Safe Spaces for 1200 Girls in the Slums of Kenya

by SAFE SPACES ORGANIZATION AFRICA
Vetted
Diana at the basketball session
Diana at the basketball session

"I want to be a  rescue pilot in future so that i can rescue people from my community during fire outbreaks.I lost my mum in one of the fire outbreaks.Living without my mum has been hell,am so mistreated by my relatives.The fire fighters take so long to come and put the fire off,lots of property get and people get  burnt mostly children who are left alone by their parents when the go to fend for food as the houses are not properly built with strong materials.we live in a maze of rusted ironsheets with mud walls and open gutters of sewage pass near our  door.Piles of rubbish are everywhere.I wish to live in a better place.When i joined Safe Spaces 4 years ago through a friend,i was planning to commit suicide. Its always an option in the slums apart from becoming a drug addict or a prostitute.Safe spaces gave me hope to live by helping me with school fees,i also got a space where i learn about myself,play games and meet other girls who face more challenges in life like me.We share and encourage each other and i have stopped feeling lonely  and hope to reach my dream.I am in form 3."

Diana-17years

Many girls come to safe Spaces so depressed and almost losing hope with life.In these condtitions,they hope that something new could take place and change their lives.Sometimes they dont realize that the change they so yearn for is within them.Through our Lifeskills,sports and arts programmes we provide that space where they can build power within themselves to work and tackle their problems.We help them become witnesses and advocates of their own conditions,we build a family with its own rules and they reveal their crude realities through poems,stories and songs.They start re-imagining their lives.This is possible because we dont walk alone,we walk together with you and you push us closer to our dream lives.

Lifeskills session
Lifeskills session
Games time
Games time
Games time
Games time
our future stars
our future stars
Our Automechanics girls
Our Automechanics girls
Beth at auto workshop
Beth at auto workshop

“I was born in Kariobangi Nairobi but my mother died at my birth so was brought up by my aunt who is a casual laborer at Eastleigh in Nairobi. Life has been very difficult all throughout. We rarely eat consistently as my aunt has 4 children and i have One child. I got married at 17years because I felt that I was a big burden to my aunt but was abandoned by my husband 2 years later as he became jobless and could not take care of us, and life has been so unfair to me. I joined safe Spaces in 2012 when I was 19 years. I was so depressed and hopeless almost contemplating suicide and went through life skills lessons that have strengthened my soul, I’m more than ever wanting to live again afresh and get skills to help me in future and when safe spaces gave me an opportunity to learn Auto mechanics, I felt like I was rising from the dead. I’m so happy and will work hard to make the best out of my past troubled life. I’m more than willing to live for my kid and provide for her wellbeing. Every Thursday when we have yoga in Safe Spaces and holding our Self-evaluation, I feel like I’m so blessed to have known safe spaces. “If only I had met them earlier, my life would not be the same, but better late than never, I’m more than determined to make in life.
Beth –Student Auto mechanics-Safe Spaces.

sharing and counselling forum for young mothers
sharing and counselling forum for young mothers
Happy to receive sanitary pads
Happy to receive sanitary pads
dramatised teaching
dramatised teaching

“I felt strong grips on my legs, No sooner than I realized what was going on, a sharp pain consumed my belly. I couldn’t scream my mouth was covered by my father’s own hands .I didn’t want to believe seeing the sharpness of his eyes sinking into mine”

I reached to my grandmother the next day but she told me when I talk about it will be a shame to our family. What followed was rape after rape nights. My sister who is 12 years old was not spared either. My brothers 9 and 11 years had to come to terms with sodomy too. Our mother had passed on few years back.

“We felt our lives hanged somewhere between the captivity and freedom. We were in dilemma. On one hand we needed him in our lives for protection and provision of food and clothing and escape from the cultural tag of being bastards but on the other hand the only person who could provide that package turned our sleeping rooms into torture chambers. I disclosed the nightmare to safe spaces when I discovered that I was pregnant. I regret it had to take this long, I just didn’t know who to share with.”

Lillian

Many girls go through these ordeals every day in our community. Many girls need spaces   where they can get help and support and skills to counter such incidents In their lives. Education is Key but should be combined with flavor in sports, music, Dance, artistic expressions to make it wholistic.1200 girls have benefited from Safe spaces programs since its inception in 2008.Building on diverse life skills and creating a platform for self-knowledge and expression has helped the girls to pick the paintbrushes and paint their world of tomorrow.

This has happened because of your love and support. Let keep walking together to make a difference in girls lives like Lillian.

Girls reciting a poem
Girls reciting a poem
girls reciting a poem
girls reciting a poem
Lifeskills session
Lifeskills session
I
I'm so happy

"My name is Janet, Im 14 years Old.I live in Mathare slums.  I fell into a group of girls who introduced me to sex work with older men in order to get food and nice clothes as my family is so poor.  I was not able to attend school. We help each other make contacts and find clients.  Most nights i spent with clients.  There are gangs in our area who often Gang rape us and harass us.  We get into fights with other girls over clients and other clients beat us after the service and dont pay us.  When i go to the police, they become as violent as the gangs and sometimes beat us and I kind of feel it is better to keep quiet as a girl no one takes care of you or respects you in the society".

I joined safe spaces 3 months ago and after councelling,  I decided to stop this sex work.  I'm glad to be learning Auto mechanics and i hope for a better life in future.Im rebulding my self esteem and trying to cope with others as i didnt go to school and i dont feel as smart as those around me.  I feel that i have wasted my body and I feel older than my age mates.

"I know this will be over some day as im now in a positive environment.I play basketball and i feel so happy and good.it keeps me away from sad memories of my past.I could not have found this space if it were not for your support.

I thank safe spaces for rescuing me from that dark life"

girls forum on HIV/Aids Awareness
girls forum on HIV/Aids Awareness

"Iam a woman and as a woman I am vulnerable to acts of violence because i live in a violent and misogynist world and i am percieved as vulnerable. I am often  physically smaller and i am not taught at home  emotional,sexual, and physicall skills to prevent or deal with any acts of violence or unfairness in this world.As a woman I may find it difficult to defend myself because i have been conditioned not to trust myself,that im not capable of taking couragious action by myself and i need to be look for someone to protect me.I have been taught that i am not physically strong or capable of fighting back on men grievances and any attempt to do so will be laughed at and bring more ridicule to me.I have been taught that im not valuable except bringing dowry and therefore i am not worth fighting for and if something bad happens to me it is because i invited it,asked for it,was too stupid to prevent it,should have expected it and overall deserved it.I need education,i need mentors,i need more women coming together to build my inner power so that i can fight back"

As the new year starts,support safe spaces girls to build the power to fight this war.Its everywhere not only in our place.

33 girls need support with school fees,school materials and school transport to complete their High school education and continue pursuing their dreams.They can only start fighting back if they have the right skills.If me and you join hand together to change their lives.Be part of the change you want to see in the world.

LETS MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Happy new year

women forum on extremism
women forum on extremism
 

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Organization Information

SAFE SPACES ORGANIZATION AFRICA

Location: NAIROBI - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​www.safe-spaces.org
Project Leader:
PENINAH MUSYIMI
Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya
$4,060 raised of $25,000 goal
 
 
99 donations
$20,940 to go
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