The Mathare Girl Power Project is a community-based organization that uses education, mentoring and coaching to strengthen the coping mechanism of girls and young women. Its focus areas are safeguarding children, educating, mentoring, coaching on subjects such as civil rights, teenage pregnancy, menstrual hygiene, family planning and sexual reproductive health through conducting workshops, focus group discussions, outreach work and advocacy sessions within the schools and the neighboring community. We also use sports activities in between workshops as a means of promoting teamwork, breaking down barriers, relieving stress and promoting positivity.
On 13 March, the first case of Covid 19 in Kenya was announced and on 15 March 2020 the president announced that the country will be on lock down. This has led to restrictions of travel, closure of schools and higher learning institutions, closure of businesses and public gatherings and encouraged working from home. As a result of this so many people lost their jobs and others were sent home on unpaid leave.
It is in this backdrop that Mathare Girl Power Project thought wise to reach out to 500 girls and their families, hence serving 1,800 beneficiaries in total for the last 2 Months. Lots of these families are single parent families and families with children who have lost a parent. and orphaned children who have followed our mentorship program. Packages were delivered door to door and others were collected at the schools which some of our girls attend. The donated packages included essential foodstuffs such as corn flour, sugar, tea etc., a health information pack, sanitary towels and face Masks.
The support for the girls and their parents will be for 3 months, from August to October 2020 respectively.
- We supplied 1800 beneficiaries with dry foodstuffs, fresh vegetables,detergents and sanitary towels within the 500 households in the months of August and the same beneficiaries received food packages in September.
- Successfully passed 1000 copies of health information and advice on how to stay Covid-19 free, How to protect themselves and others. This information was given as a demonstration in English and Kiswahili respectively.
- We Supplied 3 masks per household for 500 families totaling to 1500 people who were issued with the face Masks for two months and trained on how to properly wear the face Masks
- We provided food packages to the same families for the second Month and that helped parents by providing meals for two consecutive months without being worried about where the next meal will come from. This led to a reduction of stress and therefore a more peaceful coexistence.
- The feeding program had a great impact in reducing gender-based violence in the homes. A lack of food security and unemployment are a huge factor in the incidence of gender- based violence in the slums and by providing food, we have made a difference..
- We have restored hope to families who have been suffering due to a lack of food..
- We supplied women and girls with sanitary Towels which are vital when they can rarely afford this luxury. We gave instructions at the same time, to the younger girls on how to use them. Girls are forced to use pieces of cloth which have to be washed and hung out to dry. Girls cannot go outside their homes for fear of blood stains on their clothing and they do not attend school during their periods for this reason. By providing sanitary towels, we are giving girls the possibility to go about their normal lives knowing that they have sanitary protection and raising their confidence and self esteem.