Kenya

WHERE WE WORK > KENYA

Empowering women and girls for sustainable community development  

Gender inequality is prevalent in Kenya and despite an impressive economic growth since 2005, poverty still affects millions of people’s lives, holding back women’s economic and social empowerment in the country. Since 1985 the Good Shepherd missions have been focused on tackling extreme poverty through women’s and girls’ empowerment programs, particularly among the most marginalized and discriminated communities in the slums, and addressing unequal access to opportunities for women and girls through their integral formation for social and economic inclusion. 

Activities

  • The Euphrasia Women’s Centre founded in 2015, serves women, girls, and children wounded by violence, social injustices, and oppression, by accompanying them in their needs, and awakening in them a deep sense of their infinite dignity as humansThe program, located in the outskirts of Ngong town, empowers women and girls with skills to start saving schemes, loan each other revolving funds, and start small businessesThe Centre also offers vocational training to an average 50 young women a year, supporting them to gain skills in Tailoring & Dressmaking, Catering, Baking & Pastry, Hairdressing & Beauty, and IT to give them access to more job opportunities. Additionally, the program provides mentorship to children and teenagers mainly on behavioral change, improving their sense of responsibility, and empowering them to make wiser choices regarding sexuality.  

 

  • The Good Shepherd Program in Kitale supports vulnerable and marginalized families – initially from Turkana communities who had migrated to Kitale – in the slums of Kipsongo and Matisito gain skills aimed at self-sustenance and dignified lifeThe program’s main goal is to empower women through business skills, and training in basic farming skills aimed at improving agricultural production at Shalom Farm, as well as to offer holistic child development through education, feeding, and rehabilitation at the Hekima Day Care Centre with 51 children. At the Centre, a nutrition program has been implemented ensuring at least a meal per day to vulnerable students, and provision of sanitary pads, too often not affordable for many girls in Kenya, to teenage school girls.

 

  • The Annunciation Home in Embu was established in 2000 to rescue, protect and support teenage mothers who find themselves in crisis while in school, resulting in drop-outs. The girls are assisted to cope with pregnancy crisis through guidance and counselling services, prenatal and post-natal care, proper nutrition and provision of baby clothes and diapers. The project intends to improve lives of teenage mothers and break the chain of poverty and traditional customs that dehumanize women in general and teenagers in particular, through skills training in hairdressing, and completion of their formal education. Over 200 young girls have been supported since the initiation of the program. 

 

  • Our Lady of Grace Children’s home and primary school in Marimba and Good Shepherd programs in KoojeKangeta and Naari, in MerucountyThe programs started as a rehabilitation centre in Kooje initiated with the aim of supporting vulnerable children who lived in Shauri Yako slum. Besides the children sponsorship and economic empowerment programmes, the sisters also run a dispensary in KangetaThe programs provide support for education and access to healthcare to over 1,521 children through a direct family fundingsponsorships, and training the children’s families on basic agriculture skills to promote food security and nutrition to boost their self-sustenance through agribusiness. Presently, in the sites of Kangetaand Kooje a group of about 205 women are assisted in acquiring literacy and numeracy skills and a microfinance project has created 64 groups composed of 1,713 parents to improve the economic living conditions of many families and escape extreme poverty. 195 children are currently being supported in the children’s home in Marimba. 

PROJECTS LOCATIONS

Ngong’ Town – Kajiado county
Meru County
Embu County
Kitale – Trans-Nzoia County  

HIGHLIGHTS

5

Projects

5,475

Beneficiaries

108

Local staff

AREAS OF INTERVENTION

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Human Rights
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Girls and Women's Empowerment
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Livelihood and Economic Justice

COUNTRY BACKGROUND / OVERVIEW

Kenya has long been considered a “success story” in the developing world and most particularly in Africa, making great strides in the overall economy and the education sector. However, levels of poverty and food security remain critical, especially in slums and rural areas: Kenya is still struggling to recover from the effects of the prolonged drought that began in 2007 and continued cyclically until 2018, aggravated by the pandemic crisis that is negatively impacting in particular on women and girls.

Poverty and unemployment continue to be a challenge for women, exacerbated by gender-based violence, including physical and sexual violence, and discrimination that remain a daily reality for many women and girls. The findings by the National Crime Research Centre indicate that between January to June 2020, the number of cases of gender-based violence recorded increased by 92% compared with the previous year, 2019. According to government data, 45% of women and girls 15-49 years have experienced physical violence and 14% have experienced sexual violence.

Facts and figures

81% illiteracy rate (200-2020)

21,8% of illiterate population are women

36% of population living below the poverty line

143/189 ranking UNDP Human Development Index (2020)

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