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Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums

by SAFE SPACES ORGANIZATION AFRICA
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Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums
Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums

 

Covid 19 or corona has also affected Kenya and the Mathare slums where Safe Spaces operates. The country is in a lockdown, but this is not working effectively. People in the slums simply cannot stay at home, otherwise they will starve to death. So, they try to find daily jobs in town. The Ely area where they normally find homes to do some day jobs, is now closed. Restaurants that normally feed the very poor with food that is left over, are now closed. All in all, these are disturbing times.

Safe Spaces is there to support the community as much as we can. Safe Spaces has taken the task to create awareness about the appropriate measures that need to be taken to prevent covid to spread or people to get infected by it:

- we go door by door to talk to the community. we distribute antisceptic bars and soaps.

- we hang posters in the slums with instructions how to wash your hands. even if clean water is not always a given.

- we make masks and distribute them when available as much as we can

- we help the children with the home schooling tasks. we do this either in the community or in our new library at the Safe Spaces premises. we respect the rules of social distancing. it is extremely important for the children to keep up with the school work in order for them not to get behind.

- the transportation costs have increased tremendously for our girls as they have to pay now dubbel fare in the busses as only 1 out of 2 seats is available but needs to be paid. this is very costly at the moment.

Thank you for supporting us to make sure we all stay safe and can continue to build a future for our community.

 

Peninah Nthenya

Library for home schooling almost ready
Library for home schooling almost ready
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As we continue to report on our programs, we want to update you this time with one of our future pilot projects. Safe Spaces programs wants to tackle key areas identified by the World Health Organization that have serious consequences for female health, like malnutrition. 

As we are trying to expand and get more girls to play in our basketball teams and participate in competitions to win educational scholarships, we came to realize that some girls are at a disadvantage from early on, due to the lack of proper food in the first years of their life. This may affect their body growth and cause stunting, disqualifying them for eligibility in a high-school basketball team. 

 Many families in the slums do not have the means to buy enough food for themselves and their children. Eating healthy and nutritious food on a daily basis is a luxury. The symptoms of malnutrition, such as small stature or lethargy (anaemia), are often misunderstood in the girls’ families. Adequate nutrition is especially critical for women: it wreaks havoc on their own health, and also on their children’s.   

 Our objective is to fight malnutrition through regular health checks of weight, height, and BMI, coupled with nourishing meals to help our basketball team players and peer educators grow better, built muscle tone and improve their general level of health. This is a new pilot project, which we see as a stepping stone to better sports performance and general well-being.

We hope to establish the metrics we need; that’s why we want to hire a visiting nurse and buy measuring equipment for recording the Height and Weight of our initial pilot group participants as well as calculating the BMI and z-scores. We want to know how many of our girls deviate from the standard growth norm of the Kenyan population and organize the support for the most severe cases.

  We want to supplement this with an awareness campaign: the nurse will also provide dietary advice, not only to our basketball players and our peer educators (pilot group), but also to the mothers. Outreach to the parents and the community is essential to built the awareness about the importance of proper nutrition. This will of course take into account the economical means and the cultural food traditions.  

You can help us as always by donating to this pilot project. Together with our supporters, we hope to make our girls at Safe Spaces healthier and better able to make the right food choices, to sustain themselves and their families in the future.

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Coming up this December: Graduation from Secondary School. But what’s next?

 

Safe Spaces Nairobi is very proud to announce that right now, 15 Safe Spaces girls are taking their KCSE examinations. The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education marks the completion of 4 years of High School and at the same time is the entrance requirement for Kenyan universities. 15 of our talented girls are lining up to prepare and pass the national exam, opening the way to college education. 

The high school candidates are tested in 7 subjects: 3 compulsory ones, English, Swahili, and Mathematics. Plus a choice of at least 2 subjects in Sciences, 1 in Humanities and 1a so called practical or technical subject like a foreign language (Arabic, French, German), music, art, computer skills.  

The KCSE examinations usually start on October 22 and end in late November. From December on, the exam is graded and the results are released at the end of the month. The passing mark is grade C+. This examination is very important because a good grade guarantees a place in one of the public or private universities in the country. So this exam has a major impact on a girl’s future career. 

Our 15 girls have worked hard to prepare the exams. Many among them have the potential to become university students. Unfortunately, Safe Spaces cannot guaranty their educational future, as the organization doesn’t have the necessary funds to finance these promising girls’ higher education. 

