Carolina for Kibera, Inc.

Run by Kenyans and advised by American and Kenyan volunteers, CFK's mission is to promote youth leadership and ethnic cooperation in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya through sports, young women's empowerment, and community development. Additionally, CFK works to improve basic healthcare, sanitation, and education in Kibera.
Sep 4, 2015

A Visit from WomanCare Global

This past August, we were honored and privileged to welcome the leadership team from WomanCare Global to our office in Kibera! CEO Saundra Pelletier and her team visited CFK in Kenya in order to get a sense of what kinds of activities our Binti Pamoja girls program conducts, and how those same activities extend across all of our programs. During their visit, they got a chance to see the Binti Pamoja Girls Center, our state-of-the-art Tabitha Medical Clinic, the Lishe Bora Mtaani Nutrition Center, and the CFK Main office, where they met with key staff members and partners.

WomanCare Global is an international organization dedicated to meeting the unmet demand for family planning in countries where medicine and proper health information is scarce. They take a particular interest in reproductive health solutions for women and girls around the world, including Kenya, and have brought new options to women in 100 different countries. We are happy and proud to associate with them, especially since our new initiative to bring proper health information to women of childbearing age and children under 5 fits in quite nicely with their mission. We look forward to future opportunities to partner and repeated visits to Kibera!

 

(Photos courtesy of Jerry Riley - Nairobi)

Aug 10, 2015

The First Ultrasound in Kibera

Many of us are familiar with what an ultrasound looks like, but in Kibera, many women are not. Many are also not aware of how vital they are to maternal health, believing instead that only women with ample resources can get ultrasounds and that they aren't absolutely necessary. In reality, ultrasounds are incredibly important.

In Kibera, this is especially true. Maternal death is higher in Kibera than many parts of Nairobi and Kenya more broadly. Without access to proper ante-natal care at the early stages of pregnancy, pregnant Kiberan women are at higher risk for miscarriage, losing babies during delivery, or even losing their own lives because of complications. In response to this need, Carolina for Kibera and the Tabitha Medical Clinic are pleased to unveil a new facet of our mission to provide improved healthcare for women of childbearing age. The Tabitha Medical Clinic now houses the first ever ultrasound machine in Kibera!

Having an ultrasound machine within Kibera will address many problems associated with access to quality care for Kiberan women. “Because it’s the first,” comments Mark Muasa, Head of CFK’s Health Department, “it’s going to have a very large impact for women’s health in Kibera.” The machine will help detect abnormal infections or growths that could threaten the life of the mother or the baby. Knowing things about the baby’s sex will also help the family prepare materially and financially, but also psychologically.

In the past, the Tabitha Medical Clinic staff referred women to outside hospitals and clinics for ultrasounds. Due to a combination of several factors—including time, distance, and overall level of trust—women would neglect to attend appointments that were costlier and farther away. “I think it’s an issue of equity,” explains Mark. “We want to give people the same experience they’ll get in any other private facility. We are trying to close the gaps so women can have access to quality healthcare.

In the short time since the Tabitha Medical Clinic staff unveiled the machine, at least 10 women a day have lined up for a visit. That’s 10 women a day who are safer and healthier as they prepare to have children, who will grow up safer and healthier as well. We are very excited to provide this service for Kiberan women!

Jun 10, 2015

Dismantling Myths About Menstraul Hygiene

Every year on May 28th, women all over the world celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day. Because the menstrual cycle is so common, it might sound odd to have a day dedicated to it. However, in many areas, including the Kibera slum, menstruation is considered taboo or shameful. As a result, many myths about menstruation arise, and girls learn incorrect things about their health.

One of the goals of CFK’s Daughters United program is to teach girls accurate and reliable health information in a variety of areas, including sexual and reproductive health. This month, our target was to reach out to 600 girls in informal schools across Kibera. Throughout the month of May, we held 6 sessions on menstruation hygiene, each of which had 100 girls participate. We invited an external speaker who taught them about menstruation in depth. The girls were also trained on how to use sanitary towels, which we provided for them free of charge.

It is very important to train young adolescent girls on the importance of maintaining hygiene during menstruation. A lack of good hygiene leads to infections and at times affects their performance in school and their social lives. It is also important to teach adolescent girls about themselves, as knowledge and confidence build their self-esteem. With this knowledge about their menstrual cycles, they have nothing to fear in terms of embarrassment from a completely natural process. Instead, they can focus their efforts on their education, confidence, and long-term goals.

 

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