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
Girls receiving pads
Girls receiving pads

Polycom Development Project brought together over 1000 adolescent girls on 28th May to commemorate World’s Menstrual Hygiene day. They girls discussed the challenges they face during their menses which included, access to sanitary napkins due to lack of money, they high cost of the towels, lack of privacy in their homes as big girls, dirty toilets both at home and in most schools, and lack of proper ways of disposing the used sanitary towels which have become environmental menace.

There was a suggestion for the girls to adapt menstrual caps which was discussed and ruled out due to the level of hygiene required to avoid infections. The girls discussed how most of them have accessed the pads but are not able to use them because they have no water to was their hands as they go into the toilets and even after visiting the toilets. There was also a concern on how to sterilize the caps after use, still this is due to lack of water in the ablution blocks and containers at home apart from the ones that are used in the kitchens. The young women also raised concerns of myths and misconceptions surrounding the menstruation that have made it a no go zone subject.

A Woman member of the county Assembly joined into the discussion and promised to draft a bill in the lower house to push for the effect of  law on withdrawal of tax on sanitary napkins. The girls were engaged in a discussion on careless disposal of used pads which create plate for haters to abuse the young girls on their way to school reducing and in some cases killing their self esteem.

There were entertainments, live demonstrations on usage and personal hygiene, questions and answers were very participatory. Songs around girls and women pride were sang for and by the girls making the event very colourful.

Sanitary towels work of US $ 980 dollars were distributed, all the girls in attendance received a packed on sanitary towels,  Thanks to all your support, girls lives are getting better day by day.

The talks
The talks
Which way to go girls, Pads or Cups?
Which way to go girls, Pads or Cups?

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Talking Boxes contents
Talking Boxes contents

Polycom Development Project volleyball coaching ti intiate discussion on issues affecting girls in their lives. The sports ground acts as a safe space where they can meet at share without fear.

Among the activities Polycom Development Proejct have taken in this quarter is commemoration of the International Day of Sports for Peace and Development . Kenya has been polorised along tribal lines, there si growing hatered among Kenyan communities due to political incitement and realignement. Polycom brought together young women from different informal settlements to play together as they preach the need of respect and coexistence. Other slums settlements were representend and there were alot of discussions on how community women and girls can be safe during such situiatons.

Kenyans will be going for general elections in 2017 and there are serious political realignements causing more tension and uncertaintyl Each player was encouraged to identify 10 followers they can reach with peace messages, they were also encouraged to talk to young men who are mostly used by Politicians to cause violence and mayhem.6 teams participated in the tournament. One of our donors Ambassador Daria Mejnartowez donated a trophy, while your generous donations catered for other sports equipment, refreshments and officiating of the matches. This acted as a launch of a year long campaign to ensure peaceful polical campaigns and general elections.

Polycom continue to hold sessions every saturday for life skill training, young girls are becoming empowered to challenge manipulation and violence against them. Girls joining high schoo have received their sanitary towels and therefore not worried about how to take care of their menses as they go back to school.

Polycom is looking forward to having a teachers conferencce in June, to share with the teachers the challenges that the children share with Polycom through the Talking Box, which are locked up boxes installed in their schools to help them open up on issues affecting them.

We look forward for your continued support to for safe society for women and girls. 

Sports for Peace Trophy by Amb. Daria Mejnartowez
Sports for Peace Trophy by Amb. Daria Mejnartowez
Sports for Peace and Development
Sports for Peace and Development

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Balls and detergents distributions
Balls and detergents distributions

Most public toilet are always very dirty in Kenya, girls are more affected by these dirty toilets due to their biological structures. The girls through the Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) came up with an idea of how to get people to maintain their toilets clean. Through this project, Polycom Development Project (PDP) has:-

1. Successfully lobbied to have girls and boys to have separate toilet blocks in our 15 partner school.

2. Gotten the school adminstration to support the project by monitoring cleanliness.

3. Gotten the girls to talk freely about their reproductive health.

Every first week of a school term, PDP prepares detergents and distribute to school, the girls are called up to look at their dirty toilets, then the toilet is cleaned and they are called again to look at it clean. They are then challenged to maintain what they like, before or after. With these the toilets are maintained clean throughout the term. This term 15 schools received their detergents and the toilets cleaned, the weekly school discussions have been on menstruation and general hygiene for girls.

This terms each school received balls for their sports, PDP uses sports coaching to intiate discussions with girls on issues affecting them. The play ground act as a safe space where they can meet at play. A total of 33 balls were distributed this term, the students leaders received the balls and will ensure that the girls use them.

Being the beginnning of the term, 4 girls received their school fees cheques from PDP, these are very needy girls willing to purue their post primary school education. 

The weekly speak out forums continue every in the office, in the month of January, 250 girls attended the sessions, topic of discussion was menstruation.

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Some of the girls who received new uniforms.
Some of the girls who received new uniforms.

Primary education in Kenya is free, students are however required to buy their text books and even school uniforms to be able to attend school. Many parents cannot afford these causing the children to stay away from school and in most cases go to school in very old unforms. Polycom development project listens to girls inner voices, on issues affecting their education.

Through your support, Polycom managed to buy new school uniforms to 30 girls from 15 partner schools. These girls were identified through inpromptu visit to their schools where they were found in rugs. The girls received their uniforms in Polycom Development Project offices in Kibera Nairobi. The girls shared about how inspired they are to now concentrate on their education without worries and pass their exams. Polycom will continue working on nurturing girls to pursue their education and rise beyond poverty.

Through our slogan G-PENDE Polycom promotes self appeciation and worthiness, this can only be achieved if girls are confidence, walking around in rugs make one feel less and is always humilated, we are very proud to have had this initiative successfully. Our dream is to make uniforms for 500 needy girls of Kibera, we are targeting big girls who are already concious of their poverty status and can easily be manipulated into children prostitution in exchange of these necesities for their education.

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Girls sharing how they want to be treated
Girls sharing how they want to be treated

Sexual harassment has been identified as one of the major causes of school drop out among girls living in Kibera. The girls who alone to school are often confronted by men  cat call them, touch them on their private parts, make negative comment, stalk them or even sexually assault them in the lone corridors which are very common in Kibera.

Polycom Development Project have been using the Talking Boxes to give these girls a platform to share about issues affecting them through annonymous notes which are put in locked up boixes installed in their schools. PDP have since partnered with an organization Safecity to digitalize these process that made data available online for easy and wide access. Polycom used the last three months to map sexual harassment in different public spaces in Kibera then engaged the girls in coming up with simple campaigns to mitigate the harassment and make the spaces safe..

10 volunteers were trained as data collector, community members and other stakeholders also introduced to the process and given forms to collect data. The girls, leaders of the various prgrams in their schools were also engaged in collecting data from fellow pupils. This model look into WHAT happened, WHO is the survivor / perpetrator and WHERE did it happened.

So far 1,200 cases were documented and uploaded on the website: www.safecity.in. One of the simple intervention initative conducted saw the girls write simple messages on papers, and stood in one of the spaces for the boys camping around there harassing them to see how they want to be treated. They young men were so ashamed and the numbers of those sitting there have reduced. Upto 15 spaces have been mapped so far and with other stakehoiders Polycom is working in engaging the community members in making the spaces safe for girls going to school.

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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
$55,021 raised of $56,000 goal
 
1,324 donations
$979 to go
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