Adolescent Girls, Young Women And Youth Empowerment Project

 

Adolescent Girls, Young Women And Youth Empowerment Project
Theme: Investing in Adolescent Girl’s, Young Women & Youth
Venue: Kanaani Community & Kanaani Girl’s High School
Date: 22nd- 23rd October 2018.

 

Introduction

This document is a narration of the detailed events and proceedings of the training and sensitization program on adolescent girls, young women and youth empowerment workshop that was conducted by the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) for youth leaders and young girls and women from Kanaani community. The training was conducted at the Paraiso hotel grounds and The Star Sheikh Academy and the whole session lasted two days.
The training was organized in line with the organization’s mission of empowering students in critical thinking and constructive transformation of our world as well as the vision to promote co-operation among young people in working and advocating for socio-economic justice, peace, human rights, responsible and accountable leadership in the world.

 

DAY 1

About participants
The delegates who participated in the program were introduced and mobilized by WSCF-Africa.
The participants were from diverse communities and sub counties of Machakos County working in different fields and some still seeking for employment opportunities. The youth leaders engaged in the forum are among those in the country who are enthusiastic and passionate about the topics within the AGYWY initiative. Policy makers from both local and national governments also participated in the project with representatives from; the County government of Machakos, member of county assembly from Mlolongo ward and office of the women representative.

Time schedule
The workshop was conducted for two consecutive days; with the first day engaging the community members and youth leaders and espoused by the school girls and later conducting a football tournament on the second day. With this the training was conducted on 22 nd and 23rd of October, 2018.
On the first day the session commenced at 09:30 a.m. with the community members and youth leaders arriving and registering for the program on arrival.

Introduction among participants
The forum kicked off with a word of prayer from Pastor Sam Kaloki. This was then followed by brief introduction from the delegates stating their names, residence and a brief summary about themselves. From the introductions the community members gave their expectations and desire on the program. Majority of them gave the following as their expectations and objectives in regard to what would be said and taught at the AGYWY program.

 

  • To learn more about the opportunities available for the youth.
  • How the youth can fully maximize the availed opportunities for the betterment of their future as well as their communities.
  • Learning more about the AGYWY project and how they can use the information to positively impact the community.
  • Learning more about Gender Based Violence (GBV) and how it can be tackled.
  • Understanding the difference between adolescent girls and young women.
  • Ways of investing in the youth in the spaces we have.
  • Roles of the youth in leadership and governance.
  • Gaining new knowledge and skills.
  • Interaction and social networking.
  • How to sustain the program.

 

The meeting also deliberated on the rules of engagement and conduct as listed below;

  • Phones to be switched to silent mode to avoid disturbance.
  • Complete participation and attention.
  • Respect for all opinions aired in the forum.
  • Time keeping to be strictly adhered to.

 

Introduction from officials
Introduction of the team behind the AGYWY project was done by WSCF-Africa Interim Program Regional Director Mr. Maxwell Omondi who introduced Miss Jennifer Muthoki the Administrative and Program Assistant. Also introduced were facilitators and moderators from the Student Christian Movement (SCM) of Kenya Mr. Francis Kamau (Chairperson), Pastor Sam kaloki assisted by Miss Winfred Mutheu, Mr. Isaac Mumo and Mr. Alex Chege.

Representatives from the government were also introduced. Among them was; Miss Anastasia Nundu from the office of the Women Representative and chair of Maendeleo ya Wanawake Machakos County, Mr. Evayo Loveto from the County Government of Machakos and Mr Wycliff Oduor youth Chairperson from the office of Member of County Assembly (MCA) from Mlolongo ward.

 

Workshop contents
The following core concepts and topics were covered;
   

  • Gender based violence (GBV);
  • Human Immune Deficiency Virus & Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV&AIDs);
  • Role of youth leaders in government;
  • Opportunities availed for youth development;
  • Question and answer forum with the policy makers.(government representatives)

 

 

Facilitation techniques
There were several facilitation techniques used by the trainers which included question and answer forums, brainstorming, group discussions and presentations, case study discussions and practical implementation of some of the topics by trainees on flip charts and paper sheets. The multitude of training methodologies was utilized in order to make sure that all the participants understand the concepts and can practice what they learn. This was rather effective because restricted use of narration technique could easily be forgotten as opposed to a method where the trainees get to practically participate in the forum.