Here are the stories of 5 of our brightest girls who want nothing more than pursue their education. They dream of becoming a teacher, a business woman, a musician, a nurse, so that they can get a job and have a better future. They have ambition and what it takes to succeed. But no money to pay for the university fees. 

                                             

My name is Millicent, I am 18 years old, I was born and raised in the Kayole slums. I am the first born of six children. My father is a garbage collector and my mother a housewife. We have always lived from hand to mouth as my father’s income has never been sufficient to support the family. I joined Safe Spaces when I was in primary school and 12 years old. Safe Spaces helped me better my life and believe more in myself despite the everyday challenges I face in the slum. Safe Spaces helped me through high school and I have always been a good performer. I will be doing my KCSE this November. I hope that I will excel so that I can go to Kenyatta University to get a degree in teacher training as I have always dreamt of becoming a teacher. I hope that Safe Spaces will help me reach my goal.

 

My name is Laura, I am 17 years old, I was born and raised in the Mathare slums. I am the second born of two children. I lost my father in a road accident and I have been living with my mother who is a casual laborer. I joined Safe Spaces in 2011 while in primary school and I have been an active member of Safe Spaces till date. I got a high school scholarship from Safe Spaces and joined a secondary school where I will be doing my final exams in 2019. After high school, I have always dreamt of studying music at a technical university in Kenya and hope that Safe Spaces will make my dream come true. 

                                             

My name is Florence, I am 18 years old, I was born and raised in the Mathare slums. I am an only child. I was orphaned at the age of 6 after my parents were poisoned by unknown people; I have been living with my aunt who is a hawker. I joined Safe Spaces in 2010 and I have been an active member since then. When I finished primary school, my aunt was not able to cater for my high school education and Safe Spaces offered me a 4-year scholarship to High School. I am a very bright student who has the urge to be successful. I will be doing my final exams this year and I hope to pass and join the university of Nairobi to major in Education and Arts.

                                             

My name is Euphy, I am 18 years old and I was born and raised in the Kayole slums. I am the youngest of four children. I was raised by my father, a bus driver. My mother died while giving birth to me and I never knew her. Growing up with my father was never easy because he did not really care for us. When I was 7 years old, he remarried and my stepmother never loved us. When my father was not around, she would not give us food and she at times beat us and lock us out of the house. After years of hardship my older brother got a job in the slums and I moved in with him, though his income was never enough. At least I had peace being away from my step mom. In 2010 our father died in a road accident. In 2011, I heard about Safe Spaces from a friend and ever since Safe Spaces has always been my second home. After primary school, I never thought I would go to high school but Safe Spaces awarded me a four-year scholarship at a nearby secondary school. I will be doing my final KCSE exams this year and I am very hopeful that I will do well. I hope to go to university and study for a business management degree because business has always been my passion.  

                       

My name is Cecile, I am 18 years old, I was born and raised in Soweto, Kayole slums. I live with my parents, but they are both crippled, they sell sweets in the streets and don’t make enough money to support me and my 4 siblings. I joined Safe Spaces when I was 9 years old and got sponsored at primary school. Safe Spaces has had a major impact on my life ever since. After primary school, I got a Safe Spaces scholarship to join secondary school. My motto in life is that hard work pays. I have been putting more work and effort to my studies and I am very hopeful to pass my final exams which I will be doing this year. I wish to join the Kenya medical training college and study medicine and become a nurse.

 

How to make their dream come true?

Safe Spaces is looking for private sponsors who would agree to take on the commitment to support one individual girl. You can also form a group of sponsors with your friends of family members, to spread the costs. Imagine what that would mean for each girl, to have the chance to study in higher education and reach her goal. That would really be a ticket out of the slums!

At Safe Spaces, we already have private sponsors who support university girls for 4 to 5 years. Becoming a sponsor has its tax benefits. If you want to know more, please contact us at : info@safespaces-nairobi.org.

Our girls are super motivated, not afraid of the challenge. We are extremely proud of them because of what they already achieved with their previous scholarships to the various high schools, through hard work and basketball trainings. They just need someone to help make it happen!

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Reproductive Health Training And Peer Educators

Introducing Girls Choice, an interactive board game, to help Peer Educators lead real discussions on personal choices and Reproductive Health.

