Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums

by Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP)
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Participants during Gala Award 2016
Participants during Gala Award 2016

For the very first time VAP organized for a gala award ceremony that brought together program participants and representatives from different areas around Nairobi. Amongst the people invited were: teachers, parents, community coaches, local administration and volunteers. The gala was geared towards celebrating the successes achieved in the year 2016 and appreciating and rewarding outstanding schools, community chapters, teams, teachers, parents, coaches, and volunteers who poured in unwavering support and spent countless days, hours and minutes in making our communities better. The gala was spiced up with a brief video and pictures about VAP’s programs in the community and its milestone with a cool 2014 world cup music in the background. The awards were spread out into various categories including winners of Wasichana Wacheze league ‘Girls Play’ and the runners up who received trophies and medals, best player of the season, top scorer of the season, best defender, etc. Also awarded with trophies and medals were the winners of Kick 4 life junior football league including coach, teacher and parent of the season. “Am very glad for the impact that VAP programs have heard in my life.” Said 14 year old Rembu from undugu primary school. “Since the inception of VAP programs in my school, participants have really improved in various aspects of life also including knowledge in HIV/AIDS, am looking forward to continue with the program in 2017.”Said Mr Karoli the head teacher of Zawadi primary school.

Please Help Us Get A Matching Fund By 50% This Giving Tuesday!

First, many thanks for your continuous support towards our project. Each and every dollar that you have been contributing has been going into a long way in changing the lives of our program participants and the communities that we are serving.

Today being on Tuesday, we are here to share with you good news from Global Giving who have teamed up with Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation under the #MatchAMillion.For each and every dollar donated this day, while funds last, Global Giving will be matching it at 50%.This is the largest #MatchAMillion campaign ever for Global Giving. We as an organization want to thank the generosity of the Bill &Melinda Gates foundation for this incredible partnership. We would therefore kindly like to reach out to you, to donate this Tuesday as your donation will be matched by Global Giving at 50%.

As always, we are quite optimistic that your donation however small or big will go towards changing the lives of our participants and community in general.

Mercy in her new job placement
Mercy in her new job placement

With a few weeks to the holidays, 19 year old Mercy (seated on the right) is already in the melody mood of Christmas carol and Santa Claus. This is after securing a job placement at Bextling Hair and Beauty Salon, located a few metres from VAP headquarters. Mercy who belongs to the last butch of Mrembo Salon vocational training candidates who graduated a couple of months ago, was introduced to Bextling salon which has been part of existing partners of Mrembo Salon vocational training. With the additional knowledge of computer and financial literacy gained through vocational training, Mercy will also be tasked with basic book and recording keeping duties at her new place. “Am happy to get a job that will help me depend on my own and help my younger siblings with school fees and other minor things.” Said Mercy

 Strengthening Our Communities

 A group of parents, teachers, and community coaches of VAP programs from different communities and schools assembled at VAP offices for a one day meeting geared towards looking at the side mirrow of 2016 programs, challenges and successes. The meeting spearheaded by VAP senior and master coaches collected diverse views from attendees that would contribute towards building and strengthening programs that would develop a stronger community.Attendees were also taken through all VAP programs with each and every head of VAP department narrating the way they do their programs and the kind of support they would need from the attendees. The meeting concluded with a clear direction and need of working together towards building a stronger community.

Young Leaders' Workshop

 40 young leaders drawn from various schools representing Mrembo chapters converged for one day ‘Leadership’ training at VAP headquarters. The trainings covered a wide range of topics including: leadership, types of leaders, characteristics of leadership, roles and quality of a good captain, how to be a captain amongst other topics. Majority of the attendees being captains of their respective chapters had their captaincy buskets fully loaded with skillful and helpful information that would shape up not only their career but their future life.VAP has been building, strengthening and utilizing these chapters as launching pads of future girls’ football teams and program mentors.

Parents,teachers and coaches meeting
Parents,teachers and coaches meeting
Young Leaders posing for a photo
Young Leaders posing for a photo

Driven by the words “You can talk about abstinence, faithfulness, and condoms, but these strategies will achieve little without empowering people with information and skills to embrace safer ways of making the money they need, ”Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP) whose primary purpose is to use  the power and the popularity of the game of football/soccer as a conduit to fight HIV/AIDS, working with various schools and community centres targeting youth aged 11-22 years, started an economic empowerment initiative through Mrembo Salon vocational training.

