Educate & Empower 1200 Girls in the Nairobi Slums

by SAFE SPACES ORGANIZATION AFRICA
Cynthia
Cynthia

"He threw us out of the door like garbage and closed the door behind us with a big bang.it was at 2pm during the day.My younger sister broke her arm and i was bleeding on my foreheard from the impact of hitting the ground.I screamed loudly but no one was around at that time to rescue us.My sister was crying hysterically from the pain of the broken arm.I was curious of what was happening with my mum inside and i peeped through the hole on the door and what i saw took my breath away.My dad tied a rope around her neck and was attaching the rope on the roof,she was unconcious.I ran around shouting to everyone that my mum was dying and luckily people gathered on time before everything went silent..."

Cynthia 16 years

"I was so terrified the first day i had my periods.No one had ever alerted me of the time and what i would do when i started bleeding.I didnt know how to stop the bleeding.I isolated myself from everyone and tried to use the different rags in our home.What would my mum think of me if i told her i was bleeding? it was 4 dark days in my life''

Euphy 15yrs

"Dont dare touch my car,the work of women is to cook and clean the house,a woman touching my car is a big curse in our community so please keep off"a client furiously told Beth at the Automechanics Garage.I thought i had chosen the wrong trade at some point but something within me kept on telling me keep doing it and i completed my course"

Beth 25yrs.

Cynthia was brought to safe spaces programme 3 years ago by the area chief.She is now in High school under safe spaces scholarship and is a peer eductor in the programme.Her sister is also a member of safe spaces programme but her mother is in mental hospital after the brutal domestic violence.Her father is serving life sentence in jail.Her dream is to become a Doctor.

Euphy joined safe spaces through our networking organizations and has been going through sexual reproductive health training and awareness for the past 4 years and she also a High school student under safe spaces Scholarship.She is incharge of teaching the other girls in her school on Menstrual issues,self esteem and she is also a peer educator.Her dream is to become a Pilot.

Beth is Working in Nakuru now as the only female mechanic in a garage of 30 men.She has relocated there and started her new life.What is so amazing is that the client who furiously attacked her during her training time is the co-owner of the garage she is working  in.She does repairs,sales and service.

Dear Donors,all this amazing life transforming opportunities happen because of your generous,selfless support and love for others all over the world.All these dreams look real when you hold our hands.We are so blessed as safe spaces to have you in our lives.Life is so different in different parts of the world,some things other people may never understand but you still find space in your hearts for us.Enjoy the little things in life for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.Thank you so much.

girls in computer class
girls in computer class
happy to receive tooth brushes and sanitary pads
happy to receive tooth brushes and sanitary pads
peer education session
peer education session
Pep talk before basketball scholarship tryouts
Pep talk before basketball scholarship tryouts

10 more girls will start school in January thanks to Safe Spaces basketball program 

Earlier this month, ten Safe Spaces girls traveled to Mombasa with Peninah to try out for high school basketball scholarships. All ten girls made the team and will receive a four year high school basketball scholarship at a renowned boarding school in Kenya. The girls will live at the boarding school and return home during school holidays. We are so proud of our girls!
 
Scholarship recipient, Jolly, shared her story: 

"This is the opportunity I have always dreamed of - getting education in a better environment and far away from the slums. I thank Safe Spaces for giving us this platform so that people from all over the world can know that we are all here and we can be seen as people who have something to offer to others. I will use this opportunity to reach to my dream of being a surgeon. This is just the beginning."

We don't want to stop at 10 more girls in school. Together let's put another 10 girls in school. Together let's give more girls an opportunity to participate in our basketball camps. Together let's give more girls the opportunity to grown, learn and develop into strong and independent women. Together let's #EducateEngageEmpower.

There are a few more days to support our #YearEndGiving campaign on Global Giving! All new recurring donations will be matched by 200% in April 2017. Thank you for your support. 

A Holiday Message from Peninah

Our supporters mean so much to me. Each of you support us, not for money, not for fame and not for any personal gain, but for love for fellow people.Your helping hand and your generous heart is something that money cannot buy.

