Girls in Kibera face tremendous obstacles to securing an education and protecting their physical and emotional health. Beyond the daily hardship of life in extreme poverty, these young women also face horrific rates of sexual assault and incest, and lack access to basic needs like food, shoes, clothing, and sanitary napkins.
Shining Girls for Kibera is a self-named girls’ empowerment group that has been founded to address these needs. The group is comprised of about 40 girls between the ages of 10 and 16, who are active in our SHOFCO youth programs, including our soccer leagues. The group meets twice a week and is led by Emily, a strong female role-model (she is a former SHOFCO youth and current Community Health Worker). The Shining Girls of Kibera provides a safe space for its members to learn about preventive reproductive health measures, rape prevention and response, and collaborate with each other to perform dance, song, and theater that they share with their peers. To help keep these young women stay in school, all Shining Girls take part in a monthly sanitary napkin distribution program, and receive school uniforms and supplies so that they do not need to trade their bodies for these basic necessitates. The girls program provides these girls with sex education, a safe space to share, do homework, and just be teenagers!