The Binti Pamoja Center was honored by the recent visit of Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. vice president Joe Biden. On June 8th, 2010, Dr. Biden visited Kibera to learn more about the center and its programming. She spent time with the Binti Pamoja girls and took a tour of Kibera led by CFK staff. Originally scheduled for a short walk down the main street in Gatwekera village, at the last minute the group went deeper to visit the home of Aaliyah, a Binti alumni leader and first-class tour guide. Many thanks to the Bidens for their visit to our community!
The Center creates and provides a safe space for adolescent girls in Kibera, which is otherwise a very dangerous environment for this demographic. Binti Pamoja has helped girls explore the issues that are prevalent in their daily lives: violence against women, rape, prostitution, HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation, poverty, sexual abuse, unequal access to education, lack of reproductive health care and information, and demanding domestic responsibilities. The Center uses photography, drama, writing, and group discussion to investigate such issues in depth, allowing the girls to confront these issues and learn technical information about reproductive health and financial literacy. The Center hosts monthly speakers and field trips, community service projects, family events, and peer education programs designed to further empower the girls and provide an outlet for them to educate their communities through drama, a newsletter, and youth forums.
Binti Pamoja has held group counseling with the girls to discuss the emotional, physical and psychological aftermath of the post-election violence. The Center has also held several team building and cooperation events to rebuild bonds and friendship across ethnic lines. Binti Pamoja organized a peace concert called "Let's Give Peace a Chance" and has also included the CFK peace initiative 'Jamii Ya Kibera' at its family event.
The Safe Spaces network continues to expand, now comprising over 600 girls ages 11 to 18 in the Kibera community. Educational and artistic activities are designed to give invaluable support to all Binti Pamoja program participants.