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1000 Kibera slum girls empowered to excel

by POLYCOM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
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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

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 is the most ambitious road map for the empowerment of women and girls everywhere. In 2020, it will be 25 years since the Beijing Platform for Action set strategic objectives and actions for the achievement of gender equality in 12 critical areas of concern.

The Beijing+25 Regional Review Meeting provided a forum for UNECE member States to review progress and identify challenges in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. The meeting was held on 29-30 October 2019 in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, and was jointly organized by UNECE and the UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia.

The regional review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly is happening in the context of preparations for the global Beijing+25 review in 2020. The review also included an assessment of current challenges that affect the implementation of the Platform for Action and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and its contribution towards the full realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

50 Young women have been recruited and trained on what Beijing and the Beijing Platform of Action is all about. The young women aged 19 – 25 years were taken through Beijing Platform for Action’s 12 critical areas for review. An action plan on how to engage going forward was developed. They committed to be vigilant and work closely with other stakeholders to ensure that their voices and that of the adolescent girls are included in the review structures. The girls decided to brand themselves as “Beijing +25 Queens” for visibility and publicity as the review year comes in 2020. 12 stories of young women born after Beijing and have come from far to be the people they are today, have been collected awaiting publication. There was a meeting with the Beijing +25Queens to decide on who has an interesting story to tell, this was followed by one on one consultation with the writers and the counsellor for briefings and psycho social support where necessary. The youngwomen drafted the stories which are currently being polished by the Editor for publishing once they are ready.

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ICPD in the community
ICPD in the community

Where is the slum she?  This is the question various stakeholders and policy makers need to ask. Is she a third party or is actively involved in discussions and engagements such as the ICPD? Adolescent girls and women of all ages are often left behind in discussions around their wellbeing especially if they come from under privileged background. Since Kenya and other 178 countries adopted program of Action (PoA) during ICPD summit in Cairo 25 years ago, a little progress has been realized in the set the businesses while other businesses have not been worked on. There is still a need to take transformed action and link between SDGs and ICPD goals to end poverty, address human rights, and access to universal health coverage including sexual reproductive health. In the days leading up to the main ICPD event in Kenya ( Kenyatta International Convention Centre), a 2 day Pre- ICPD event was held in Kibera. The first was held on 4th for the adolescent girls and the 2nd one on 5th for the women in Kibera.

 

ACTIVITY GOAL

Ensuring that Adolescent girls and women of all ages from the informal settlements are not left behind in accelerating the ICPD promise.

Target Populations: Adolescent girls and women from 5 informal settlements in Kenya.

Project Objectives

  1. To contribute to reduction of early pregnancies among school going girls.
  2. To provide relevant information on SRH through life skill and access to safe spaces
  3. Come up with sustainable relevant solutions to daily challenges affecting the lives of adolescent girls.
  4. To identify the progress made since the discussion in Cairo, identify the gaps and make commitments of achieving the said gaps

Highlights for the Events

Discussions on SRH and Harassment

Sexual harassment cases have been increased. PDP has been with 50 schools in the slums and have introduced talking boxes where girls share through unanimous notes. Many of those notes are about sexual harassment. Women to work hand in hand to support children’s rights

Commitments by stakeholders

Assistant County Commissioner –Kibra Sub County working with the government together with NGOs and CBOs in Kibra towards the implementation and achievement of the principles and goals of the ICPD Programme of Action. They that are looking forward to working with Civil Societies and other partners on these important achievements of the ICPD Agenda and further promote the global development agenda.

UNFPA Executive Director said - As women and girls celebrate the remarkable progress women have realized advancing their rights to health, though some women in some areas have no opportunity of accessing this kind of right, efforts must be doubled to reach those who have not yet benefited from the promise of the ICPD. She informed the women about the upcoming Nairobi Summit Event which is going to help us rally a broad coalition of stakeholders to protect the gains made and advance the ICPD agenda to ensure that no one is left behind.”

Discussions around Mental health

As we empower AGYW to take control of their lives, it must be remembered that some issues are as a result of mental health. Women and girls cannot be healthy without mental health. Just months before ICPD there is several adolescent girls who took their lives. A mental health specialist was engaged to facilitate and talk to the adolescent girls and women to promote their health. The session had a comprehensive discussion on SRH, mental health and the ICPD25 key pillars. On mental health the girls were taken through the different types of mental health that affects all girls at that age group. They were guided on different forms of mental health how to approach them and attend o them in case they or their friends are experiencing it. On Sexual Reproductive Health conversation there was a discussion on avoiding sexual activity during the holidays. On the ICPD 25 the girls were empowered on right to education, sexual health, early marriages and attaining equal rights.

Panel discussions - Understanding of ICPD 25

Since ICPD conversation in the year 1994, the government has made equally important strides in many other areas like our fight against HIV/AIDS. Not completely there yet, but visibly the HIV landscape is definitely not what it used to be. Women are still looking forward to the government to help fight Cancer disease.