It's not the medals worn with pride, but just the feeling deep inside of compassion for others. It's the feeling that you have been part of making a difference to people's lives far and near.

That's what makes you special to us.

Happy Holidays and a healthy New Year in 2017.

Safe Spaces basketball camp
Safe Spaces basketball camp
Safe Spaces basketball team
Safe Spaces basketball team

Links:

girls ahppy after saturday lifeskills session
girls ahppy after saturday lifeskills session

"Coming from a polygamous family of 15 siblings was the worst nightmare in my life.My dad abandoned us in Mathare slums after marrying the second wife and life became hard for me my siblings and my mum who was then a house wife.We are 8 from my mum and am the 5th born.Getting daily bread and neccesities became a challenge as my mum was jobless and depressed.We tried to reach out to our dad but there was no positive response for supporting us.My mum recollected herself and sought a job in a nearby informal school as a cleaner but the income was so little to sustain our daily needs.Most of the times our house was locked due to lack of rent.The life became so discouraging as i saw other kids going to school but had to be left home to take care of my siblings.It was so painful.My mum became helpless and vulnearable,so were we.Deep in my desperation,i went to church to ask God why we were suffering.My eyes cought some girls playing basketball in the church compound.They looked so happy and different.I sat on a bench to watch them and my heart wished i could be one of them.I came back the next day and watched them again.That night i was so disturbed and wanted to play with them so the next day i asked the lady who was training them if i could join them.I didnt have the skill but she told me she will train me if i came early and eventually i would be like them. 2 weeks later i shared my plights with the safe spaces director and she listened like she was feeling my pain.She told me that she is not able to help me but she can help me workout through my problems and achieve a positive result through the help of her wellwishers.One week later she took me back to school and supported my mum to start a small grocery business.I found out that i was not the only one with problems and we were many facing hardships and we became support for each other.My burdens started easening.I passed so well and i got a high school scholarship through safe spaces.4 years later i got a B+ GRADE in my secondary final exam in 2014.I was not lucky to get university scholarship in 2015 but 2 of my safe spaces collegues got support and joined University.I was bit devastated but remembered how far i had come and became positive that i will join university and do Nursing.I want to support women who give birth in our community at home without medical care.My dream came true in 2016,when the director came from one of her trips and told me "YOUR FEES IS FULLY PAID,YOU CAN JOIN NURSING SCHOOL NEXT WEEK."This was dream come true.I joined medical college one week later in septembers and am so excited.The kind heart that gave and saved me from my agony,may it receive million times.I will use this opportunity to get education,support myself,my family and the women in my community."

Sharon.

Something that has puzzled me all my life is why am in special need of help,the good deed is usually done by somebody on whom i have no claim.How far that little candle throws its beams,so shines a generous deed thrown in the world to make ones life diferent in a positive way.Thank you for being the people who pulled us up when were down.Supporting us learn about ourselves,supporting us get sanitary pads,books,uniforms etc.Thank you for supporting to give education to more than 50 girls.Thankyou for being there for us when we need you most in our lives.Thanks for giving unlimited.Thank you for your gnerousity.

Merry Christmas and a healthy New year 2017.

sharon
sharon
our basketball team
our basketball team
girls who completed their last year in primary sch
girls who completed their last year in primary sch
our high school girls
our high school girls
A Safe Spaces mechanic hard at work
A Safe Spaces mechanic hard at work

The auto mechanics program is one of the Safe Spaces vocational programs offered to young women. This program has a double function. First, it gives underprivileged young women from the slums, including some young mothers, an education and an income. In addition, it makes them visible in the community as they become skilled in a male-dominated profession. Safe Spaces provides tuition and certification fees for 20 young women through the training program. Today, 10 girls are employed or in an internship, while the other 10 are working on their certification. These young auto mechanics have built a name for themselves. In Nairobi, car owners ask for the Safe Spaces girls because of their precision and attention to detail.

