolescents.
With your support, we have been able to identify at-risk adolescents, incorporate them into the wider program of empowerment and seek to strengthen their decision-making skills. Over the past three months, we provided reproductive health information/services to 650 adolescents and individual counseling to 230 girls aged between 12-17 years.
For the next quarter, we hope to implement a high-powered outreach campaign that will encourage discussions and increase the number of young, vulnerable youth that we will target.
We appreciate all the feedback, comments and questions from you. Watch out for a GEMINI website coming soon.
It is with great pleasure that I hereby submit a summary of our half-year financial report for all the donations for all our projects. The report runs from November 2009 to May 2010.
Again, thanks so much for all your support and we always love to hear from you. So keep the comments coming in!!!
The chorus of excitement rang through the room, the 6 teen mums hugging and smiling broadly at each other.
They had just received news from GEMINI field coordinator, Mwalimu Anching'a, that they had won a tender to supply school uniforms to 2 pre-unit schools.
"This is great news for the mothers," says Mwalimu, sandwiched between them. "It will not only provide a steady source of income for the team, but also rubber-stamp the quality of their work."
The GEMINI Tailoring is an innovative project that involves teen mums who have been expelled from school and have to find their own ways of generating income. Learning the basics of dress-making, the teen mums also are equipped with business management skills, communication and marketing basics.
"We look forward to giving back to our community..." said Rutto, one of the beneficiaries. "This is going to prove that pregnancy is not the end of the world..but a juncture where opportunity meets with success."
The tailoring section was set up with kind donations from well-wishers like you, and continues to provide hope for tens of teen mums, whose future hangs in the balance.
GEMINI would like to extend our sincere gratitude to each one of you who has been instrumental in supporting our work, keeping hopes alive and saving lives.
Thank you so much and we hope you will keep on supporting us.
We have just celebrated one of the most successful years...!
The occasion? Celebrating 24 girls (17 pregnant and 7 teen mums) who have just sat for their end-of-year secondary exams.
"It was not smooth sailing...but I managed!" says Shiko, a project beneficiary. "I have been judged by my fellow students, teachers and some parents even threatened to withdraw their girls from school because of us..."
The girls, in various stages of pregnancy, admit they have been heavily stigmatized yet they are the victims of misinformation.
"I wish we could do more to bridge this gap of communication," says Mrs. Oduor, a teacher in one of the local schools. "Parents expect us to give their girls information about sexuality but our syllabus does not allow for this."
This game of ping-pong has left many teen girls with little or no information about reproductive health, leaving them more susceptible to sexual abuse, sugar daddies and peer pressure.
With your support, GEMINI will continue to provide accurate information about sexuality to high-risk youth and build their self-confidence.
We urge each one of you to take part in the exciting GIVE MORE-GET MORE Challenge, which will ensure all funds donated to any of our projects is matched.
The Challenge is almost over but its never too late. Make that valuable donation and spread the word about GEMINI.
We will keep you updated in our successes/challenges or failures.
Thanks so much for your support!
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