ABOUT KIBERA GIRLS CENTRE
The Kibera Girls Centre is a Kenya Girl Guides Association project.The Kenya Girl Guides is a character development organization established to help young girls navigate the path from childhood through adolescence to young adulthood.
Kibera Girls Centre was started in 1992 by a guide leader teaching in a School in Kibera. She saw many girls out of schools,staying in the streets who were either orphans or children of single parents or guardians.She saw they were sad ,angry,frustrated,vulnerable,exploited and hungry.She decided to do something about it and brought them together and started an informal school on the compound she was allocated by her school and their lives began to improve.
Today,Kenya Girl Guides Association has put up the Kibera Girls Centre where the girls:
- Can feel safe and secure
- Have classrooms where they are taught dressmaking,life skills,catering,crafts,entrepreneurship,environmental and guiding
- Have a base where they can be visited and given a chance to interact with other girl guides and well wishers as a whole
- Have a chance for exposure through guiding outside.
Our main objectives are:-
- To train on leadership and character development
- to offer a home thus security and refuge from abuse
- to impart skills through vocational training
- to offer health education
- to develop skills through the ‘learn and earn’ initiative
- to devlop self esteem as aresult of self development through the vocational and life skills
- economic empowerment through entrepreneurial skills and savings
- employment of girls in a production unit and finally give them an opportunity to start own businesses.
At Kibera Girls Centre(KGC),about 60-80 girls go through a one year program and are economically empowered through a number of life skills and leadership development programs.One of this programs is the “Learn and Earn” initiative.
In this initiative,the girls learn various skills and then earn through the sale of various products that they make from the skills learned.The programme equips the girls with the skills through vocational training in:-
- Computer studies
- Life skills
- and environmental activities
This intensive training is free and they are provided with all meals.
At the end of one year,they sit for National Exams and Grade Certificates.They are now ready to start their own small business or seek employment.
The center also opens its doors to the students siblings on Saturdays for community feeding program which provides a learning opportunity on hygiene and nutritional issues.About 80 children are feed every alternate Saturday.
KGGA has set up a garment production unit and a bakery unit with the aim of economically empowering the girls who had previously undergone a one year vocational training and want to pursue either dressmaking or catering as an income generating activity.This gives them an opportunity to further develop their skills through the Earn and Learn initiative,to finally own a sewing machine and start their own businesses thus enable them generate income,control assets,access and use credit.
Currently the garment unit is producing a wide range of apparel for sale.
The achievements of Kibera Girls Centre
- At Kibera Girls Centre (KGC) about 60-80 girls go through a one year program and are empowered economically through a number of life skills and leadership development programs.
- The Kibera Girls Centre hosted its 9th Graduation on Friday 1st April, 2011 at The Kibera Girls Centre where 18 girls graduated from the Vocational Skills Training Centre and 22 other girls graduated from the ‘Learn and Earn’ Garment Production Unit.
- The production unit gives girls an opportunity to further develop their skills through the ‘learn and earn initiative’, to finally own sewing machine and to start own business thus enabling them generate income, control assets, access and use credit.
- Girls not interested in garment industry are absorbed into the bakery unit where they produce all kinds of snacks, cakes and pastry products.
- Thirty eight (38) past students are currently employed at the ‘learn and earn’ garment production unit within the centre. Thirty two more girls are set to join the unit in July.
- Girls with a passion in hairdressing have been sponsored through Revlon East African School of Hairdressing for a one year after which they are sent home with hairdressing equipments to start their own business. These girls have even extended their service to the girls at the centre where they come during the feeding program and make their hair.
- Other bright but less fortunate girls who pass through the centre are sponsored to secondary school and already six girls are in Coulsons School Gilgil pursuing high school education.
- Others have been sponsored to join Griffins College to further their IT skills and the progress is good.
Amina Barakat graduated from the ‘learn and earn initiative’ where she received a sewing machine and decided to start her own business. She now has 2 sewing machines and is able to work both from her business premise and from home. Her goal is to establish a larger garment production shop where she can provide employment for other young women like her.
Another one is Lubisia Nasimiyu who got a sewing machine through learn and earn initiative and opted to move her business upcountry where the cost of living is far much cheap. Her business is picking up quite well and she sees a bright future ahead.
One beneficiary with exemplary performance Merceline Anyango managed to secure a job at the garment production unit as a community worker to oversee the other girls work and welfare. She has however attained financial independence and she can foot all her bills with her salary and income from part time business.
Generally the beneficiaries have been endowed with social empowerment, are more confident and above all have increased self esteem. Economic empowerment of the beneficiaries has led to income generation, income independence and eventually they are now able to develop to their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.
There is overwhelming demand vocational training and thus KGC has been unable to accommodate all the girls who attend the interviews mainly due to limited facilities.
Most of the girls in the program come from very challenging backgrounds that hamper their overall performance and concentration, KGC therefore would wish to have accommodation for girls who do not even have a place to stay but still need empowerment.