The success of the auto mechanics program brought on the idea to create a garage as an income-generating sustainable enterprise. In spring 2016, Safe Spaces submitted this idea to the 1% Club and Accenture Student Battle challenge. A group of four enthusiastic Dutch students picked the Safe Spaces auto mechanics garage idea and developed a business plan called Garage Entourage to create a car garage. The students wrote and presented a great plan, in addition to raising €4,500, about half of the cost to set up the garage. Their plan made the short list and the team pitched to a jury of Accenture Innovation Consultants alongside three other projects. The prize at stake was additional funds to implement the winning project, including a trip to the project site.

Failure:

  • Garage Entourage came in second place, just missing the trip to Nairobi and additional funds to implement this project.

Fail Forward:

  • Coming in second was a blessing in disguise. Although the students thoroughly researched the project, they had limited input from Safe Spaces as well as experts in the field. Is a garage that focuses on car maintenance and repairs really the best idea for the Nairobi market? Did the plan accurately reflect actual costs?

The Student Battle gave Garage Entourage and Safe Spaces amazing visibility, both online and in traditional media. A local newspaper in the Netherlands ran a story on the Garage Entourage team, which was read by Henk Veldman, Project and Investment Manager from the Talud Foundation. Henk just returned from the Netherlands after working in Nairobi for two years at the Dutch-Kenyan motorcycle company Kibo.

Fail Forward:

  • Finding the right connection takes time, but they are out there. Henk is currently working with Safe Spaces to refine the out the Garage Entourage business plan to make in more robust and scalable. 

Henk also connected Safe Spaces with the Kibo motorcycle company and partner company Savvy Riders, who developed a motorcycle training and maintenance programme. They are looking for both experienced and eager-to-learn mechanics, especially women. Safe Spaces fits the bill! With another 22 young women on the waiting list to start the mechanics program, we are working on building a strong partnership with Kibo.

After all, failing turns out to be a crucial part of growing the auto mechanics program!

Fail Forward for Garage Entourage and all Safe Spaces Projects:

  • Ask lots of questions and be open to feedback
  • Be visible to the right audience at the right time - projects and programs all have a target audience. Know who you want to be visible to and make sure that these individuals or organizations are aware of the project.
  • Dream big, but break projects down into digestible pieces. We can’t successfully build a garage until we have a strong foundation established.

Call to action: support a girl in our auto mechanics with a one-time or recurring donation today!

Safe Spaces Mechanics
Safe Spaces Mechanics
Garage Entourage Team
Garage Entourage Team

Links:

Lifeskills session
Lifeskills session

"I come from the Eastlands Mathare slums commonly referred to as home of crime,prostitution,alcoholism and drugs.I will be turning 26 years by the end  august,healthy,never fallen into early pregnancy trap or early marriages which is not common in our area and having a diploma in Automechanics and working.Initially i used to think of more reasons to die than live because of life struggles.Many of my friends became prostitutes and died of HIV/AIDS because of desperation,many of us lack guidance and mentors and thats how we succumb to our slow death of hopelessness.I was in thesame state before joining safe spaces 4 years ago.Education is the key to many doors.I only wish i had gone to high school and joined University but poverty could not allow it and my parents were too busy drinking alchohol and later Succumbed to liver Cirrosis.I feel like a new ray of light has pierced through my heart.Am no longer a slum girl,but working class with my own house and living in one of the city surburbs but still remember my past life with nostalgia.I am so happy"

Beth

Despite the hardships tha people face in the slums,they are resilient and make the best of every opportuinity they get to transform their lives.That's why in safe spaces we give them a little push in understanding themselves,setting life goals and planning,educational support and mentorship,health physical well-being through sports activities,and leadership skills to help them make a difference in their lives.600 girls are in primary school,100 in secondary,15 in Automechanics,2 in university and 5 are Automechanics working class.We work with over 1200 girls at home and schools every month.We support them with sanitary towels,stationery,transport to school,food,lifeskills  and mentorship.Could we have ever done that by ourselves? NO.Its through your support that all this change is happening.Please continue to be part of the Change

beth
beth
sports activities
sports activities
school programme
school programme
school supplies
school supplies

Links:

 

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Organization Information

SAFE SPACES ORGANIZATION AFRICA

Location: NAIROBI - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​www.safespaces-nairobi.org/​
Project Leader:
PENINAH MUSYIMI
Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya

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