Girls leadership & education initiatives
Our Girls leadership & economic initiatives tackle socio-economic, cultural & environmental barriers to development of girls.
Within the Kuria Community in rural Kenya our work addresses Female Genital Mutilation & cross-sectional issues of Child marriage, SRHR and SGBV.
Our girl-centred programming is diverse, yet all focused on building girls agency & shifting the mindsets that have long prevented girls in Kuria from pursuing their dreams. Our signature Girl-led Empowerment programs involve life skills and Rights experience. The program is for adolescent girls whose community considers are in cutting age, supporting rescuing girls, and providing services. We utilize a safe spaces/club model for the girls to be both a physical and mental safe space. During these safe village forums mostly held weekly, girls have discussions ranging from Human Rights menstruation to Self-awareness
NAWEZA: (Girl-led skills, safe space, and mentorship program), Naweza is an adolescent girls' year-long human rights & skills-based program broken into 16 weeks of training sessions. This skill-based program addresses the numerous topics prevalent in the lives of young Kuria women. NAWEZA provides a safe place for girls to be who they are, educational and recreational experiences through positive social interactions. The program introduces girls to the importance of confidence and the potential and power of women. It is co-designed by girls to provide the girls with an empowering experience emphasizing the impact of the harmful effects of Female Genital Mutilation.
MWISEKE: respectful name for a girl in Kuria (Expanding SRHR for adolescents and young women in Kuria). Our girl-led program enhances girls' capacity as an agency to demand their SRHR, including comprehensive service provision. The village based program utilizes safe spaces for girls’ model across five village in Kuria west Bukira Central Ikerege Ward.
Project DAWN (MWAMKO): supported by HIVOS under the Regional SRHR Fund, puts girls at the forefront by telling their stories, amplifying their voices, calling for action, building alliances, and breaking the barriers to service provision SRHR.
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM: We support the first of its kind after school program in Kuria ,rural Kenya, a Children's Rights-Based literacy storytelling program for children 8 to 14 years. To develop the knowledge, skills, and talents of marginalized girls and children to promote literacy and access to rights through establishing a safe space for girls and children. Our Story-time and reading sessions weekly engage 300 children aged 8 to 14 years through storytelling sessions involving learning from African stories of folk tales, fairy tales, adventure stories e.t.c
We collaborate with Bella Rafiki Foundation to support girls’ access to education by address menstrual health care. We provide access to menstrual care essentials to hundreds of girls at Kasipul Kabondo periodically.
We collaborate with Face of Nyalenda who work in the informal settlements of Nyalenda in Kisumu they work girls & the community through charity drives and discussions, recognizing that change must happen at all levels. Together, we support girls’ access to education by address menstrual healthcare, we provide access to menstrual care essentials to hundreds of girls at the informal settlements of Nyalenda periodically.
Community engagement to address social economic and cultural, environmental barriers to development of girls
NON-JUDGEMENTAL COMMUNITY-LED DIALOGUES AND PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAINGS
We facilitate structured community dialogues; Intergenerational, young men, girls. One village at a time we are having the much needed conversations by demystifying myths and misconceptions on female genital mutilation as a social norm. We support and participate in public awareness campaigns and rallies across the community through radio talk shows, road shows, marches /walks to raise awareness on the harm of FGM.
In 2017, we launched a 24-week long community dialogue that culminated in a 3km march with 300 girls demonstrating the harmful effects of FGM, end FGM champions awards and an anti-FGM anthem song. The community dialogues on ending FGM were designed to reach 45,000 community member across the Kuria community. The non-judgmental community dialogues empowers participants to address local norms, question stereotypes and drive change within, families and in communities.
Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Program: supported by UNFPA KENYA and World Vision KE aim to ensure that girls and women are empowered to exercise and express their rights by transforming social and gender norms in communities to eliminate FGM. The program supports community dialogues, influencing policy & practices and service provision. We collaborate with local religious, cultural and political leaders through community dialogues and discussions, recognizing that change must happen at all levels.
Women empowerment initiatives on social and economic justice.
SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT & WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME:
Msichana Empowerment Kuria is implementing the Social Justice movement & women’s economic empowerment program to strengthen the capacity of 1,000 women, the initial project is supporting 6 women groups of 160 women in Masaba ward; Bugumbe North & South Locations.
The Social justice movement & women’s economic empowerment program is skills development program to build key social justice and economic development skills of women from rural marginalized communities particularly affected by harmful social & gender norms. Our initial partnership is with women in groups popularly known as Chamas.
The Social Justice Movement & women economic empowerment program seeks to amplify the strengths of the women chama, build capacity to address the weakness and support the women to explore opportunities to lead social change within their communities.
Too often girls around the world are left out of conversations about the issues that impact them most. But at Msichana Empowerment Kuria, we know that girls can be powerful agents of change, so we center our work on girls’ voices and leadership. We support girls to raise their voices, and we invest in their strategies to mobilize their communities to advance equity, health and education. By strengthening girls’ leadership and advancing their impact, Msichana Empowerment Kuria is building a pipeline of future leaders and community movement of girls who advocate for their own priorities.
GIRL-CENTRED ADVOCACY: We are leading the most massive girls' movement of 1,000 adolescent girls in the Lake Region to End Female Genital Mutilation. We strongly believe that to End FGM and empower girls; we must build the agency of girls to demand their rights. We support girl leaders and working with government & organization to guarantee girls’ rights through girl-centered advocacy.
Key successes of Msichana Empowerment Kuria girl-centered advocacy include:
Outlawing of the Constitutional petition seeking to legalise FGM in Kenya
Formulation of National Guidelines on Alternative Rites and Community Dialogues.
Service provision of critical needs of girls on wellbeing, health & education for girls
1. MENSTRUAL CARE FOR GIRLS: We support access to accurate information and service for menstrual health for girls more than 3000 adolescent girls in Kuria, Homabay and Kisumu and enabling every year 500 girls to attend school, frequently reducing their risk of Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage. Additionally we have supported & addressed menstrual care by providing menstrual management information, linkage to services, and provision of products for girls. Since 2015 we have distributed 30,000 menstrual packs and facilitated 100 menstrual healthcare management girl-led workshop sessions.
2. COVID-19 RESPONSE AND RECOVERY: Our COMMUNITY RESILIENCE FUND FOR GIRLS IN KURIA support the most vulnerable girls (8-18 years) with access to healthcare, justice for Gender-based violence survivors, increasing access to SRHR and essentials through direct cash transfer, cash voucher system redeemable at partner women-owned shops & businesses. We have delivered direct cash transfers to 400 girls in the month on May and June 2020.
3. SAFE SHELTER: for girls from FGM, Child Marriage, and Sexual abuse: We provide an intermediate safe shelter for girls who flee from FGM, are rescued from Child Marriage, and survivors of Sexual Abuse. We provide hot meals & essentials, a change of clothes, a place to sleep, and psychosocial support for as long as needed.