Empowering Girls in Kibera

by Carolina for Kibera, Inc.
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
Empowering Girls in Kibera
International Womens Day
International Womens Day

Young women in Kibera are more likely to face some of the world’s most urgent challenges – early marriage, lack of education, sexual violence, FGM – that can often prevent them from fulfilling their potential. Your contribution to the Binti Pamoja Core Program was an investment in the next generation of female leaders. YOU ensured young women in Kibera continued to have access to role models and safe spaces for receiving support, building confidence, and developing as young leaders in the community; leaders like Sumaiya.

As a Binti Pamoja Safe Space leader and mentor, Sumaiya relishes the opportunity to set a positive example. “Binti is my foundation for lots of things – acting, journalism, social advocacy,” she shared. Sumaiya is a firm believer in the idea that providing spaces for girls to tell their stories and learn about their rights empowers them to pursue their dreams and helps keep them safe. She explains, “Sexual and reproductive health is not talked about normally. No one is that keen to explain anything.” Through her leadership, Sumaiya is helping to both educate and usher in a new generation of empowered girls in Kibera.

Your support over the years has fueled our work to connect girls and young women in poverty to knowledge, essential healthcare, and opportunities to succeed and prosper. You helped us reach our goal! Most exciting of all, we recently completed construction of a new 3-story center and safe space for girls in Kibera. The new building expands our space for girls - awesome, right? Yes! However, we still need your support to ensure the expansion of our programs. That's why we've launched a new project with GlobalGiving: Empowering Girls in Kibera: Binti Pamoja.

In solidarity with International Women’s Day, we invite you to join this new empowerment project with Binti Pamoja. By investing in the adolescent girl, YOU are helping to secure a positive future for Sumaiya, for girls and young women in Kibera, and beyond. 

Help ensure this progress continues! Sign up for a monthly recurring donation today. Donate Now.

Thank you for being a catalyst for change in Kibera.

With appreciation,

Krista and the whole team at CFK

Tuendelee Pamoja. Progress Together.

 

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Mueni is not one to back down from a challenge. When she heard from friends about the Queen's Young Leaders Programme, a one-year program that recognizes exceptional young leaders from countries of the British Commonwealth, she decided to apply despite knowing she faced some heavy competition. “I was optimistic when applying,” she explains, “though I knew that it’s very competitive because many young leaders from Commonwealth countries bring amazing things.” And her reaction to hearing that she won the award? “I couldn’t believe it,” she says, smiling. “Actually I was in tears—tears of joy.”

Mueni brings many amazing skills, perspectives, and experiences as well. Born and raised in Kibera, Mueni overcame many hardships to get where she is today. She is currently studying to become a teacher, having just finished the prerequisite 1-year certificate course before starting her official degree in education. She is also the Field Coordinator for the girls’ teams in the Sports Association, serving as an as a personal mentor for many. On top of this, she continues to referee soccer matches and lead trainings for teams.

Mueni began participating in CFK’s programs from a very young age, as a young soccer player in CFK’s Champions League. She appreciated that sports kept her active and busy, and she loved spending time with her teammates. Shortly thereafter, she joined Daughters United for many of the same reasons. Both programs gave her an opportunity to develop her talents as an athlete, friend, mentor, and leader.

These qualities are all things she hopes to build upon through the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. The award package is rich with content on mentorship and networking. Mueni will attend an online leadership course called “Leading Change,” taught by faculty at the University of Cambridge. Perhaps the most exciting part is the 1-week, all-expenses paid residency program in the UK, where Mueni will be presented her award from a highly esteemed figure. “We will receive an award from Her Majesty the Queen,” she announces, and it seems like she still can’t believe it. “I’m so happy and honored to meet Her Majesty. I’m so nervous. I can’t wait to meet her.”

