Through the generous support of our donors and partners around the world, Kenya Works is creating lasting opportunity for women and girls throughout Kenya to create a more sustainable future for all. Here are some of our accomplishments of 2017:
Makini Pad Initiative: A Full Cycle of Opportunity
Employing women while empowering girls to stay in school and stay healthy
In 2017, Kenya Works partnered with 160 schools and women’s groups, providing 15,000 girls throughout Kenya with our Makini Pad. Our reusable, eco-friendly Makini Pad is giving girls a safe and effective way to manage their periods. In Kenya, girls miss an average of 4.9 days of school each month because they lack sanitary products for periods. Through the Makini Pad program, we help girls stay in school, while building their self esteem.
Kenya’s HIV/AIDS rate among adults is 6.3 percent versus 0.6 percent in the United States. In combination with the Makini Pad delivery, Kenya Works educators go into the schools and provide educational materials focusing on puberty, hygiene, risky behavior, HIV/AIDS, and building positive self esteem, curriculum not generally provided in Kenyan schools. Last year, we reached 50,000 girls with this life-changing and life-saving information.
The Makini Pad is designed and produced for Kenyan women by Kenyan women. The Kenya Works Makini Pad production line is employing 35 Kenyans with a living wage which is bringing financial security and stability to their families, while providing a meaningful revenue stream to the VICODEC facility, fueling development of a sustainable market.
Kenya Works Community Works: Change from Within
Advancing Gender Equality within Communities
Kenya's constitution passed in 2010 created landmark legal protections for women and girls providing for equal educational opportunity and outlawing harmful cultural practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage. Legal protections have not fully translated to cultural practices, and there is still widespread disparity across the spectrum of leadership roles, economic advancement and gender-based violence.
Kenya Works Community Works forums are intensive behavior-change workshops to reduce and ultimately eradicate harmful cultural practices by identifying gaps in information, developing a baseline of attitude and working toward attitudinal shifts. The training is developed for community leaders who then bring the work home to their communities.
In only its fourth year, 2017 saw organic demand for these sessions grow dramatically. In addition to doubling the number of sessions, the fall training accommodated 25% more people than had registered for the event, indicating that the training is in high demand and communities are eager for these resources. Kenya Works Community Works has now trained over 840 community leaders from around Kenya, and is currently advancing this program by implementing a long-term attitudinal shift study to quantify long-term change as a result of this work.
Kenya Works Vital Resources Program: Combatting Extreme Poverty
Education, Food and Resources for the Most Vulnerable
At least 46 percent of Kenyans live below the poverty line creating multiple . which , and in the which makes it difficult to pay school fees for both private and public secondary schools. Kenya Works is providing secondary school scholarships for 80 orphaned and vulnerable children. In addition, their families or guardians receive social support and guidance. More than 250 additional students are getting primary school fees and needed materials to support their academic future.
237 students (pre-k through class 8) are sponsored at VICODEC which includes school fees, feeding program, school materials and uniform, healthcare, parent support group and psychosocial support for the entire family system.
With our partners, we are feeding 3,400 children/day a nutritious meal.
The Kenya unemployment rate is hovering at 40 percent. In 2016, we facilitated community entrepreneurship and business training activities for 250 men and women promoting self-sufficiency.
Schools are vastly underfunded resulting in large class size, lack of materials and dilapidated learning environments. We have partnered with numerous public and private institutions improving environments for children to be safe, learn and thrive.
Our solar lantern distribution has now reached over 1,100 families replacing the damaging health and economic burden of kerosene lanterns, the typical lighting source in Kenya. Our renewable and reliable lanterns enhance good health, security and educational opportunities along with family financial savings.
Ethnicity is diverse in Kenya with more than 40 different ethnic groups. Kenya Works is collaborating with organizations and communities throughout Kenya on projects that unite people from various ethnicities to work for common goals. The result has been a fundamentally improved attitude toward other ethnic communities.