SAFE SPACES ORGANIZATION AFRICA

Providing a safe space for young girls and young women to envision and pursue the future they want for themselves and their communities through life-skills and reproductive health training and awareness, Arts and Sports, professional development and scholarship program me.
Dec 29, 2016

Safe Spaces Shoots and Scores for Scholarships!

Pep talk before basketball scholarship tryouts
Pep talk before basketball scholarship tryouts

10 more girls will start school in January thanks to Safe Spaces basketball program 

Earlier this month, ten Safe Spaces girls traveled to Mombasa with Peninah to try out for high school basketball scholarships. All ten girls made the team and will receive a four year high school basketball scholarship at a renowned boarding school in Kenya. The girls will live at the boarding school and return home during school holidays. We are so proud of our girls!
 
Scholarship recipient, Jolly, shared her story: 

"This is the opportunity I have always dreamed of - getting education in a better environment and far away from the slums. I thank Safe Spaces for giving us this platform so that people from all over the world can know that we are all here and we can be seen as people who have something to offer to others. I will use this opportunity to reach to my dream of being a surgeon. This is just the beginning."

We don't want to stop at 10 more girls in school. Together let's put another 10 girls in school. Together let's give more girls an opportunity to participate in our basketball camps. Together let's give more girls the opportunity to grown, learn and develop into strong and independent women. Together let's #EducateEngageEmpower.

There are a few more days to support our #YearEndGiving campaign on Global Giving! All new recurring donations will be matched by 200% in April 2017. Thank you for your support. 

A Holiday Message from Peninah

Our supporters mean so much to me. Each of you support us, not for money, not for fame and not for any personal gain, but for love for fellow people.Your helping hand and your generous heart is something that money cannot buy.

It's not the medals worn with pride, but just the feeling deep inside of compassion for others. It's the feeling that you have been part of making a difference to people's lives far and near.

That's what makes you special to us.

Happy Holidays and a healthy New Year in 2017.

Safe Spaces basketball camp
Safe Spaces basketball camp
Safe Spaces basketball team
Safe Spaces basketball team

Links:

Nov 23, 2016

Candle in the Dark

girls ahppy after saturday lifeskills session
girls ahppy after saturday lifeskills session

"Coming from a polygamous family of 15 siblings was the worst nightmare in my life.My dad abandoned us in Mathare slums after marrying the second wife and life became hard for me my siblings and my mum who was then a house wife.We are 8 from my mum and am the 5th born.Getting daily bread and neccesities became a challenge as my mum was jobless and depressed.We tried to reach out to our dad but there was no positive response for supporting us.My mum recollected herself and sought a job in a nearby informal school as a cleaner but the income was so little to sustain our daily needs.Most of the times our house was locked due to lack of rent.The life became so discouraging as i saw other kids going to school but had to be left home to take care of my siblings.It was so painful.My mum became helpless and vulnearable,so were we.Deep in my desperation,i went to church to ask God why we were suffering.My eyes cought some girls playing basketball in the church compound.They looked so happy and different.I sat on a bench to watch them and my heart wished i could be one of them.I came back the next day and watched them again.That night i was so disturbed and wanted to play with them so the next day i asked the lady who was training them if i could join them.I didnt have the skill but she told me she will train me if i came early and eventually i would be like them. 2 weeks later i shared my plights with the safe spaces director and she listened like she was feeling my pain.She told me that she is not able to help me but she can help me workout through my problems and achieve a positive result through the help of her wellwishers.One week later she took me back to school and supported my mum to start a small grocery business.I found out that i was not the only one with problems and we were many facing hardships and we became support for each other.My burdens started easening.I passed so well and i got a high school scholarship through safe spaces.4 years later i got a B+ GRADE in my secondary final exam in 2014.I was not lucky to get university scholarship in 2015 but 2 of my safe spaces collegues got support and joined University.I was bit devastated but remembered how far i had come and became positive that i will join university and do Nursing.I want to support women who give birth in our community at home without medical care.My dream came true in 2016,when the director came from one of her trips and told me "YOUR FEES IS FULLY PAID,YOU CAN JOIN NURSING SCHOOL NEXT WEEK."This was dream come true.I joined medical college one week later in septembers and am so excited.The kind heart that gave and saved me from my agony,may it receive million times.I will use this opportunity to get education,support myself,my family and the women in my community."

