“I was born in Kariobangi Nairobi but my mother died at my birth so was brought up by my aunt who is a casual laborer at Eastleigh in Nairobi. Life has been very difficult all throughout. We rarely eat consistently as my aunt has 4 children and i have One child. I got married at 17years because I felt that I was a big burden to my aunt but was abandoned by my husband 2 years later as he became jobless and could not take care of us, and life has been so unfair to me. I joined safe Spaces in 2012 when I was 19 years. I was so depressed and hopeless almost contemplating suicide and went through life skills lessons that have strengthened my soul, I’m more than ever wanting to live again afresh and get skills to help me in future and when safe spaces gave me an opportunity to learn Auto mechanics, I felt like I was rising from the dead. I’m so happy and will work hard to make the best out of my past troubled life. I’m more than willing to live for my kid and provide for her wellbeing. Every Thursday when we have yoga in Safe Spaces and holding our Self-evaluation, I feel like I’m so blessed to have known safe spaces. “If only I had met them earlier, my life would not be the same, but better late than never, I’m more than determined to make in life.Beth –Student Auto mechanics-Safe Spaces.
“I felt strong grips on my legs, No sooner than I realized what was going on, a sharp pain consumed my belly. I couldn’t scream my mouth was covered by my father’s own hands .I didn’t want to believe seeing the sharpness of his eyes sinking into mine”
I reached to my grandmother the next day but she told me when I talk about it will be a shame to our family. What followed was rape after rape nights. My sister who is 12 years old was not spared either. My brothers 9 and 11 years had to come to terms with sodomy too. Our mother had passed on few years back.
“We felt our lives hanged somewhere between the captivity and freedom. We were in dilemma. On one hand we needed him in our lives for protection and provision of food and clothing and escape from the cultural tag of being bastards but on the other hand the only person who could provide that package turned our sleeping rooms into torture chambers. I disclosed the nightmare to safe spaces when I discovered that I was pregnant. I regret it had to take this long, I just didn’t know who to share with.”
Many girls go through these ordeals every day in our community. Many girls need spaces where they can get help and support and skills to counter such incidents In their lives. Education is Key but should be combined with flavor in sports, music, Dance, artistic expressions to make it wholistic.1200 girls have benefited from Safe spaces programs since its inception in 2008.Building on diverse life skills and creating a platform for self-knowledge and expression has helped the girls to pick the paintbrushes and paint their world of tomorrow.
This has happened because of your love and support. Let keep walking together to make a difference in girls lives like Lillian.
"My name is Janet, Im 14 years Old.I live in Mathare slums. I fell into a group of girls who introduced me to sex work with older men in order to get food and nice clothes as my family is so poor. I was not able to attend school. We help each other make contacts and find clients. Most nights i spent with clients. There are gangs in our area who often Gang rape us and harass us. We get into fights with other girls over clients and other clients beat us after the service and dont pay us. When i go to the police, they become as violent as the gangs and sometimes beat us and I kind of feel it is better to keep quiet as a girl no one takes care of you or respects you in the society".
I joined safe spaces 3 months ago and after councelling, I decided to stop this sex work. I'm glad to be learning Auto mechanics and i hope for a better life in future.Im rebulding my self esteem and trying to cope with others as i didnt go to school and i dont feel as smart as those around me. I feel that i have wasted my body and I feel older than my age mates.
"I know this will be over some day as im now in a positive environment.I play basketball and i feel so happy and good.it keeps me away from sad memories of my past.I could not have found this space if it were not for your support.
I thank safe spaces for rescuing me from that dark life"
"Iam a woman and as a woman I am vulnerable to acts of violence because i live in a violent and misogynist world and i am percieved as vulnerable. I am often physically smaller and i am not taught at home emotional,sexual, and physicall skills to prevent or deal with any acts of violence or unfairness in this world.As a woman I may find it difficult to defend myself because i have been conditioned not to trust myself,that im not capable of taking couragious action by myself and i need to be look for someone to protect me.I have been taught that i am not physically strong or capable of fighting back on men grievances and any attempt to do so will be laughed at and bring more ridicule to me.I have been taught that im not valuable except bringing dowry and therefore i am not worth fighting for and if something bad happens to me it is because i invited it,asked for it,was too stupid to prevent it,should have expected it and overall deserved it.I need education,i need mentors,i need more women coming together to build my inner power so that i can fight back"
As the new year starts,support safe spaces girls to build the power to fight this war.Its everywhere not only in our place.
33 girls need support with school fees,school materials and school transport to complete their High school education and continue pursuing their dreams.They can only start fighting back if they have the right skills.If me and you join hand together to change their lives.Be part of the change you want to see in the world.
LETS MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Happy new year
Education is key to life yet alot of girls in the third world countries never live to see this dream come true due to cultural norms that demean the girl child and other factors like pverty that confine a girl to a never ending misery without education.
Your support has enabled safe spaces provide this life changing opportunity to the girl child in our community.Since 2011 more than 100 girls have been able to complete their High school,3 girls have joined University,3 girls have been employed by cooporates through basketball combined with computer literacy skills.15 girls have gotten basketball scholarships to pursue further education and together with you,more girls will live to see their education dreams come true.More Fathers are willing to take their girls to school as opposed to selling them for cows as through sensitization, they have realized that investing in girls education,is investing for development.This would not have happened if it was not for your support.
As 2013 comes to a near end,we hope this is not the end of our friendship,We long to see you again,we long to continue working together for this noble course,we hope that you wont get tired of listening to our requests for your help and we promise to make the best of your donation to make others live their dreams,change their lives and their lives become more meaningful and worthy of living.Thank you so much and we love you.
Have a blessed christmas and an abundant new year!
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