Reproductive health training is the cornerstone of the Safe Spaces Program. Female empowerment starts with knowing how girls and young women's bodies work. The program focuses on equipping girls with age-appropriate factual knowledge on reproductive health, addressing myths and stereotypes around menstruation, pregnancy, sexual health and personal safety.Research shows the importance of teaching girls to manage their menstruation, avoid pregnancy and stay in school. For each year that a girl stays in school, her first pregnancy is delayed by at least one year and her ability to earn her own income increases also. If a girl can earn her own income she is truly empowered!

Recently, we introduced our Peer Educators to the board game called Girls Choice. The introduction was a great success and the Peer Educators were so enthusiast that they quickly incorporated the game into their  reproductive health program. There are presently 10 Peer Educators, ages 16-18, who lead weekly reproductive health sessions for Safe Spaces girls afterschool.

Girls Choice, a cross between the games Trivial Pursuit and Truth or Dare. It is designed to help girls obtain knowledge in a new & effective & fun way. The use of this game helps encourage more participation by the students. When a Peer Educator asks her students  “tough” & / or “embarrassing” questions, the students usually do not feel comfortable to offer honest answers. When the game asks the questions, there is less taboo and more girls open up and speak the truth. 

Sometimes the game asks the participants to “Act Out Your Answer.” This is especially effective, as the acting out leads to a lot of laughter, tearing down barriers and bonding develops between the girls. It creates a safe environment where they can express themselves & trust others.

Findings:

-Peer Educators loved the FUN brought by the game to a subject which some students find difficult or embarrassing.

-The Game generates discussion: As one or more girls open up, it gives others the encouragement to do the same.

-“Are there other games on other subjects”? Peer Educators are investigating whether similar tools are available on subjects such as: Heath, Hygiene, Nutrition & Leadership Skills.

 Next Steps:

Girls Choice has been implemented in our after school programs. As we only have three board game sets, we are sharing the games on a rotating basis. We hope to obtain funding to purchase additional game sets to be used by each of our Peer Educators.

Girls Choice is a simple tool, which is very effective and produces positive results!

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By the water
By the water

Hellen is one of the many alumni of the Safe Spaces in Nairobi, a non-profit organization for underprivileged girls in the Eastland slums. Hellen has had a passion for photography ever since she was introduced to it. When Hellen first came to Safe Spaces, in 2013, she was living and working on a dumpsite. Her mother was ill, and she was vulnerable for violence and sexual abuse. She had no secondary education, and therefore had no bright expectations for her future.

When she got involved with Safe Spaces, she seemed so thankful and you could clearly see a light coming back into her eyes. Once Hellen joined, she quickly learnt basic important facts about the female body and also some software skills. We encouraged her to pursue her passion of photography, to express herself and the harsh realities of growing up and living in the Eastland slums. Her self-esteem started to grow and she became stronger while developing her skills for photography and filming. In the meantime, she developed herself as a creative and talented photographer. Safe Spaces supplied her with the necessary equipment and she started capturing the daily lives in the Eastland slums. Below are some of her pictures that she took during her time at Safe Spaces.  

Not long after, a private media company was looking for a creative photographer. An opportunity struck and Safe Spaces recommended Hellen, which led to them hiring her immediately. The job was a success and she loved it! Her newly increased income gave her the possibility to take care of her mother and pay the necessary medical bills. She moved out of the Eastland slums into a more high-end residential area. In 2016 she even got promoted to a supervisory position for this media company.     

Now Hellen is happily married and ready to start a family of her own. She still remembers her life in the slum and shows a lot of gratitude towards Safe Spaces. 

Hellen’s story is one of many, many girls who have come to Safe Spaces with very no education and a very grim outlook on life.

Safe Spaces was founded by Peninah Nthenya Musyimi, a strong empowered women who also grew up in the Eastland slums. Her goal is to engage, educate and empower these young women in the Nairobi slums. She has reached out to many girls, and plans to continue to do so until all futures are secured.  

Neighborhood clinic
Neighborhood clinic
In search of...
In search of...
Looking up
Looking up
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Organization Information

SAFE SPACES ORGANIZATION AFRICA

Location: NAIROBI - Kenya
Website:
Project Leader:
PENINAH MUSYIMI
Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya
$38,903 raised of $45,000 goal
 
730 donations
$6,097 to go
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