Young women in Kibera are more likely to face some of the world’s most urgent challenges which can often prevent them from fulfilling their potential. In addition to struggling with extreme poverty on a daily basis, girls living in Kibera often face tragedies like early marriage, sexual violence, and female genital mutilation. Furthermore, less than one percent of girls in Kibera have access to a girls-only space or program.
Giving girls a safe space, both physical and emotional, in which to express themselves is crucial to helping them escape poverty and leverage economic opportunities. Our Binti Pamoja Core Program serves more than 3,000 girls ages 9-20 annually, and helps girls discover their personal leadership and build confidence. Using arts activities like photography, drama, and dance, the program mentors and empowers girls with sexual and reproductive health education, as well as other critical training and life skills.
Girls also face unique and greater barriers to success as entrepreneurs, in the workforce, and as leaders in their communities. We give girls the tools to tackle these barriers so they can improve their own livelihoods and become drivers of development. We are closing the skills gap through practical, experience-based education including financial literacy, the formation of savings groups, and skills training including income-generating activities.
We are investing in technology initiatives to empower a generation of youth, especially girls. The Girls Training Center is a cornerstone of our technology initiative and was created exclusively for girls interested in learning information technology. In partnership with other digital partners, our computer lab programs offer girls training in different aspects of multimedia, web and graphic design, online research, and coding in different languages.
Our initiative develops the whole girl: educating her mind, supporting her health, and helping her secure future success. Beyond computer skills, girls learn about entrepreneurship and life skills, including topics like marketing and branding, self-esteem and confidence, and reproductive health and wellness.
After finishing high school, Martha did not know what her next steps would be. With both financial concerns and her parents' recent separation, she was not sure how she could continue with her studies. After sharing her story with a friend, Martha learned of CFK's Information & Computer Technology Initiative for girls, and took steps to enroll.
"They have taught me so many things beside graphic and web design -- entrepreneurship, life skills, and sexual and reproductive health. The program has changed me so much, like to be able to face the world with no fear. After I got my diploma, I got an internship at a company called Crablinks Interactive, and now I also do some freelance work. I thank Nairobits and Carolina for Kibera for equipping me with the skills that I needed to be where I am today." - Martha, 2017 graduate
Established in 2001, Carolina for Kibera (CFK) is an international, nongovernmental organization based in the informal settlement of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. In the United States, CFK is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and major associated entity of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.