A New, Permanent Space for Daughters United October 3, 2013 by Nick Johnson
“Will I become successful in the future? Will I finish my education? Who will listen to me? Why do I feel shameful about my body? Will we have supper tonight? Who can give me the support that I need? If I tell them what happened, will anyone believe me? These are some of the questions that girls in Kibera ask themselves continuously because of the poverty that they face.” –Zara Musa, 18
In Kibera, adolescent girls are marginalized and more vulnerable than their male counterparts. Because Kibera is a microcosm of many of the world’s most distressing issues — including poverty, the spread of HIV, gender-based violence, and lack of women’s rights—it is critical that girls have a safe physical and emotional place where they can express and develop themselves.
CFK’s Daughters United program (Binti Pamoja in Swahili) has been supporting girls for over a decade. Through several creative activities like group discussions, drama, photography, and others, the program gives young women space and confidence to explore the issues that they face. Since it was founded, the program has expanded to
reach over 1,500 girls each year. Now, we’re looking to expand even further.
Currently, the Binti Pamoja program’s main location
is a rented, one-story building. With the program’s growing need for space, the program leaders
decided it’s time for a step up. So, thanks to the support of the American Jewish World Service, CFK purchased a site that will serve as the home of a
brand new center for girls!
The new center will be a 3-story, multi-purpose building that is dedicated to the young women of the Binti Pamoja program. It will provide three times the space that the program has now, which can be used for classes, counseling, and arts activities. The girls were also involved in designing the building, making the center very much theirs and a place where they can thrive.
The new center will be more than just a building—it will be a testament to the rights and importance of young women in Kibera. It will demonstrate that safe havens for girls are needed, and that we believe in their power to help build their community. It will also be the first of its kind in all of Kibera, and perhaps all of Nairobi. In a place where girls are disregarded more than they are welcomed, their new center will help establish their place in the community and help them better their own lives.