This is our first newsletter. We hope that you enjoy reading about our project and what we have been doing with your donations and what we are doing to support the girls in Nairobi. We will be writing a newsletter twice a year to keep you, all our friends and well wishers
informed of our plans and progress. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions and enquiries.
We would love to hear from you.
Best wishes from Fiona, Saskia, Elly and Maqulate
– News from Nairobi
– News from the salon
– Our mentorship project begins
– Sponsors and fundraising
– News from Nairobi
It’s been an eventful year so far for our project and here in Holland we’ve had a fantastic hot summer. It’s not only been very hot here, but in Nairobi even more so and there was a shortage of water, which pushed the price of water up. This is a problem which reaches down to the poorest in Nairobi’s slums where clean running water is not available and all water for washing, cooking and drinking has to be bought. Inevitably it’s the poorest who are the most affected. Temperatures rose along with tempers during the re-elections in which president Kenyatta was re-elected. In Nairobi everyone was worried about the outcome and the possibility of a repeat of the violence which occurred during their last elections in 2010. There were some skirmishes on the streets and some unrest, due to the outcome of the election. During this period our girls at the salon stayed inside their homes for their own safety and the salon was closed for a few
days. Thankfully everyone arrived back at the salon safe and sound, once the streets became safer.
News from the salon
Our student hairdressers are all doing well under the capable hands of Mrs Eunice Akoth. The training consists of three periods, each taking three months. The first period introduces girls to the basic salon tasks such as washing hair, head massages, basic plaiting and weaving techniques and hand and nail care.
During the second period the girls get practical training and focus on areas that they are interested in. They practice more complicated techniques and learn how to give manicures, pedicures and nail art. The last three months are spent gaining practical experience with clients. Some of the girls were given a short internship at other salons to gain work experience. At the end of the training girls were reviewed by Mrs Akoth. All the girls have found work at other salons, although they haven’t found full time employment.
They are paid per customer, so it really depends on how many customers use the salons.
While they train at our salon, they receive payment from the clients which goes directly to the girls themselves. For example a customer coming in for a blow dry will pay 200 Kenyan shillings (which is about 1.69 euro) A small amount of money, which helps pay transport costs or buys a small amount of food to feed their children.
As you can see, they have been producing some wonderful creations. It’s a fantastic result and Mrs Akoth is doing a wonderful job, but it’s a lot of work for one trainer and we really need to get her some support in the form of another lady who can also train the girls.
We also want to think about what happens to our girls once they have finished their training.
They need to have a more secure future as a hairdresser. It’s a great shame if they have followed the training but can’t get work at the end of it and this is where we want to focus some of our attention in the coming months.
An ideal situation would be to help girls start up their own small salon or find them work at existing ones. We will be looking into different options, such as microcredit or individual sponsoring. We need to look into how microcredit works, and what a girl would need to start up
for herself. And is individual sponsoring an option? We welcome advice and tips from anyone with experience in this field.
Our mentorship project begins
Our mentorship project aims to train girls to become mentors to schoolgirls, supporting and coaching girls to talk about and help them cope with problems which they all face in their daily lives. The mentors will be using role play, sports and workshops to encourage girls to talk about their problems and share experiences in a safe, secure setting.
Once they have done their training they will be working with local schools where this sort of education and support is not part of the curriculum. There is a great need to reach the most vulnerable girls and we hope eventually to be able to train mentors who can support girls in the local community too.
We want to teach young people skills and instil values, while also being a vehicle for teaching social messages.
We believe that educating and advising girls will empower them and give them skills to make better choices in life and improve their chances of changing their lives for the better.
Our first group of girls have been following the training to become mentors.
We are all really excited to be starting the training and judging by the news and photos from Maqulate in Nairobi, the girls are enthusiastically taking part and enjoying their course. We wish them all lots of luck with their training and look forward to hearing more about their progress soon.
Sponsors and Fundraisng
We were extremely grateful to receive a generous sum of 2,500 euros in May this year from the Contribute Foundation. We gave our first pitch for the project, which was a successful one. We were all rather nervous and hoped it wouldn’t be too obvious during the pitch. But regardless of nerves, our passion and commitment to helping girls in Nairobi came across and we can’t thank
the Foundation enough for supporting us. Their funding has enabled us to start up our Mentorship Program.
We raised money during the school year with help from students and staff at the Vathorst College. Various activities took place which were great opportunities to raise funds and it wouldn’t have been possible without support from Jasmijn Kester, our school director. Thankyou so much Jasmijn. We baked and cooked, organised lotteries and sold handmade products.
We have a small team of girls helping us who are very enthusiastic when it comes to fundraising. We are so grateful for their help. We think it is important that our children become aware of the social and economic differences between them and the children and young people living in poverty in Nairobi. Their worlds are far apart, but encouraging them to make donations or help organise fundraising activities, is one way of increasing awareness in all our children. We will be continuing our efforts to raise funds for the salon and find sponsors for the project.So that we can continue to give our girls a chance to a brighter, more secure future.
Your support is much appreciated and vital to our success.
We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated to our project for their support. We are extremely grateful and hope that you will continue to support us. How can you help us?
Donate; Did you know that donations given to an ANBI registered charity are tax deductible?
You can find out more about this on the Internal Revenue website (de Belasting dienst website) here.
Perhaps you would consider donating a fixed amount every month.
Buy Books; You can also support us by buying books online at Youbedo.com. When you buy books from them, a small
percentage goes to worthwhile charities. You can find us in their list of charities and select us from the list and we will
receive this donation.
And what happens to your donated money?
Your donations go straight to where they are needed and everyone involved in helping to run our project is doing so on a voluntary basis. This means that apart from bank costs and the occasional costs involved in making or buying basics for fundraising days, all the money goes straight into the project.
Or keep up to date with us on our facebook page; Mathare Girl Power Project
You can donate to;
Stichting Mathare Girl Power – NL97 RABO 0313 0268 15
We are a registered charity – KvK number 65030249