Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums

by Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP)
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums
Mental Health Counselors
Mental Health Counselors

                                        Mental Health Counselors

In the wake of Covid-19 outbreak, a total of 8 VAP’s coaches were trained and certified to become mental health counselors and psycho social support care givers. The trainings have been so timely as most of the youth have been grappling with mental illness coupled with other disorders driven by the after math of covid-19 that has affected both their social and economic lifestyles. The one day training touched on various critical topics such as: self-awareness, developmental stages with key focus on psychoanalytic and Eric Erickson theories. In self-awareness, counselors learnt important background information on what makes up one’s personality and why personality defects are more likely to reduce one’s capacity to grow and develop as human-beings. Throughout the training, counselors got a better understanding of themselves, achieved their personal goals and ready to serve the youth in different programs as well as the entire community. “The knowledge I have gained will be additional to my current skills and will position me adequately to provide total support to the youth and the community, especially this covid time and beyond.” Said 20 years old Judy.

                                    VAP Participant Honored in the ‘Here For Good’ Series

Damaris who is a beneficiary of the ‘Breaking The Barriers’ project which was supported by Standard chartered bank, participated in the global ‘Here For Good’ series: life lessons of football filming with standard chartered bank, London office. The series was all about sharing their stories in relation to being part of the Goal program and experience with football.Damaris filming was done in her community here in Kenya where she does the football refereeing job, after successfully undergoing a football refereeing course under VAP’s Breaking The Barriers project that targeted girls and young women to venture into male dominated careers. Certified as a football referee by Football Kenya Federation, Damaris continues to inspire many girls and women in the football space and sports in general. As a way of appreciating the girls in taking part in the filming project SCB London office sent all participants each a porret of themselves extracted from the video engraved with a thank you and also an encouraging message from SCB.

Damaris
Damaris
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Mixed Gender Forum
Mixed Gender Forum

Mixed Gender Forum

On Saturday 14th August, VAP held a mixed gender forum in Kiambio areas. Convened under the belt of Secure Future’s program, the meeting’s aim was to create an open dialogue and conversations on social, healthy and economic issues with gender lens. Attended by pregnant adolescent girls, young mothers and their respective male partners from all the walks of Kiambio and its neighborhoods who have been participating in the program, the meeting aimed increasing knowledge and enacting the right attitudes and perspectives on gender equality. Participants received talks on Gender Roles, Gender Based Violence, Drug Abuse, Parenting and contraceptives from experts and held a moderated debate on the same. “Since participating in the program I have learnt how to take care of myself and going for antenatal care.” Said 20 year old Salima.

Graduation of Young Fathers

After a successful involvement in Secure Futures program, a group of 23 male partners: boyfriends and husbands of secure futures program participants: pregnant adolescent girls and young mothers were awarded with certificates as confirmation of participating in the program. Their participation and commitment in the program as ‘Influencers’ has been of great help towards supporting the impact of the entire program, increasing knowledge and enacting the right attitudes and perspectives on gender equality and promoting positive masculinity. Despite the graduation exercise they were engaged in candid group discussions with invited experts on issues surrounding: Gender roles, Gender Based Violence, drug abuse, parenting and contraceptives.” These talks have been of great help to me, as men we really need to support our women/wifes and have open communications on family matters including family planning” Said 21 year old J Otieno.

Goal Program Stretches to the outskirts of Nairobi

Participants from Ngalala primary school located on the outskirts of Nairobi participated in Goal program as their first sports fun based extra- curricular program. Led by VAP’s experienced Goal coaches, they were taken through various topics which included: Menstruation, Hygiene, Building self-Confidence, importance of teamwork, and reproductive health among others. Participants received sanitary pads distributed to them and were also taught on the proper usage and disposal of the pads. With the demand of sports based life skills program on the rise from other neighboring schools and communities, VAP will build on this relationship and establish its presence in the area reaching out to additional communities.” Our youth have had fun and enjoyed playing sports as they also learned vital life lessons that are very key to the youth of these areas.” Said  head teacher of Ngalala.

