The Usalama Team
Patience Nadzua (standing in the front of the Usalama Team photo) is small in only one way: her physical stature. In every other way, she is larger than life. Although suffering from crippling physical infirmities, she doesn’t let anything stop her. She is a vibrant activist for girls in her community. She operates a sewing school in her mud hut, using treadle sewing machines because she has no electricity. Now she is part of the Usalama Center research team and has been traveling with the team to visit other rescue centers in the area.
The team has been very fortunate to have the help of Edidah Tumwebaze. She is an inspirational writer and educator, living in Mombasa. The nonprofit organization she heads—Rising Hope Foundation—also operates a rescue center for girls. Edidah has become a valuable mentor and has given generously of her time and expertise. With her help, the Usalama Center team has developed a set of benchmarks used to evaluate each rescue center visited by the team. These benchmarks include things like:
- What programs are available for girls?
- What skills are required for staff members?
- How does the center manage the process of safely releasing girls from the center?
- What role do local authorities play in the center?
- What are the major challenges faced by those who are running the center?
By knowing what to look for, gaining a better understanding of how rescue centers work, and consulting with knowledgable experts in the field, the Usalama Center team is better equipped to work with leaders in the community to identify the needs of local girls and their families as well as to explore how the Usalama Center can best meet those needs within the parameters of available resources.
You can join Patience and the rest of the team in advocating for at-risk girls by spreading the word and donating to the Usalama Center.