The main aim of the Mrembo Salon vocational training was to create an economic empowerment pathway of youth participants who graduate from the social programs ie.HIV and sexual health reproductive and rights to gain necessary soft skills that would enable them to be equipped with employability knowledge and experience thus opening up job opportunities and how to start their own businesses.

 

Since there was no funding to start up the project and we really wanted to get the project up and running, VAP decided to make an internal small fundraising from its members and friends. The fundraising was done through various ways that also included selling of cakes,etc.For the first 3 months the project could not start due to lack of enough capital that would also enable VAP to set up a Salon for the trainings.Additionally,the local and internal fundraising was not aggressively conducted.

 

The whole exercise brought in massive experience and learnings to the entire organization when it came to matters of ‘fundraising’ and mobilizing resources. First, VAP has been taking advantage of various campaigns conducted by Global Giving and the first campaign ran by Global Giving enabled VAP to fundraise adequate funds that enabled us to set up a Mrembo salon for the hair and beauty vocational training for social program graduates. The fundraising was done aggressively by every member who mobilised friends and various partners to contribute through Global Giving fundraising platform. As an organization, VAP has been advancing and taking advantage of the various international and local online fundraising platforms to strengthen its vocational training set-ups and that has resulted into opening up a new restaurant that integrates and trains social program graduates on pastry and baking courses. In addition,VAP has managed to learn various fundraising skills to support and sustain its projects.


Attachments:
Seminar pics for Vocational Training Girls
Seminar pics for Vocational Training Girls

Mrembo salon vocational training organized their one day annual hair and beauty seminar on 22nd of Sept. The one day seminar led by two tutors from Ashley’s (one of the leading chain of hair and beauty shops in Nairobi) was geared towards perfectioning and improving what they already know, and helping them to understand the current trends of hair and beauty. Among the other topics covered were: how to handle clients, different types of clients, general expectations of both clients and employers, nail technology, use of rollers,dreadlocks,make up, different types of scalp n skin, proper shaving of hair including dos and don’ts. Participants were fully engaged the whole day with more of practical sessions and less of theories. The current participants are the last butch of Mrembo salon vocational training for the year 2016 and are expected to graduate in by the end of December and be placed in various VAP’s partnering salon for internship and job placements. ”With what I have been trained and the learnings that I have received today, I think am fully ready for any job opportunity.” Said Mwikali

Jobs For Girls

The “Eat football, Sleep football, Drink Coca-Cola” is a campaign advert associated with Coca-Cola company way back in 1996, but two former Mrembo salon vocational training graduates Jennifer and Mary who are also graduates of Mrembo program, a program that addresses sexual health reproductive and rights issues amongst girls, are tweaking the advert in another style of their own, “Play football, Get empowered through football and Earn as a result of football initiative.” Equipped and wired with the right tools and information regarding hair and beauty, both practical and theoretical, financial and computer literacy that took them a couple of months, the girls were lucky to land job placements that awaited them at the exit gate of their graduation. “Am so delighted for the skills that I have received at Mrembo Salon. Am now in a position to live independently and support my younger siblings.” Said 21 years old Anyango.

Seminar pics for Vocational Training Girls
Seminar pics for Vocational Training Girls
Jobs for Girls
Jobs for Girls

The tail end of the month of July experienced a global celebration of the 10th anniversary of ‘Goal’ project initiated by standard chartered. With Mrembo program embedding ‘Goal’as part of its community engagement projects reaching out to girls, participants from various schools were not left behind in joining the global bandwagon to celebrate the anniversary by holding up signs with  #leadership Goal or Congratulations Goal. The celebration was also graced by facebook live session with several members of Liverpool Ladies Football Team through https://www.facebook.com/LFC ladies where participants were actively participating by asking questions and through https://twitter.com/goalgirlsglobal where tweets were made.

                                 New Recruits for Mrembo Vocational Training

Fresh from the programs and the communities, a new set of Mrembo salon vocational training candidates were recruited into Mrembo salon. This follows a successful graduation of their predecessors who spent 3 months of hair and beauty including financial and computer literacy lessons. While their predecessors are still working on internship and others still await internship and job placements, the new candidates will as well spend three months learning both practical and theoretical lessons on hair and beauty including financial and computer literacy lessons and business start-up lessons.

 

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Organization Information

Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​www.vijanaamanipamoja.org
Project Leader:
Nancy Waweru
Founder
Nairobi, Kenya

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