Rescued Girl undergoing Couselling sessions
The Mango Tree Orphan Support Trust Kenya is implementing “girls for the future” intervention in North Rachuonyo Sub-County. This is an intervention with a view of eradicating the education barriers that prevent young girls from attending school but with a vision of empowering the girls to achieve their full potentials in school. The project targets 600 girls and young women in both primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education.
- Women Enterprise- supporting girls through the apprenticeship program
- ‘ Safe Space’ for girls and young women-Providing ‘Safe Space’ for GBV survivors
- Alternative Family Based Care (AFBC)
SUPPORTING GIRLS IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP
‘Jijenge’ program for girls in Tertiary Education
This program has endeavored to support girls to gain entrepreneurial skills that enable them to become better entrepreneurs and create themselves jobs. The program being a form of tertiary education has enabled positive contributions in the community by the young girls.
In the last quarter ending September 2020, the organization mobilized 16 girls to join the apprenticeship training in the fields of hairdressing, catering, and tailoring. Hence 10 girls were enrolled in hairdressing, 5 girls in catering, and while a girl opted for tailoring.
The girls in the field of hairdressing are being trained on plaiting, blow-drying, weaving, chemicals, manicure and pedicure, facial, entrepreneurship, communication skills, and customer care; a program that will go for six (6) months before they are graduated.
Additionally, girls in the field of catering are undergoing training on customer care and relations, communication skills, production, customer service, value addition, and entrepreneurship.
The tailoring course is also progressing well with a girl enrolled and attached to one of the best tailors in Kisumu County who is an expert in mass production of school uniforms. The girl has progressed well and now lacks the sewing machine to enable her to become self-reliant after completion of the course.
The first phase of this program saw 10 girls graduating from the salon. A follow-up done to the 10 girls, discovered that five (5) are attached to various salons and beauty shops being paid piece rates while five (5) girls are at home but we have established linkages for them to join various saloons once the COVID-19 infection rates reduce.
Challenges Faced during project implementation
- Inadequate space to accommodate more than 30 girls in the hairdressing.
- Lack of enough startup capital to jump-start the girls to own their saloons
- Inadequate upkeep for the girls in the apprenticeship program
- Inadequate training materials for the girls hence missing some units before graduating them
- Identified place, which is spacious for the hairdressing, and can accommodate at least 50 girls; resource mobilization for the rent payment ongoing.
- Link the girls to the government Youth Enterprise Fund and Women Enterprise Fund to benefit then in starting their full-fledged saloons.
- The availed resources cannot meet the upkeep and accommodation of the girls hence the need for more fundraising.
- Attaching the girls to other existing saloons with the course units, we cannot provide at a fee.
Seline having failed to join college due to pregnancy became one of the first batches of girls to enroll with The Royalty Beauty Parlor and barbershop for the six months’ course. She decided to take training in Salon and Beauty therapy, which she undertook alongside Computer classes. After six months into the training Saline can testify on the progress made in her life “I joined the team knowing nothing that’s after wasting five pleasant months at Homa Bay Vocational Centre now I can do most of the things”, she says. She is glad that within a short period (5 months), she had learned everything that is a pedicure, manicure, facial massage, plaiting, and haircut and she is sure of doing them.
Seline is grateful to the sponsors of TMT and the Director for having given them a second chance to acquire skills that help uplift their lives as girls. Much appreciation also she gives to their tutor, for her enormous heart of considering them as her children, the entire staff of The Mango Tree for always checking on them every day on their welfare.
Having observed the kind of commitment and dedication on Seline, TMT decided to keep her as one of the tutors for the girls who are undergoing the same apprenticeship program during the second intake.
GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE RESCUE AND RECOVERY CENTRE
Providing ‘Safe Space’ for GBV survivors
This project provides a Rescue and Recovery Centre, which is a ‘safe’ space for gender-based violence survivors, to help them get away from a toxic environment of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. The survivors mostly girls and young women do not have anyone or anywhere to turn to, remaining in the same environment as the perpetrators since the perpetrators in most cases are hidden and protected culturally. The Centre offers medical, legal, and psychological support to victims.
The impact of violence, which the COVID-19 pandemic has immensely sped up, affects the individual woman’s living conditions and quality of life. Children who witness domestic violence are at increased risk of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and poor school performance, among other problems, which harm their well-being and personal development. School-related violence limits or destroys educational opportunities and achievements for girls.
During this period, 13 cases of SGBV have been reported among some of our school-sponsored girls with only 4 cases of the reported being prosecuted by the relevant authorities. It is worth noting that most of the cases are hard to deal with because the caregivers refuse to disclose and prefer out-of-court settlement that eventually affects the lives of the girls.
TMT-K is collaborating with other stakeholders to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book for these awful acts.
ALTERNATIVE FAMILY BASED CARE (AFBC)
Over the last ten (10) years, the organization has used AFBC (Alternative Family-based Care) to support highly vulnerable OVC. The foster homes have provided the OVC with an adequate family environment to enhance development.
The organization managed to continue supporting 20 highly vulnerable OVC at AFBC (Alternative Family-based Care) through the provision of foodstuffs, medical care, and regular visits.
- The COVID 19 pandemic is currently the main challenge. With most vulnerable children being at home and are exposed to sexual exploitation and abuse hence being in danger of early pregnancy, contracting HIV/AIDS, and other sexual diseases, because of poverty extreme hunger, and illnesses. This will eventually lead to many girls dropping out of school.
- Funding remains a key challenge to implementing this project. The organization is constantly engaging its donors for continuous support and for the timely completion of the project. Meanwhile, the organization is trying to come up with innovative ways of continuity of the project.
Salon lessons in session
Rescued Girl undergoing treatment
Case Study: Seline at Computer class