| Dec 22, 2020
LIFE SKILLS FOR YOUNG GIRLS DURING COVID-19
In a constantly changing environment, the girls having life skills is an essential part of being able to meet the challenges of everyday life.Girls and young women growing up in Kangemi, an informal settlement in Nairobi, face vastly many challenges. The Teenage pregnancies has been a key concern during this pandemic period, with an estimated one in five teenaged girls between the ages of 15 and 19 being pregnant or having already given birth (KDHS). Girls in the informal settlement are more vulnerable now than ever before. Ngao's focus in the last three months has been to enhance practical skills for the girls not only to be busy but significanly engaged their thought process, using the activies to learn about ways of problem solving, building self confidence.
Before COVID-19, girls depended on school-based programs to meet their basic needs, such as food, sanitation, sanitary towels and more importantly the socialization.When schools closed in March this year due to the pandemic, they lost access to this support, placing them in an increasingly precarious position. At Ngao, we provided an avenue for girls and young women to creatively make several things using locally available materials, waste paper, magazines and old clothes to make creative items now a source of income for them to navigate through the above challenges.
In the last three months, we have served more than 332 girls aged 9 to 17, equipping them to fight for their rights and to handle the challenges they face daily. Through direct mentoring we focused to support girls on WHO AM I? WHERE AM I GOING and HOW DO I GET THERE. This facilitated them to unearth their potential, abilities and capabilities to navigate real life challenges of managing stress and frustrations. Discover their values and leadership capabilities and build confidence. They were also enabled to make informed choices when it comes to their bodies, life choices and personal focus.
The ability for most households in Kangemi informal settlement to access basic services got negatively affected by the COVID – 19 pandemics. Regarding access to health services, the girls and women reported avoiding going to hospitals due to the risk of getting affected
43 women lost their income generation opportunities either loss of jobs, closure of business or slowed down business performance
188 mothers having school-aged children, were not able to access remote education provided by the Government of through the social media platform. The main barrier being the lack of equipment (TV, laptop, smart phone etc.) and/or limited utilities (like internet connection).
The above encounters created stress, frustrations, tensions and heathy problems both to the girls, women and the entire household. Ngao provided psychosocial support to all the girls with regular counseling, home visits, food hampers for families, sanitary towels, income opportunities, job connections and necessary referrals.