Earning an income while enrolled in training
Have there been any unexpected results so far?
A significant challenge that has arisen is ensuring the teenage girls can meet their living costs while taking part in training e.g. rent, bus fares to the training centre, food, and childcare costs. This has meant that once or twice a fortnight 15 of the trainees are still engaging in sex work to make ends meet. Shalom has therefore decided to provide them with entrepreneurship and business skills training, as well as start-up capital (£12-20), to enable them to establish small income generating activities, which could be carried out without interfering with their studies. These include selling second hand shoes and clothes; making and selling juice; selling snacks and fish; and making and selling charcoal. This will enable them to earn a small amount of money to cover their bus fares, rent, food, and childcare costs.
Has the project reached any community members, which it had not initially planned to reach?
The project initially planned to support one hundred children in Year 1 but reached five additional children with disabilities, providing them with uniforms and school materials in order for them to attend school. They have been enrolled in a special education class in Ngaramtoni Primary school; Shalom hopes to mainstream them in the future. On seeing these children attend school and following ongoing sensitisation about disability within the community, the parents of 10 other disabled children decided to enroll their children in Ngaramtoni Primary school.
Have there been any particular challenges in including marginalized children within the project?
As Shalom has only just started to sensitise the community on the rights of children with disabilities through meetings, home visits and the radio programme, there is still much stigma, discrimination and marginalization of people with disabilities throughout the community e.g. many parents still hide any children with disabilities and they are still believed to be bad omens.