 VAP's Youth Empowerment Centre

The development plans of VAP’s youth empowerment centre is taking shape with the building drawings already submitted for approval at the lands authority. Once approved, the official construction of the facility will commence. With the ‘Empower The Future’fundraising campaign still going on, VAP through its partners and well-wishers is looking forward to having the following at the Centre: Health clinic (For community members and program participants to access HIV testing, counseling, and health referrals), Vocational training block (for various employment and entrepreneurship courses for youth),Gender Based Violence Recovery Centre (For girls and young women with GBV cases) Mental Health & Psycho social support block (Counseling area for program participants/community members with Mental health),Common space (for program trainings and workshops),Sports facility (A gym, football pitch & basketball court for sports based programs and well-being),Library and volunteer accommodation blocks. The Centre will create a safe space for VAP community to gather, learn, and play as well as establishing a social enterprise and a source of pride for the community. For partnership opportunities including in-kind, monetary support and branding and marketing opportunities, please write to info@vijanaamanipamoja.org.Let’s ‘Empower The Future’ together!

Young Fathers' Graduation
Young Fathers' Graduation
Goal Program
Goal Program
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Program implementation in a new normal era
Program implementation in a new normal era

With the covid-19 fog still engulfing the world, implementation of different programs within VAP have been forced to camouflage and adapt a new style of implementation while considering the safety of coaches and program participants. One of the changes taking place is the implementation of Goal program that targets girls where coaches have been reaching out to different communities around Nairobi distributing ‘Goal @Home Activity books’ while making phone call follow ups to collect feedbacks and provide girls with support where needed. Goal @Home activity book is an innovative book distributed to girls as a way of keep them to continue learning about Goal topics and stay active while at home. The book entails fun exercises that girls can do by themselves or with a group of friends or family members at home.

Sky is Not The Limit For Wangui

After going through Goal program and finally being integrated into Employment and Entrepreneurship project for a bakery course, 20 years old Wangui presented a business plan for her own business to a panel of judges that included successful business professionals. Being one of the best business plans, she received business startup kits and decided to start her business. Located in the community and outside her house, Wangui who is part of the savings scheme plans to expand her business by hiring a spacious place and expanding her bakery business.

Psycho social and Mental Support

Due to the rising numbers of cases occasioned by covid-19 pandemic including gender based violence, teen pregnancies, early marriages etc,VAP’s psycho social department has been ever busy providing  safe spaces for group counseling sessions to various girls and young women who are the most vulnerable in the community. Periodical site visits by VAP’s psycho social department with sizeable groups of girls and young women in different communities around Nairobi has been going on. Other interested participants and victims have been calling to seek counseling information and referrals through VAP’s toll free number. The partnership with local institutions including police stations, health centres and other like-minded organizations that champion the rights of women have been of great help in this pandemic season. “I have been once a victim of gender based violence, and these sessions have really made me strong and equipped. I now know where to seek help and i will be happy to share the same with information with any other woman who is experiencing gender based violence.” Said 24 years Wanjiku.

Revamping Affected Businesses

The aftermath of Covid-19 to many livelihoods started by participants who had graduated from VAP’s Employment+Entrepreneurship project has been of negative effect. To offer a platform of refuge and a moment to exhale as they rebuild their lives, VAP organized for a one day ‘Okoa Bizna (Save My Business) workshop with the aim of building a network platform for sharing experiences while providing cushioning and supportive environment for the participants with businesses that were affected by covid-19.Participants engaged each other with discussions including challenges and experiences of their businesses with seed grants issued to them to kick start their respective businesses with the end result of participants forming micro finance savings schemes where they can save money and get loans to support their businesses. “Am happy to receive a seed grant to revamp my second hand cloth selling businesses and the idea of starting a saving scheme will help us expand our businesses and cushion us from any other pandemic” Said 22 years old Walengi.

Business Training For Young Mothers

Fresh from their other life skills activity involvement, a bunch of 58 Secure Futures participants (Pregnant adolescent girls and young mothers) attended a two days business training conducted in their respective communities. Ready to venture into businesses, participants were taken into various trainings including; drafting of business proposals, knowledge on demand and supply of their products, calculating profit and loss amongst others. At the end of the trainings, participants were subjected to draft their own business plans and present it to a panel of judges that includes invited business professionals for vetting and awarding of business start-up kits to successful individuals.

 

Sky is not the limit for Wangui
Sky is not the limit for Wangui
Pyscho Social +Mental Support
Pyscho Social +Mental Support
Revamping Covid-19 Affected Businesses
Revamping Covid-19 Affected Businesses
Training Business for young mothers
Training Business for young mothers
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Enrollment into vocational training courses
Enrollment into vocational training courses

With the New Year still on its baby steps, a group of new young mothers who graduated at the tail end of last year under the belt of ‘Secure Futures’ program were  enrolled into vocational training courses for Employment + Entrepreneurship opportunities. In attendance to provide quality guidance, clear pathways and information to the participants were professionals and tutors from the local partnering institutions, successful businessmen and women including representatives of different financial institutions that offer small loans to business oriented people. Participants enrolled in a variety of courses that included: cookery, pastry, braiding, fashion and design amongst others. “Am eager to learn and finish my pastry course and thereafter look for a small loan to open my business of preparing pastries. This way I will be able to support myself and my family of two kids.” Said 21 years old Aisha.

