A total of 20 girls from Mrembo project gathered together for the first Girl Talk Forum (GTF) that was scheduled at Kiambui grounds. The forum was officially opened by the Mrembo project officer, Nancy Waweru who expressed welcoming remarks to all the attendees. Also to officially open the forum was Christine Adhiambo.”This is a great occasion that I have been looking forward to learn, network and exchange ideas and stories, especially regarding reproductive issues that are very critical towards our lives as girls. It makes me feel complete and ready to protect my future and girlhood life as I grow up, thanks for all the donors and supporters who have turned this into a reality.” Said 13year old Christine Adhiambo, a program beneficiary.
The forum created some group discussions and questionnaires to all the participants who also included girls from the neighbouring slum areas who converged to this great opportunity of their life. Group were engaged in various topics that allowed them to explore issues relating to reproductive health and gained the skills necessary to lead pro-active lives. These topics included critical thinking, communication, self-esteem, and decision making amongst others. The forum required active participation and created a team-based environment in which participants comfortably shared their feelings, beliefs and ideas about their sexual risks as young girls. One of the major issue talked about which is more prevalent in slum areas is the relationship of older men who lure young girls/school girls to have sex with them. “When I was 12 years old and still in grade 2, I came face to face with the ordeal! I was approached by a 50 year old man who had a pack of candies. He wanted me to follow him to his house and promised to give me the candies once we sleep together, but with my immature brains I had already read his minds and I run so fast to our home.'Said one of the girls..
The one day forum was very much educational and more informative to all the participants. “This has been an eye opener not only to me but to many of us who have gathered here! and even those who couldn’t manage to make, we believe that for us who have attended, we will go out and spread out the information we have learnt to our peers and the entire community that we serve. We would wish to have more of this forum in the future and have the days extended to 2/3 so that we can fully acquire more information and discussions.” Said one of the mrembo girls.
The Mrembo project is highly appreciating its donors for making this forum a big success and is requesting for more donations to arrange more forums of this nature in the future. In the meantime, we welcome any feedback from our extinguished donors because this is the only way to make us move forward. We THANK YOU so much!!