 


Gender Based Violence
This session was conducted by Pastor Samuel who began the session by introducing visual aids with the participants identifying the objects in the portraits. The figurative images were interpreted as an illustration of how the youth should take advantage of the opportunities and policies available to them no matter how small they may be to positively influence the community and better their welfare. Even though we may not have equal platforms it is important to try our best. A notable image of two ladies holding their umbrellas in different ways with one collecting the water while the other shields herself was used to illustrate how to creatively seize opportunities and fully utilize them.

Gender based violence was described as any form of violence, abuse, discrimination or violation based on gender with two forms being identified as Direct and Indirect forms of gender violations. Two questions were formulated by the trainer to be discussed in five groups and presentations made by each group. The questions being;

 

  1. Identify both direct and indirect forms of gender based violence they have witnessed in their community.
  2. As youth leaders what can they do about the incidences and further what was their reaction to the said cases.

 

Group presentations identified the following as direct forms of gender violence witnessed and experienced in their communities; Physical fighting between couples, Rape and Sodomy, Harassment, Female Genital Mutilation, Wife buttering, Sexual based exchanges, Spanking and Groping.

Indirect forms of gender based violence identified were; Insulting, Propaganda and rumor mongering, Discrimination at places of work, Psychological torture, Dress code based abuse, Blackmail and denial of employment based on gender.

The groups identified that the measures they took included reporting the cases to relevant authorities, intervening on behalf of victims, praying for such victims and offenders, hold counseling sessions with the affected individuals, creating awareness among community members and advocating for gender balance in government policies.

The forum discussed on ways the government has implemented in order to curb the atrocities that come with gender based violence. Policies and laws have been established through legislation to ensure that women get more positions in the national level of politics through the 2/3rd gender rule. Hotline centers have also been established so as to enable efficient reporting and solving of violence cases based on gender, a criteria and a mode of reporting cases was provided to the participants. The participants also agreed to use social media forums and campaign against gender violence as well as holding sensitization initiatives and campaigns in their respective communities.

 

Open forum with policy makers
The evening session began with an interactive forum among participants with the policy makers and later followed by a question and answer segment. Representatives from the county government acknowledged the seriousness and impact of the topics being discussed at the meeting with regard to gender violence. The office also noted with deep concern that there had been political hindrances preventing the offices from fully serving the electorate but was very optimistic that a paradigm shift of events would occur. The county pledged to work with and support the youth with this initiative.

Office of the member of county assembly from Mlolongo ward expressed admiration of the enthusiasm and commitment from the community and youth leaders in regards to the outcome and participation. He also highlighted that their office has been organizing community activities to mobilize the youth. Through these activities the youth engage with their leaders, network and also come up with ways of improving their wellbeing and community welfare.

Among the notable initiatives given was the Mavoko Open Mic (MOM) initiative that brings together the youth where they get a platform to engage in constructive development and ideas, football tournaments have also been put to place. The office has also embarked on a mission to set up a database of all individuals in colleges and universities to have a constructive discussion on the future of the youth in the country.

Office of the women representative made it known that their office has established an office and docket of youths in their office. Among them including the youth fund kitty in partnership with the national government to help fund the youth in their developmental programs locally. Their office also plans on rolling out programs within the next four years partnering with the youth.
The office has also established a kitty for women and has partnered with organizations such as FIDA( it is the premier women’s rights organization in Kenya that offers free legal aid to women and their children) to advocate for equal rights and opportunities. She also encouraged the youth to form groups and approach the county government for tenders and aid in their activities, she also gave out her number to the youth leaders for communication in case a group has a plan and idea that their office can help with.

The session ended with an inspirational talk from Mr. Francis who informed on the key importance of networking with a rather catchy phrase ‘your success is one relationship away’. He then introduced the question and answer forum with the leaders which raised a number of issue and concerns.

The youth leaders questioned with great concern the over politicking shown by their leaders instead of focusing on development agendas, the notable increase in industries within the area but very minimal employment opportunities to the local youths, availability of their elected leaders and policies put in place to help them.

