Learning about Linda Dada
In May, Kakenya’s Dream launched its extensive six-month Health and Leadership Training in an effort to teach more girls and boys in our community essential information as they approach and navigate through adolescence. The trainings provide resources on reproductive health and rights as well as the harmful effects of female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage. We train youth Mentor Trainers, many of whom are program alumnae, to deliver the curriculum in a fun and engaging manner. The Mentors offer their friendship and guidance to facilitate group discussion on gender-related inequalities from the girl-centric perspective. This peer-led approach allows participants to learn how to advocate for themselves and others, develop effective communication and leadership skills, and build relationships with adults in the community who can lend support without judgement or stigma.
We collaborate closely with the Ministry of Education in an effort to expand our programming across the region. More schools each year express an interest in participating in our trainings. In 2021, we have been hard at work expanding our program capacity to fifteen additional schools, an increase from ten the previous year, and in 2022, we plan to partner with twenty more schools.
The ongoing COVID pandemic has underscored the importance of health education. Over the course of the past year, we have witnessed an increase in the number of unplanned, teenage pregnancies in our communities. We, in response, created the Linda Dada (“Protect a Sister” in Swahili) campaign as an extension of our Health and Leadership Trainings to raise awareness of and reduce unplanned teen pregnancies by working with various stakeholders, including community leaders, parents, teachers, media, and nurses. The Linda Dada campaign provides critical sexual and reproductive health information, training on healthy interpersonal communication and relationships, as well as forums to have honest conversations around related topics traditionally seen as taboo, such as FGM and child marriage. To date, we have held a series of stakeholder meetings and have partnered with local media to launch an advocacy campaign which has reached over 325,000 people.
We remain excited about the potential of our revamped Health and Leadership Trainings and the Linda Dada campaign. We look forward to providing you more updates on both in the coming months and years!