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This past August, we were honored and privileged to welcome the leadership team from WomanCare Global to our office in Kibera! CEO Saundra Pelletier and her team visited CFK in Kenya in order to get a sense of what kinds of activities our Binti Pamoja girls program conducts, and how those same activities extend across all of our programs. During their visit, they got a chance to see the Binti Pamoja Girls Center, our state-of-the-art Tabitha Medical Clinic, the Lishe Bora Mtaani Nutrition Center, and the CFK Main office, where they met with key staff members and partners.

WomanCare Global is an international organization dedicated to meeting the unmet demand for family planning in countries where medicine and proper health information is scarce. They take a particular interest in reproductive health solutions for women and girls around the world, including Kenya, and have brought new options to women in 100 different countries. We are happy and proud to associate with them, especially since our new initiative to bring proper health information to women of childbearing age and children under 5 fits in quite nicely with their mission. We look forward to future opportunities to partner and repeated visits to Kibera!

 

(Photos courtesy of Jerry Riley - Nairobi)

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Every year on May 28th, women all over the world celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day. Because the menstrual cycle is so common, it might sound odd to have a day dedicated to it. However, in many areas, including the Kibera slum, menstruation is considered taboo or shameful. As a result, many myths about menstruation arise, and girls learn incorrect things about their health.

One of the goals of CFK’s Daughters United program is to teach girls accurate and reliable health information in a variety of areas, including sexual and reproductive health. This month, our target was to reach out to 600 girls in informal schools across Kibera. Throughout the month of May, we held 6 sessions on menstruation hygiene, each of which had 100 girls participate. We invited an external speaker who taught them about menstruation in depth. The girls were also trained on how to use sanitary towels, which we provided for them free of charge.

It is very important to train young adolescent girls on the importance of maintaining hygiene during menstruation. A lack of good hygiene leads to infections and at times affects their performance in school and their social lives. It is also important to teach adolescent girls about themselves, as knowledge and confidence build their self-esteem. With this knowledge about their menstrual cycles, they have nothing to fear in terms of embarrassment from a completely natural process. Instead, they can focus their efforts on their education, confidence, and long-term goals.

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Nafsi Acrobats
Nafsi Acrobats

Yesterday was International Women's Day! In celebration of women worldwide, we wanted to bring you the following story about how Lydia became an acrobat.

Lydia, 16, found out about Carolina for Kibera’s Daughters United program (Binti Pamoja) through her best friend, who already regularly attended meetings. Having grown up in Kibera in a single-parent household, she had been longing for a place where she could meet friends apart from her siblings - specifically girls.

She quickly discovered and appreciated the sense of community she felt with the other girls in her group. “I like that Binti helps girls to overcome some of the challenges they face in the slum, such as violence, early marriage, and drug abuse, which are really affecting young girls in Kibera.” The program’s activities also help girls to identify and practice their different talents, including creative writing, photography, and—most importantly for Lydia—dance.

Lydia enjoys the program’s dancing sessions more than any other aspect of Daughters United meetings. But she had never dreamed of doing something as daring and unique as acrobatics. At one of these dancing sessions, a representative of Nafsi Africa Acrobats gave a spectacular presentation. Lydia immediately found the sport intriguing and exciting. The representative also took an interest in Lydia, hand-picking her to train with a team from Nafsi.

As Lydia practiced, she improved greatly; before long, Nafsi invited her to Copenhagen, Denmark to perform last December! Rather than being strictly a competition, the event functioned as a cultural exchange, bringing together dancers and acrobats from all over the world to share their heritage, culture, and distinct styles of dance, song, and acrobatics. The last day included a competition with participants from other countries, and Lydia’s group emerged the winners!

Through Daughters United, Lydia discovered her passion for acrobatics, which she plans to continue throughout college and the rest of her life. Perhaps one day, another aspiring acrobat will follow in her footsteps.

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Organization Information

Carolina for Kibera, Inc.

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Beth-Ann Kutchma
Administrative and Events Coordinator
Chapel Hill, NC United States

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