Sharon.

Something that has puzzled me all my life is why am in special need of help,the good deed is usually done by somebody on whom i have no claim.How far that little candle throws its beams,so shines a generous deed thrown in the world to make ones life diferent in a positive way.Thank you for being the people who pulled us up when were down.Supporting us learn about ourselves,supporting us get sanitary pads,books,uniforms etc.Thank you for supporting to give education to more than 50 girls.Thankyou for being there for us when we need you most in our lives.Thanks for giving unlimited.Thank you for your gnerousity.

Merry Christmas and a healthy New year 2017.

sharon
sharon
our basketball team
our basketball team
girls who completed their last year in primary sch
girls who completed their last year in primary sch
our high school girls
our high school girls
Oct 28, 2016

Safe Spaces Auto Mechanics Program FAILS...forward

A Safe Spaces mechanic hard at work
A Safe Spaces mechanic hard at work

The auto mechanics program is one of the Safe Spaces vocational programs offered to young women. This program has a double function. First, it gives underprivileged young women from the slums, including some young mothers, an education and an income. In addition, it makes them visible in the community as they become skilled in a male-dominated profession. Safe Spaces provides tuition and certification fees for 20 young women through the training program. Today, 10 girls are employed or in an internship, while the other 10 are working on their certification. These young auto mechanics have built a name for themselves. In Nairobi, car owners ask for the Safe Spaces girls because of their precision and attention to detail.

The success of the auto mechanics program brought on the idea to create a garage as an income-generating sustainable enterprise. In spring 2016, Safe Spaces submitted this idea to the 1% Club and Accenture Student Battle challenge. A group of four enthusiastic Dutch students picked the Safe Spaces auto mechanics garage idea and developed a business plan called Garage Entourage to create a car garage. The students wrote and presented a great plan, in addition to raising €4,500, about half of the cost to set up the garage. Their plan made the short list and the team pitched to a jury of Accenture Innovation Consultants alongside three other projects. The prize at stake was additional funds to implement the winning project, including a trip to the project site.

Failure:

  • Garage Entourage came in second place, just missing the trip to Nairobi and additional funds to implement this project.

Fail Forward:

  • Coming in second was a blessing in disguise. Although the students thoroughly researched the project, they had limited input from Safe Spaces as well as experts in the field. Is a garage that focuses on car maintenance and repairs really the best idea for the Nairobi market? Did the plan accurately reflect actual costs?

The Student Battle gave Garage Entourage and Safe Spaces amazing visibility, both online and in traditional media. A local newspaper in the Netherlands ran a story on the Garage Entourage team, which was read by Henk Veldman, Project and Investment Manager from the Talud Foundation. Henk just returned from the Netherlands after working in Nairobi for two years at the Dutch-Kenyan motorcycle company Kibo.

Fail Forward:

  • Finding the right connection takes time, but they are out there. Henk is currently working with Safe Spaces to refine the out the Garage Entourage business plan to make in more robust and scalable. 

Henk also connected Safe Spaces with the Kibo motorcycle company and partner company Savvy Riders, who developed a motorcycle training and maintenance programme. They are looking for both experienced and eager-to-learn mechanics, especially women. Safe Spaces fits the bill! With another 22 young women on the waiting list to start the mechanics program, we are working on building a strong partnership with Kibo.

After all, failing turns out to be a crucial part of growing the auto mechanics program!

Fail Forward for Garage Entourage and all Safe Spaces Projects:

  • Ask lots of questions and be open to feedback
  • Be visible to the right audience at the right time - projects and programs all have a target audience. Know who you want to be visible to and make sure that these individuals or organizations are aware of the project.
  • Dream big, but break projects down into digestible pieces. We can’t successfully build a garage until we have a strong foundation established.

Call to action: support a girl in our auto mechanics with a one-time or recurring donation today!

Safe Spaces Mechanics
Safe Spaces Mechanics
Garage Entourage Team
Garage Entourage Team

Links:

 
   

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