The policy makers promised to intervene and approach the industries so as to at least accommodate a significant number of locals rather than outsourcing. In addition, they promised to implement policies that would help this initiative achieved. Groups’ formation was also highly encouraged in order to use that as an avenue to partner with local governments. The policy makers also promised to make information easily accessible to the electorate to enhance efficiency of service delivery and accountability.

The different offices also pledged to come together despite their bureaucratic differences and serve the people. Unity will bring more success than when they are engaging in political and developmental fights. The youth was advised to fully maximize on the opportunities availed to them for it is such skills and knowledge that will take them to better opportunities in the near future.


H.I.V & AIDS Sensitization Session
The last session of day one training involved an educative session where the youth was engulfed in discussions and given talks on menace of H.I.V & AIDS. This session was presided over by Mr. Evayo a trained specialist in the field and an affiliate of the Ministry of Health. The session opened with a deeply concerning presentation on why girls and women are most vulnerable to HIV&AIDS. The following were some of the facto given to explain the concerning trend;

Females are at greater risk during unprotected intercourse due to the physiology of the female genital tract, specifically because the vagina is the receptive organ during sex and the mucosa of the vagina and cervix is permeable and so allows body fluids to pass through. The risks are greatest in young girls and menopausal women.

The presence of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) increases the risk of HIV transmission to both women/girls and men/boys, but particularly to women/girls. Early detection of STIs is critical to HIV/AIDS prevention. Lack of access to appropriate services is an obvious barrier to early detection and treatment, but delaying treatment also increases the risks to partners. In women and girls STIs often go undetected because of an absence of symptoms but also because she may fear the response of their partner or her own family; she may be unaware she is at risk or she may be unable to prevent being put at risk.

Traditional gender norms play a role in the spread of HIV. In most societies men and boys have multiple sex partners, whether they are single, in steady relationships or married. Such practices put females at risk. Staying with only one man does not by itself protect the female partner from contracting HIV/AIDS.

Female ignorance of sexuality is associated with the feminine norms of virginity and the notion of “saving oneself” for one man. This double standard of female purity and early male sexual initiation limits women and girls from accessing accurate information and services and from talking openly about their bodies, sex and reproduction - so that they do not know what they need to know to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS.

The way girls and boys are brought up is linked in gender-specific ways to their emotional and sexual needs. Girls, taught to be dutiful and submissive, and that to be real women they must be attractive to men, are susceptible to having early sex to be accepted, to be protected, for love; boys feel obligated to “seek and conquer” by exerting pressure on girls.

Females are more likely to have their first sexual experience at the insistence of an older, male partner. Young girls are put at particular risk from having sex with older men, who are more likely to have been exposed to HIV through multiple partners.


The group discussions established the following as ways through which HIV can be transmitted

 

  • Blood transfusion
  • Unprotected sex
  • Deep kissing
  • Accidents
  • Through birth
  • Cuts from sharp objects

 

The following were listed as ways through which one cannot transmit HIV

  • Sharing utensils and towels
  • Eating together
  • Handshakes
  • Talking to one another
  • Hugging and playing together

 

Fluids that can spread HIV were given as follows

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Breast milk

 

Ways of preventing HIV were listed as follows

  • Having protected sex
  • Regularly getting tested if sexually active
  • Limit sexual partners involved with
  • Use protection such as condoms

 

The session ended with a demonstration of how latex condoms should be used and disposed once used.
The session also addressed all the myths and stereotypes that surround the use of condoms and female condoms in particular. The facilitator gave practical examples of how the condoms should be worn and carefully disposed. The youth also agreed to spread the message on HIV/AIDs through all means possible to create awareness and put efforts in trying to bring down the disease. Latex condoms were also distributed during this session.

The day’s training ended with a talk from WSCF-AF director who appreciated the group’s willingness to participate in the AGYWY program. He also emphasized on the importance of volunteering stating that the skills gained and new knowledge as well would help them in their future endeavors. He also encouraged the youth leaders to come up with projects through which they can partner with WSCF-AF and other organizations to positively impact the community.

The session ended with valuation of the day’s events with the participating members filling evaluation forms. A word of prayer was said before breaking for a photograph session and leaving at their pleasure.


DAY 2

About participants
The participants were students from Star Sheikh Academy and Kanaani Girls’ High School.

Time schedule
It was a one day event running from 2:00 -5:00 p.m. The event was preceded by a courtesy visit to Kanaani Girls’ High School which was made at 10:30 a.m.

