Safe Space

Adolescent girls and young women in Kenya and in Sub-Saharan Africa bear the burden of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and continue to suffer from inadequate acess to reproductive health services putting them at risk. While there are many youth programs working througout Western Kenya, few groups focus specifically on the unique needs of disadvantaged adolescent girls.Mixed youth groups often tend to be dominated by boys further reinforcing gender stereotypes that render girls voiceless and passive.

In October 2006, KMET initiated a Youth for Youth Program also known as ''Sisterhood for change (SFC)'' to address unmet Reproductive Health needs of disadvantaged adolescent girls aged between 10 - 24 years in Kisumu district focusing on the three slum areas of Kisumu namely, Manyatta, Nyalenda and Nyamasaria.

At SFC, disadvantaged girls (some of whom are teenage mothers, orphans and school dropouts) from the slum areas are recruited and trained as peer educators.

This is on the premise that personal experiences in collaboration with collective energy and spirit will enhance these girls' ability to influence peers who may be in similar situations and be agents of change in communities.

A youth center has been established at the KMET Integrated Health Centre to provide, among others: -

  • .Youth friendly health services
  • .Vocational training
  • .Recereational activities
  • .Safe space for adolescent girls to engage in discussions and freely express themselves
  • .Rescue center for abused girls

Goal

The goal of SFC is to to contribute towards the reduction of teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortion and HIV/AIDS prevalence in Kisumu District with a vision of having a community where teenage girls are safe, know their rights, access youth friendly sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and able to air their views freely.

Mission

Empowering girls through educating and advocating for behaviour change, and equipping them with skills.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  • .To increase access and utilisation of quality SRH services by adolescent girls in Kisumu District by 20% by the end of 2007.
  • .To increase access to information on SRH rights including gender sensitive issues among adolescent girls in Kisumu district.
  • .To enhance adolescent girls' participation, involvement and empowernment at all levels of SFC programme implementation and management by the end of 2007.