Among the 75% of Nairobi's population that live in slum conditions, young women continue to be the most severely affected by the poverty, violence and systematic exclusion. Beyond facing discrimination in health, education, nutrition and labour, young women are burdened with most family and household management. Social and economic vulnerabilities put girls at serious risk of forced early marriage, prostitution, early pregnancy, HIV, physical and sexual exploitation.
Safe Spaces organizes basketball, yoga, dance and weekly discussion sessions facilitated by young women leaders in the programs. They talk specifically about the various issues that affect young females in the slums. Basketball is used as a platform to motivate the girls in the slums to help overcome the obstacles they face on a daily basis. Sports helps the girls gain confidence in their own abilities and teaches them how to empower themselves despite being a girl.
Girls create activities based on their strengths either in music, a certain game, theater, photography, poetry or dancing. Once her strength is identified, a girl teaches others how it is done, thus encouraging practice of leadership and building self-esteem. Girls learn basic first aid skills and hygiene practices which they then share with their families, friends and neighbors. Each girl who is trained, and is very excited about her new skills, goes out and eagerly shows others.
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