Training goal
The main training object was to create awareness about GBV and HIV/AIDs. Along with that the two schools had a tournament as a way bring the two schools together and through interactions to identify gaps that need intervention.

Project contents

    Awareness on Gender Based Violence (GBV)
    Awareness on HIV/AIDs
    Tournament between Kanaani Girls’ High School and Star Sheikh Academy

 


COURTESY VISIT TO KANAANI GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL

Before the training sessions there was a courtesy visit to Kanaani Girls’ High School.
There was a brief meeting with school Principal where a history of the school was given. The school started out as a mixed school and in 2017 converted to a Girls’ School. Being a day school there are challenges brought forth that affect most of the students. Some of these challenges include:

 

  • Poverty
  • Cases of school drop outs
  • Rape cases
  • Unwanted pregnancies
  • Lack of school fees
  • Lack of role models secondary to family conflicts

It was explained that most of these students hail from poor backgrounds hence after school studying may be difficult for them which translates to poor performance. In addition due to the financial constraints they end up dropping out of school as it is difficult to keep up with studies when one is mostly away from school.

Those that come from unstable families end up having step-fathers who rape them. They eventually have several step-fathers who abuse both their mother and the children.

The meeting was concluded by an agreement that there’s need for the students to have mentorship programs that all round; covering all the aspects of life.

 


TRAINING PROCEDURE

Facilitation Technique

The sessions were done in Question and Answer method.
The participants were divided into two groups Form ones and Twos and Form Threes and Fours.
The two sessions were running concurrently. And later two classes came together to sum on each
topic.


Form One and Two
They had a session about life skills and GBV. The session was an interactive session. Some of the life skills discussed included:

 

  • Peer pressure (impact and consequences)
  • Purpose and importance of coming to school
  • Matters concerning adolescent
  • Values and principles that girls ought to have
  • Importance of taking charge and responsibility in your life.

 

They were also taken through GBV under the following subtopics:

    Direct and indirect GBV
    Ways to deal with GBV
 


Form three and four
The students were very interactive. They were also well informed about HIV/AIDS. The topic was generalized into;

  • Ways of transmission.
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Fluids though which HIV/AIDS can be transmitted
  • Ways that HIV can’t be transmitted- There was a clarification on the issue about deep kissing as a way of transmission.

 

This session came to an end with brief speeches from various officials from Co-operative bank, the Chairman Southern Eastern Football Federation chairperson and a representative from the office of the Machakos Women Representative office.

 


FOOTBALL TOUNARMENT

Sports open avenues of communication between people of all levels in the society, background, religion and offers at-risk individuals a platform of safety. Sports programs for young people play an important role in preventing and propagating for various social issues and promote the values of sportsmanship. Through participation, young people learn value of fair play, hard work and dedication while remaining under the eye of the coaches. We successfully held a match; with The Star Sheikh Academy and Kanaani Girls High School actively participating. In attendance was the Chairman Southern Eastern Football Federation; Anthony Makau .Machakos Women Rep. Representative; Anastacia Nundu Mutevu, among other distinguished guests.

Jerseys were donated to both teams courtesy of W.S.C.F-AF each team getting a total number of 11 jerseys. That was followed by a football match that happened from 3:50-4:20 p.m. of the game each half of the game ran for 15 minutes hence a full time of 30 minutes. The final score was 2:2 goals.

At the end of the match, the most active player was recognized; who was from Kanaani Girls’ High School and finally there was a donation by the Football Kenya Federation of soccer balls for both schools.

Conclusion and Recommendations
The project was conducted successfully and the participants were active. The Student Christian Movement of Kenya pledged to follow up with the sustainability of the program. It was a brilliant initiative that is projected to be replicated to other counties with an inclusion of reproductive health which the government has called upon the non-governmental institutions to intervene and help remedy the situation.

In addition to that, more sporting activities were highly recommended to be organized to enhance the relationships between schools and mentors.
There is also a need to organize a forum for students from Kanaani Girls’ High School in order to address the issues brought up during the brief meeting with the Principal.

 

WSCF – Africa Regional Office
AACC – Ibiam House, 4th Floor, Waiyaki Way – Westlands
Website : www.wscf-africa.org