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
Girls at Safe Spaces
Girls at Safe Spaces

Dear supporter of Safe Spaces,

 

This period of the year makes you reflect on what has happened, what you have achieved, what you have encountered and experienced.

The predominant feeling I have is a huge grateful feeling for people like yourself you are supporting us. The financial support you provide Safe Spaces also translates in a moral support. It keeps us going, it gives us the feeling that we are not alone and that we are truly supported by others.

In this past year, we have provided all the girls with hygiëne kits: making sure they can keep their teeth healthy, sanitary towels, soap and underwear. But this year we also provided them with desinfection soap and other protective materials because of covid 19. We make our community constantly aware of how to protect oneself against an infection with covid 19.

In the past year where we also lived a lockdown for the better part of the year, we managed to create an online library and a physical space for our girls to do their schoolwork and follow online classes. In the morning we welcome the girls who attend primary school and in the afternoon the girls of secondary school come in. We allow 20 girls at the same time, the space caters for many more but we take our covid protections seriously. This library is a quiet place where the girls can study, concentrate on their schoolwork and make sure they are able to complete their year. We help them with their classes and their homework.

In these times where schools are closed, the girls are at home in the slums which is not a safe space. Teenage pregnancies, domestic violence and other challenges occur on a daily basis. We are coaching the girls more than ever to prevent teenage pregnancies, guide them in these times, talk to their parents, and so forth. This way we try to empower the girls and guide them through these sometimes tense times. We offer them a safe space at our organisation during the day and on weekends.

For the parents of the girls it is even more difficult now than it already was before to provide for the family. Day jobs are rare now, restaurants are closed and these provided the more deprived families with leftover food. We provide food for the most deprived families as much as we can.

The whole team of Safe Spaces, including myself, would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your (ongoing) support this year. It truly makes all the difference. It gives us financial stability and it makes sure we can better forecast our budget. And as I mentioned before, it gives us a huge moral support. 

If you decide to support us again in 2021, I thank you very much in advance. It is more than appreciated and it will allow us to empower girls in the Mathare slums and guide them on their path to an financially independent future outside the slums.  

 

Wishing you a nice holiday season,

stay safe, stay healthy,

 

Peninan Nthenya Musyimi

On behalf of the entire Safe Spaces team

The digital library at Safe Spaces
The digital library at Safe Spaces
Staff member helping out one of the girls
Staff member helping out one of the girls
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SAFE SPACES STRATEGIC RESPONSE AGAINST CORONA VIRUS

Background to the problem

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a respiratory infectious disease that causes illness ranging from common cold, middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) to server acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV). 30 million cases and over 500,00 deaths have been reported globally. The government of Kenya has committed itself to fighting the virus through mass testing, isolation, treatments, closing schools, placing curfews and closing borders. The measures have negative socio-economic impacts specifically, to the urban marginalized girls and women living in the informal settlements. Many young women have lost their informal jobs and business, households are currently facing acute shortage of food, there have been reported cases of domestic violence and stigma. Girls that are not going to school are being exposed to child labor, negative peer influence, drug abuse, early sex and unwanted pregnancies. 

Intervention

Safe Spaces a Community Based organization that empowers and advocates for girls and women rights in the slums of mathare has come up with strategic responses to mitigate the adverse effects of corona virus. Our goal during this pandemic are to ensure that there is zero hunger, continuity of quality education to girls, decent work for women and good health and well being of households in Mathare slum.  Our objectives in this pandemic include Creating awareness and sensitizing over 300 households on the Public health measures against corona virus. Distributing of sanitization products to 1200 people living in Mathare slum, Provision of food to 150 needy households, providing a working Space and jobs to 3 young women, trainings on life skills and provision of resources for girls to study when they are home.

Key milestones in programs/projects

SDG 1 Zero hunger

       I.          150 needy households living in Mathare slum have been supplied with relief foods

      II.          Safe Spaces community farm has 72 circular gardens that provide bi-weekly 216 kgs of fresh vegetables supplied to 300 households in Mathare

SDG 3 Good Health and well being

       I.          Safe Spaces has created awareness and sensitized 300 households in Mathare slum on the Public Health measures against corona virus

      II.          Safe Spaces Organization has distributed 1200 hundred face mask and antiseptic soap to 300 households in Mathare.

    III.          Safe Spaces has training of Trainers for Peer educators on the Public health measures against Corona Virus

 

 

 

SDG 4 Quality Education

       I.          Safe Spaces Has launched a Digital Library in the Slums of Mathare where over 1200 girls will be accessing educational materials virtually

      II.          Safe Spaces selected 11 girls who are currently undergoing a course on Photography. The trainings are being done by Lensational.

SDG 8 Decent Work and economic growth

       I.          Safe Spaces Has provided 3 women with tailoring skills a contract of 3 months Produce and sell over 1200 Face mask

     II.          Safe Spaces has provided casual Jobs to 10 disabled women living in the slums of Mathare. Their responsibilities involve packaging of food to household packs.

 

Next Steps

Safe Spaces is planning to resume its school and holiday programs adhering to strict social distancing and government directives. Additionally, Safe Spaces is planning to launch its computer literacy trainings, and continue its basketball program activities in October.

 

The digital library at Safe Spaces
The digital library at Safe Spaces
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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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Organization Information

SAFE SPACES ORGANIZATION AFRICA

Location: NAIROBI - Kenya
Website:
Project Leader:
PENINAH MUSYIMI
Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya
$41,666 raised of $45,000 goal
 
780 donations
$3,334 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG7641

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