“The harder we try, the higher we fly” Our girls were able to make presentations at the United Nations Office in Nairobi, thanks to your generous donations. Who would have imagined?
"I will remember this for the rest of my life, I cannot imagine that I just made a presentation at the United Nations," that was Maryanne a 15 year old girl living in Kibera Slums. She was one of the girls who represented other girls at the United Nations for the Urban Thinkers Campus, hosted by Polycom Development Project.
This is a critical space where different urban actor are brought together under UN Habitat's World Urban Campaign to strategize and develop structures that can lead us to the City We Need. Polycom for the second time around created this platform that was attended by 185 people, among them the Women, Elderly, the youth, religious leaders, pressure groups, activists, government representatives, the United Nations, Civil society organizations, the academia and media. Our focus was Safety - The City We Need is Safe (http://www.worldurbancampaign.org/events/wamama-tunauwezo-2).
With the Sustainable Development Goals principle of Leave no one behind, Polycom Development Project made sure that the adolescent girls participated in the process of making our cities safe for everyone.The girls shared how they are harassed sexually in public and private spaces, they shared how they are punished by the teachers for delaying during breaks when the toilets they have for girls are inadequate and therefore girls must queue for longer. The girls shocked the actors who thought they understood issues that affect girls. The girls were articulate, they shared how they want to be part of the implementation of the Sustainable Developement Goals so that their issues are factored in by planners.
The girls continue to meet in the office on Saturdays for the girls forums, they feel they are very empowered now to identify and to package their presentations to duty bearers. Their lobby is for the duty bearers to engage with them while designing programs aimed and empowering them.
“I can’t believe this just happened, we would like to come to Kibera, to meet these girls in their set up, we can never change anything if we do not come down to the ground,” remarked Christine Auclair – the World Urban Campaign Manager
Most girls now speak out on matters that affect them, they know where to go for help and also that it is not their fault that bad things happen to them.
Girls preparing to make their presentations
Jane Anyango importance of collaborative processes