Improving lives of 1000 girls in Nairobi's slums

by Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP)

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 ladies where participants were actively participating by asking questions and through 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.

The Rapid Response Team (RRT) led by coach Liz who also doubles up as a counselor was called to duty when a rape case was reported to their attention a couple of years ago. The rape that took place in Kiambio slum was against a 10 year old Kaleche (Not her real name) by a 40 year old man.The Rapid Response Team swung into action by reporting the matter to the police alongside the hospital results and later pushing the matter to the corridors of justice. After a long spell of time following up with the case and the wheels of justice in motion, finally the jury was out on 3rd of June and the 48 year old man was convicted to 18 years in prison. Despite the ever increasing number of rape cases spreading in Kiambio slums and its environ, perpetrated by criminals painting a grim picture, heightening the fear to the girls and young women, the RRT have been stemming up their presence by availing hotline numbers making referrals and supporting young girls against rape cases and community at large against gender based violence.

Echoing VAP’s vision of envisioning a society that is socially, healthy and economically empowered, VAP Mrembo girls graduates were part of the newly recruited candidates passionate about taking pastry and baking as their future career. As part of VAP’s vocational training, the candidates will as well receive trainings on computer classes and financial literacy as a whole package and have a hands-on experience working as interns at M-Food restaurant. Like the other graduates of Mrembo salon, another facet of vocational training focusing on hair and beauty, VAP will seek partnership with well-established restaurants in search of employment opportunities for the pastry and baking graduates. The pastry and baking course is expected to run for 3 months and thereafter another recruitment is conducted. For the very first time both Mrembo salon, pastry and baking vocational training candidates will participate in the Mrembo Economic Empowerment Trade fair event (MEET) scheduled in December to showcase their employability prowess to the community and invited guests who would mainly consist of existing and potential employers from various salon and restaurants who have agreed to integrate VAP’s vocational training graduates including candidates with intellectual and developmental disability as part of their businesses’ corporate social responsibility. “Am looking forward to utilize my skills that would make me open my own cafeteria.” Said 18 year old, Caroline.

Global Giving UK fundraising and communication workshop

Led by the Chief Executive Officer, Eleanor Harrison Global Giving UK conducted a one day fundraising and communication workshop to its existing partners in Kenya. Over 30 organizations drawn from different parts of Kenya including VAP attended the workshop whose topics included: crowd funding techniques, donor retention, compelling progress reports, maximizing Global Giving rewards and other portals on global giving UK fundraising platform.VAP has been actively involved on global giving online fundraising platforms, attending various online training webinars that have resulted into a seal of approval from Global Giving towards gaining  multiple partnerships and direct linkage to corporates, individuals, foundations and skilled volunteers who have been of massive contribution to VAP’s wellbeing and operation.

With the dust of a historic qualification of Kenya’s national women football team to play in the Africa cup of nations for the first time later in the year 2016 not settled down, VAP stirred up the air by organizing a girls Kick N Test VCT tournament with an aim of making and maintaining the ‘historic trend’ by testing more girls and young women. Inspired by the stellar performance of their national women football team a total of thirty teams comprised of girls and young women came from all the walks and townships of Nairobi to put their best feet forward on the pitch and their best finger off the pitch for testing purposes. As part of VAP’s aim and responsibility to change the behaviors of Kenyan youth with an ultimate goal of a reduced HIV infection rate, the tournament was characterized with lots of activities despite football. Such activities included HIV testing for participating teams, fans, community members and the continuous pilot trials on football and oral self-testing in our communities targeting individuals over 14 years of age. For the first time in the history of Kick ‘N’ Test VCT football tournament, the event witnessed a huge turnout of teams that resulted into a high number of individuals getting to know their HIV status that forced the event to end up later in the evening and with the health service providers running out of testing equipments

                          Most Tested Team

They may had not put up a fantastic footwork on the pitch that could have allowed them to win a trophy but Mathare Girls football club  were very much spirited in seeking solace by doing more of  finger work and mobilizing their football mates and their supporters to get tested and gain more points off the pitch. Their efforts were not in vain as their faces were painted with smiles as they walked out with a trophy of the most tested team."Am happy to know my hiv status."Said Jackline from Golden stars football club.

Congrats to three Mrembo girls: Mary, Serian and Pauline for emerging winners of the Global Early Adolescent Study (GEAS) youth voices video contest. Their video and quotes: Football defines my adolescenceMy Discovery journey and ‘My path to struggles’ were incorporated into a project for the Global Early Adolescent study.
The GEAS is focused on various countries around the globe with the goal of understanding the forces that shape girls and boys behaviors, the messages that young people get and the consequences of those messages. The girls were invited to create and share short videos to tell their stories, about how girls learn to “be women” and what it means to become adolescents in their contexts and cultures. Stories can be funny, emotional, sad or exciting. The videos can show relationships with family school, friends, or other important people in life.

Again,many thanks to all the donors who have been generously contributing towards supporting our girls via Global Giving..It's because of people like you that our girls are shinning...


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Organization Information

Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Nancy Waweru
Nairobi, Kenya

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