Polycom Development Project is actively involved in implementation of a number of initiatives which relates well with the needs at hand and tackles the problems as per its objective which is to transform lives and empower girls and women by providing sustainable and relevant programs. The approach used is to ensure that no girl or women is left behind as far as quality service delivery is concerned.
Polycom has major programs basically on girls and women empowerment program, gender equality and good governance, Advocacy, talking boxes which focuses on addressing the issues girls go through such as sexual reproductive health, behavior change and gender based violence. In addition to this, the organization is well known in organizing both local and international events to commemorate or celebrate girls and women of different diversities.
Polycom continues to reach out to its beneficiaries on a concerted effort to improve livelihoods through a number of programs run by the organization. We believe in gender equity and inclusivity hence it enables the organization to address issues from the grass root to national level with no girl or woman left behind.
Polycom has successfully implemented its quarterly projects which are in line with its annual work plan visa vie the programs. We have our monthly programs which runs concurrently depending with the donor specifications and Polycom mandate on quality service delivery to its beneficiaries. All programs are community initiated and the beneficiaries are part and parcel of its implementation hence it allows them to engage and be part of the solution of the already identified problems and gaps.
Below are the activities and events implemented for the last three months.
In the month of January, Polycom organized Usawa festival which brings on board all girls and women in matters of gender equality. The event brought on board women from different slums of Nairobi and it was organized in Dandora. The main purpose for the event was to address the underlying issues on gender imbalance, equity and equality through songs, dances, poems and speeches. The political and economic sphere are a major concern for women who frequently face gender imbalances and are never addressed and therefore women took the center stage to air out their views and grievances. We were able to foster and strengthen women network and created a platform for women to actively participate in advocating for gender balance and equity.
WORLD WOMEN DAY.
February and March preparations for international women day began and on the 8th of March 2019, the event took place. This is a day to celebrate the achievements made by women in different sectors both locally and globally. The event brought forth a number of partners and stakeholders who assisted in organizing for the big day. We received guests of honors from UNFPA who graced the event among them being the UNFPA Executive DirectorDr. Natalia Kanem and Nairobi women rep Dr. Esther Passaris.
In attendance were also government agencies from Uwezo Fund, women Empowerment Program and Kenya Youth Employability opportunity program among other Civil Society Organizations hence achieving its prime objective. We also had 350 participants from different quarters of Nairobi and 5 women groups awarded for their exemplary work they do in transforming lives. The main aim for the event was to bring women together to celebrate the innovation brought about by women in kibera slum and other slum areas of Nairobi an their achievements as far as equality and economic stability is concerned.
ISOOKO TEAM VISIT/ TRAINING (PEACE BUILDING USING TECHNOLOGY).
This is an exchange program and as Polycom we were able to learn on how to use technology to promote peacebuilding amongst communities that are usually affected by post-election violence and all sorts of gender based violence cases which are often reported to us. The training is meant to promote effective response hence dealing with the issues at hand on time as it were initially.
PAD DISTRIBUTION (LIGHT INT’ SCHOOL).
This is a reproductive health program that aims to keep girls in schools by providing essential amenities which allows them to focus on their education. Some of the amenities provided by the organization are pads, stationeries, uniforms and shoes. On this particular occasion, Light Int’ School partnered with Polycom to distribute pads to 247 girls at Spurgeions academy. The main aim for this exercise was to empower and sensitize girls on the importance of hygiene and sanitation and on matters related with reproductive health. It was quite informative and the girls being able to interact with a school of such a caliber is a plus hence promoting cohesion and bridging the gap between the two entities as they get to learn from one another.
This is a mentorship program where girls are able to air out issues and challenges they face in this walk of life. This is a weekly program open for girls to discuss matters on sexual reproductive health and gender based violence. It is an open forum where they share the challenges they go through and how to overcome them. This has been an eye opener to many school going girls living in the slum areas and has empowered them to live responsibly and in reporting any emerging cases related with gender based violence faced by them or their peers.
AMBASSADORS’ FORUM (SANITATION, SPORTS AND TALKING BOXES).
This is a program for the few selected agents of change in various school whom we work with to drive change within their schools and locality. The program is aimed at equipping the girls with sufficient training and techniques on how they can transform the lives of those around them. It is a teach one to reach 10 initiative which aims at promoting the sustainability of the program by having ambassadors to spread the word to their peers. There work is to train and identify challenges faced by their peers and finds solutions or provide referrals where possible.
PATRONS/MATRONS FORUMS (FEEDBACKS AND PLANNING FOR THE TERM).
These are for teachers from the schools we work with. We believe that teachers are very essential in the implementation of the school programs hence bringing them on board makes it even easier to run our sessions. This forums enable us as an organization to monitor and evaluate the progress of the project and its impact on girls. The teachers are a pillar since they spend most of their time with the girls and are able to monitor them closely. This forum allows us to identify gaps and challenges faced and how to address them as it also gives us the opportunity to plan ahead for activities and events.
UNFPA EXECUTIVE TEAM GIRLS VISIT.
Polycom values its partners, donors and beneficiaries. As part of the program monitoring and evaluation, we frequently engage our donors and partners together with the beneficiaries to share and get to understand the impact of their support and to measure the expected outcomes if it’s been fully achieved. On this particular occasion UNFPA Executive team visited the beneficiaries on 15th March 2019 hosted by Polycom. We also had the privilege to have our local administration on board that is the area chief and his assistant. The girls were able to share the success achieved so far through the G-pende girls program and also highlighted on the challenges faced and available gaps which needs to be addressed.
RESULTS AND EVALUATION
The first quarter of year 2019 programs were successfully implemented and 90% of its expected outcomes achieved. The beneficiaries reached out in the first quarter who directly benefited were 538 in total. This number has recently shot up compared to the last quarter of 2018. We are therefore excited to say that our dreams and objectives are being realized and the beneficiaries understands our projects well and provides support where needed. Our major boost in this success has been the involvement of beneficiaries in project design and implementation. They are part and parcel of our programs as we exercise project ownership, accountability and integrity.
The partners and donors have also played a major role in helping us achieve our set objectives. They have continuously provided financial support and resources to facilitate our operations and implementation of programs. Networking has also proven worth as we have been able to engage other stakeholders in event planning and participated in a number of training and conferences which has helped us in benchmarking, learning experiences and strengthened work relation. With all these we say Asante Sana (thank you so much) as we look forward to the next quarter with positive stories/achievements. Visit our website ffor more information http://polycomgirls.or.ke/