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. What is more alarming is that less than 1% 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, and 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, savings groups formation, and skills training including income generating activities for girls.
Ask any Kiberan what they save their money for and most will tell you it’s to pay school fees. Education is a basic human right and critical to long-term social change. Yet, it is one of the most underfunded development strategies. Education promotes independent thought, teaches tolerance, and shapes the ability to compete in job markets. It is also a stabilizing factor for children who have experienced trauma, a key determinant to country-wide economic growth, and the foundation to healthier, more educated future generations.
Our Angaza education program supports young people in Kibera through:
Although primary school is subsidized by the government, high school is still too expensive for most Kenyans living in poverty. The ‘Angaza’ Education Program provides qualifying participants and community members with funds to cover 100% of the tuition fees for all four years of high school.
The leadership program is a three-month intensive curriculum for scholarship recipients. It provides supplementary education to build self-esteem, self-direction, and goal-setting for life after secondary school.
For many Kiberan youth, venturing outside of Kibera is a rarity and provides a unique learning experience. During breaks from school, program staff lead small groups of scholarship recipients on “exposure visits” to local landmarks. Throughout the day, students participate in group activities that build leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.
Many times, young people are pulled from their studies to help support their families by providing childcare for younger siblings, performing household duties, or even working small jobs. The Angaza program has recently expanded to also assist enrolling out of school children. By 2020, we hope to have enrolled over 2,000 students back to school.