Many girls are attending schools since the introduction of free primary education. Some the Adolescent girls from some communities are married off by the age of 18 due to lack of school fees to continue with their studies or due to cultural activities.

Empowered women who can access free health facilities like AMREF, Medicine San Frontiers, CDC do so while other women who are not yet empowered and are far from such facilities are still unable to meet their family planning needs. Others are still practicing harmful cultural practices.

One in three women are affected by sexual and gender-based violence. Others are killed by their spouse. So many women have been killed in the slums by their spouse raising up the number of orphans.

Sexual harassment cases have been increased. PDP has been with 50 schools in the slums and have introduced talking boxes where girls share through unanimous notes. Many of those notes are about sexual harassment. Women to work hand in hand to support children’s rights

People living with disabilities, their situation is improved, elevators and lifts, preserved parking areas, isolated toilets, special tags for identification provide to PWD’s “I live with disabilities” e.g. am blind, am deaf,

Crisis, poverty and discrimination continue to put basic sexual and reproductive health care out of reach for far too many women and girls. Leaders will convene to reaffirm that sustainable development and the full realization human rights depend on making sure they have it. No matter their circumstances

Women and girls who missed out their education before, the government is providing Adult education for all. Women and girls are able access affordable education and are able to sit for the same government examination. This will improve women’s literacy level and access to information at the right time.

ANNEXES

        i.            List of Participants/attendance list

       ii.            Program/timetable for the event.

     iii.            Supporting financial documents

Conclusion

Participation of the community in the ICPD 25 is a clear acceleration of the promise to the highest urban population, a powerful component of inclusion.

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Some Contents
Some Contents

Janet (Not her real name) believes that she is pregnant, she had unprotected sex 3 months ago and hasn't received her periods every since, she is stressed and lost, she sleeps in class and picks up fights with everyone. She vomits in the morning, she is worried and does not know what to do. Maxy is worried, as a Gpende Ambassador she cannot ignore this, people are already talking behind Janet's back suspecting that she is pregnant. 

"Can you come to our school and talk to the girls about how one can get pregnant and what they should do not not annoy everyone if they are pregnant," One Taking Boxes Content reads, its from Maxy, she would like Polycom to help her friend. Talking Boxes are locked up boxes installed in schools where girls are encouraged to write anything they have that thay cannot speak about openly. The contents are collected and assemblies organized to encourage the girls to use the boxes or to respond to issues raised by the girls.

Polycom mentors are up in arms to the school, they liaise with the teacher to organize the girls for an assembly and the girls are ready to listen, They are going to share about pregnancy, questions prepared;

1. How does someone become pregnant

2. What does she feel.

3. What should one do if she suspects that she is pregnant

4. You are not to blame - Taking charge

The girls listened keenly as the mentors shared, the Ambassadors led by Maxy were keenly looking at Janet's reaction, they wanted to be sure that their suspicions weren't true. Janet fell into their trap when she asked her questions after the presentation and they confirmed their fears. After the session, they approached Janet and convinced to come to our office for a talk with the mentors who referred her for counselling. Janet was later accompanied to the hospital for pregnancy test and thank God, she wasn't pregnant.

GPENDE Assemblies have become powerful platforms for speaking on issues affecting girls within their schools, the girls continue to develop their own support structures to ensure that no gircl is left behind.

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Kibera Annual Music Festival 2019 attracted more than 50 schools. The 2 day event held at Moi Nairobi Girls High school was hosted by The Area Member of Parliament and attended by other dignitary from the Kenyan Government and different stakeholders including the corporates. 

Polycom Development Project in her mandate of advancing the rights of adolescent girls decided to mount an exhibition and information sharing tent. A space where girls could come and learn more about the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. Among the items to be displayed Sanitary Napkins, manufactured by Polycom Development Project, courtesy of Lois Harris, our monthly donor through GlobalGiving.

“Look she has stained her uniform”, a young girl was mocked as she walked past Polycom’s tent, the young women mentors took the girls in covered a space and took good care of her, before letting her out. This was a call to action, there is need to speak to all girls who were planning to make presentations on how safe they were as far as their woman days are concerned. 4 best performers from different schools had backed out of the presentations because they had their periods and they felt they had not protected themselves that well. Polycom staff had to call for bikers, panties and even more pads to equip the girls to be able to present and the day was saved.

On the 2nd day, girls preparing to present was organized in smaller groups given a short talk on the pride of woman and the Simple Mandatory Item – the pad. Polycom Development Project was praised by all teachers in attendance and the organizers who urged Polycom to keep up the spirit and the good work. A total of 494 adolescent girls were attended to during the 2 day session.

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 NARRATIVE SUMMARY

 

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.

 

PROJECT SUMMARY

 

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.

 

USAWA FESTIVAL

 

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.

 

 

 

G-PENDE PROGRAM

 

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/

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Organization Information

POLYCOM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

Location: NAIROBI - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @polycomdev.org
Project Leader:
JANE ANYANGO ODONGO
NAIROBI, NAIROBI Kenya
$48,821 raised of $55,000 goal
 
1,165 donations
$6,179 to go
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