1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel

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1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel
1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel
1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel
1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel
1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel
1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel
1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel
1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel
1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel
1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel
1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel

Millions of women and girls around the world are stigmatised, excluded and discriminated against simply because they menstruate. It’s not acceptable that because of a natural bodily function women and girls continue to be prevented from getting an education, earning an income and fully and equally participating in everyday life. The situation is even grimmer in informal settlements such as Kibera that tare also underpinned by poverty. The month of may was strategic for a number of activities that in the long term seek to; 

  • Break the taboos and end the stigma surrounding menstruation
  • Raise awareness about the challenges regarding access to menstrual products, education about menstruation.

Two key activities are the community pads drive, that saw the distribution of 600 sanitary towels at the community as well as hygiene conversations with adolescent girls and young women in the community. Another key activity was the boy’s mentorship as this was very strategic in having boys and men as strategic key partners in ending period shame. 50boys and a further 40 men were engaged in this activity with an intention to further engage them in community.

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The girls and young women summit was held at the Good Samaritan Conference Hotel in Kisumu. Girls from Kibera were able to highlight strategically matters that are close to them and get commitments from partners to support them. The event was officially launched by the Director of Gender, Kisumu County, who made an emphasis that GBV, not only affects the poor but also affects the elite in the community. She also highlighted that 1 in every 3 women undergo gender based violence on a regular and encouraged GYW to speak out boldly against GBV. A panel discussion was instigated on the Role of GYW in taking the lead role to drive changes on the issues affecting them.


The girls also discussed how the government is affecting project implementation as follows;

  1. The current school curriculum prevents mentors from speaking about sex education issues.
  2. New government officials need sensitization on the project.
  3. Kisumu and Nairobi County have a good working relationship with the Gender Departments.

How do they map out spaces for young women?

  1. Girl representation in the Gender Technical Working Groups.
  2. Linking GYW with Local Administration officers who engage them in local decision making platforms such as Barraza’s and public participations.


How are GYW involved in the CIDP making process?

  1. Director of gender helped GYW in Kisumu to come up with their priorities and a submission was done.
  2. Gils in GYW through the State Department of Gender assessed C1DP 1 and CIDP 2 to inform CIDP 3 and assisted them in drafting and submitting a memo.

The summit was very strategic in allowing girls acces spaces and have influence in them.

How do GYW challenge social cultural norms?

  1. Engaging in community dialogues. It is a transformative process to enable change in attitude.

Are there any She Leads Programs targeting boys?

  1. Male and Boy Champions are included in our programs.
  2. Mentorship sessions for boys.

Do we engage PWDs in our programs?

  1. A Memo Submitted on PWD inclusion in the transport bill.
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"I received a report that the girls has attempted suicide twice, she walks around with a rope and has been seen several times under a particular tree." This was reported by one of the teachers during the Teachers meeting. A troubled girl had tried to take her own life while at home and it  was suspected that she had planned to do so in school. Polycom hosts meetings every term to listen to teachers and strategize on how to be there for the students, especially girls.

The termly teachers meeting took place on the 16th of September 2022 at Polycom Development Project office from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. The meeting was attended by 41 teachers from our partner schools with 8 schools failing to attend due to other commitments. Teachers meeting is always held every term to discuss our achievements as an organization with the school programs, challenges we are facing with the implementation of the program and way forward on how to solve the challenges..

Over the years polycom has made great improvements when it comes to implementation of the school programs. Having conversations with our girls and the teachers from various schools has helped us get feedback on what has worked so well for us and what we need to improve on.


  • We have done so well with soap making and distribution which has improved in terms of thickness and quality.
  • We have also made adjustment on the sizes of pads produced as they were very long and girls were not comfortable using them, they are now medium sizes which are very comfortable for the girls.
  • We introduced boy’s mentorship and we started with schools that needed it most and we have made impact because the boys who were rude and knotty are now calm.
  • We have also managed to refer 5 girls to a youth friendly health services since July up to date.
  • In this quarter we have also managed to collect 219 contents from our talking boxes.
  • We have also distributed 470 liters of soap to our partner schools.
  • We have distributed 280 panties to our girls who are in need of pants.
  • We have also distributed 1735 emergency sanitary towels to the girls.
  • We have managed to reach 735 adolescent girls from our partner schools in this quarter.

There is need to have more thank one meeting in a term if resources allows.

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Menstrual Hygiene day is celebrated on 28th may every year. It’s a chance to highlight the importance of menstrual care, raise awareness about the issues faced by those who do not have access to sanitary products, breaking the taboos associated with menstruation and end the stigma. Polycom Development Project conducted a pad-drive with 8 GYW (Girls and Young Women) by distributing sanitary towels to adolescent girls and young women around kibera.

A total of 450 sanitary towels and  200 panties were successfully distributed accross the county.

Girls and young women were faciitated to conduct a twitter chat on menstrual hygiene the aim was to break the stigma around menstruation, provide access to menstrual health education ,and create the opportunity for all to have access to what they need to effectively manage their periods and also we passionately believe that everyone should have the basic right to menstruate without shame or stigma.

The social media handles to create awareness. Like:




Women, teachers and various stakeholders have attested to a great increase of number of girls who are in school which in the long run has improved their school performance and in the long run boosting the confidence of girls and women. Girls have been able to concentrate in school and be less stressful on matters concerning menstruation.


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No one to Talk to.

She has been very quiet and gloomy, she doesnt play with other children and misses school so many time, and she has a bad smell, I have talked to her about taking showers everyday as a girl but I don't see the difference, can you find out what the problem is? Teacher Pretty (Not her real name) was very much concerned about the 12 year old girl. She joined this school 2 years ago and has never enjoyed playing, and shouting like many children her age.

Polycom mentors reached out to the little girl and she opened up. Before she joined this school she was in the village, living with a relative. The relatives wife would leave early every day for the market, the man would then invite her to his bed a defile her, she cannot remember how many times this happened. She was born before her mother got married and she did not take her along when she got married. Her grandmother later took her in and brought her to Kibera, she is too scared to tell her what happened, while in the village, this was in 2020. 


The girl has been discharging pus for a long time but she had noone to share with, she has been suffering serious lower abdominal pain which she has never brought herself to share with anyone, this is the reason why she has been missing school and very dull.

From January this year 2022, Polycom has taken a total of 6 girls to the hospital for reproductive health related infections, their panties have been replace and the girls are fairing on well. We are very grateful to the teachers who call us in when the girls are unwell, and for trusting us with the girls. 

Thank you GlobalGiving and our donors

These are ineventualities which cannot be budgeted for enough, the unrestricted funds from Global Givign has enabled us to give the girls hope, we continue to pay for the girls medical services, to support the mentors and to maintain the hygiene and sanitation programme.

 Talking Boxes

We still need you, we listen to girls voices through the Talking Boxes, kindly support us to do better and reach more.


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Organization Information


Location: NAIROBI - Kenya
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @polycomdev.org
Project Leader:
$56,072 raised of $60,000 goal
1,352 donations
$3,928 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG20625

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