 A visit From Kenya Community Development Foundation

As part of their grassroot commitment to community development and capacity building of its partners, Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) paid a courtesy call to VAP’s offices. Accompanied with representatives from I&M bank foundation, the key purpose of the meeting was to learn, share knowledge, challenges and successes of the ongoing projects especially with the covid-19 fog. The meeting wrapped up with a ground visit to the participants’ areas of operations.KCDF supports communities to initiate and drive their development agenda by harnessing and growing their resources as well as securing their basic rights and services from duty bearers. It works with poor, marginalized and disadvantaged communities as its primary target group and looks to provide them support in uplifting themselves from their situation through their own efforts.

                       Gender Support

In support of their counter parts,15 male under ‘Heshima Program’, a program that brings together (boyfriends/husbands) of the ‘Secure Futures’ young mothers participants with an intention of addressing positive masculinity, parental support and leadership, attended a 3 days training program organized by VAP and other like-minded organizations. Amongst topics addressed were: social construction of masculinities and feminities, introduction to Heshima curriculum, sexual and gender based violence, cycle of violence, inequalities and violence, relationship to violence, prevention and response and strategy selection. Heshima program has been of great support towards positive impact of secure future program and its activities. “Am happy to be part of this program that has taught me on how to be supportive to my wife in a positive way. If something wrong happens between us, we always have a discussion around it and solve it without any kind of violence. I will use my skills to teach and encourage other young fathers to always be supportive to their wives and avoid gender based violence.” Said 21 years old  Aluda ,a young father of one kid.

                       Rebuilding Again

Three days business training for the covid-19 affected business participants under the ‘Ustawi’ initiative was organized by VAP and its partners. The training brought together young women, mostly young mothers who had graduated from various vocational training courses and started their own business but eventually got affected by the out-break of covid-19 and its restrictions. One after another, participants narrated how their respective businesses were affected and their ideas on how to bounce back. The trainings provided participants with a platform to network share and learn from each other as they also gained skills and knowledge on how to start and manage their livelihood activities. Participants were also guided on how to successfully develop their business plans as well as receiving psychosocial support.

                        Community StakeHolders Forum

As an organization that listens to its community and values its successes on its model which is community led from ‘Bottom to Top’ approach, a stakeholders meeting was held in the month of January. The one day meeting brought together program participants, parents, guardians, community coaches, community members. Like-minded organizations and government representatives as well as children office departments to talk about community challenges and successes. The meeting created a platform and a safe space for attendees to share, network and learn from each other as VAP collected views and opinions that would help reshape and redesign its programs.

KCDF visit
KCDF visit
Gender support meeting
Gender support meeting
Rebuilding Again
Rebuilding Again
Community Stakeholders Forum
Community Stakeholders Forum
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Beyond Sports Award
Beyond Sports Award

Vijana Amani Pamoja was awarded the 2020 Beyond Sports Global Awards in the 'Reduced Inequalities' category which is part of the UN Global Goals #10.The award was as a result of the organization's involvement in working with pregnant adolescent girls and young mothers from marginalized and unsafe settings in the urban areas of Nairobi.The program uses a girl-centric model to create a safe space that focuses on life skill education,parenting,support and income-generating activities.Majority of the participants live in overcrowded urban areas with run-down housing and high levels of poverty,face considerable risks affecting their education, health and well-being. Already at risk for teenage pregnancy, the young girls are also vulnerable to forced marriage, unprotected sex and rape, HIV and other health issues.The pregnancies contribute to a high school drop-out rate as the girls are frequently forced to halt their education.This makes life even more precarious as they have fewer skills and job opportunities to enable them to provide for their new families."On behalf of the entire VAP family,we want to express our utmost THANK YOU message for your continous donation and support.We truely couldn't have made it without your generous support.We additionally wish you and your loved ones a HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON AHEAD" Ann,program cordinator. Here is full story https://www.kenyans.co.ke/news/60412-kenyan-organisation-wins-global-award-supporting-pregnant-girls

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Organization Information

Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Vap_Kenya
Project Leader:
Nancy Waweru
Founder
Nairobi, Kenya
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