| Oct 28, 2016
Relevance without plans or resources
Girls Session in process
Maybe a wood cuter or a firewood collector would one day stop and listen to this regular song by this small bird, deep in the forest. This is how I felt when I started responding to cases of sexual manipulation and violence towards adolescent girls in Kibera Slums in Nairobi, Kenya. For 5 years I went wild teaching girls on the need to make informed decisions as far as their private parts are concerned, they nicknamed me "Yule mama wa private part" (That woman of the private part. I had seen it right hand, older men taking advantage of our girls, end result, early pregnancy, backstreet abortion, and by then, the most feared Sexually Transmitted Disease - HIV/AIDs. Deep in my heart I knew the information to pass across. Without any skills, no budget, no pattern, just me, I soldiered on to make girls take full charge of their lives. Many people would join me in the processs but leave immediately they realised I had nothing but just idea. It was 100% volunteer work.
I went to many local meetings mostly talking about HIV/AIDs, nobody understood my concept of fighting this vice whose end result would be HIV/AIDs, everyone wanted to respond. One time overheard a friend talking about a workshop on girls welfare by UNICEF that he was to attend, I sneeked into the meeting pretending that I lost my invitation, they allowed me to stay, they were talking about girlchild welfare. One week later, UNICEF organized a workshop which I was invited to, many participants were keen on supporting orphans and vulnerable children, nobody understood my typep of vulnerability. On the last day of the workshop people were pitching ideas in groups about promoting girls welfare, as usual I was very irrelevant to my group members but during presentations, I took it upon myself to explain my idea and strategy, the organizers liked it, meaning our group would get some funds to implement that idea within 3 months. My team members tricked me and did not involve me when they got money, it went their way. I did not stop, I pushed forward.
An organization working in Kibera invited my girls to make a presentation for them and my girls did not disappoint, they said it all, we called it the THE MONSTER AFTER HER, They loved it, they wanted to meet the brain behind this notion, they came to my little secretarial bureau which doubled as my office, this was in my 11th year of mentoring girls, withouth any resources, proper planning, documentation, just responding to my community's need, something many people would not understand. I got my first grant from Women Women, a three year grant, I hnow have a strategic plan, operational plan and an annual budget, through them I also learnt about Global Giving and here we are, the world MUST KNOW.
90 - 120 reached every week in groups of 30 for every 2 hours, 2000 girls were reached in 2016. I reach my girls through schools, they now apply to work with us. There are 27 pending application by schools in Kibera. I also do alot of media talks on my same advocacy that did not make sence for a long time.
In my 13 year journey, I had no resources, no skills and systems to support my work, many people convinced me to change my focus, because violence prevention would not allow me to access resources but I did not, I continued until 2013 when I got a break through, we got funds, trainings, networks and ideas including crowd funding which we using today. I am now focused, skilled and using different platforms to access resources.
Girls arriving for weekly sessions
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