DOVE INTERVENIAMO > 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.
- La 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 humans. The 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 businesses. The 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.
- La 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 Matisi, to gain skills aimed at self-sustenance and dignified life. The 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.
- La 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 Kooje, Kangeta and Naari, in Meru county. The 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 programs, the sisters also run a dispensary in Kangeta. The programs provide support for education and access to healthcare to over 1,521 children through a direct family funding, sponsorships, 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 Kangeta, and 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.
Ngong’ Town – Kajiado county
Kitale – Trans-Nzoia County
Kitale – Trans-Nzoia County