We are so excited to be welcoming in our final cohort of our 3-year project that aims to provide free skills training to 105 vulnerable and single young mothers in and around the Meru area.
On 16th May 2022, 54 women reported to IPI Polytechnic, the educational area that is run by our long-term partners International Peace Initiatives. Over the next 12 months, they will be trained by our instructors on various techniques in the field of hair & beauty with the aim of graduating with an accredited Diploma in Hair & Beauty.
They will also:
- Be given professional experience in a four-month work placement in a local salon.
- Participate in a Leadership & Mentoring Programme, designed to empower and encourage knowledge sharing with other women and girls in their communities. They learn of reproductive health, entrepreneurial and life skills, and yoga for health and well-being.
- Be offered individual counselling by a qualified counsellor, to help overcome past traumas.
The women who join in our skills training course are often single young mothers who have been victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Women like 20 year old Jackline, who is one of our students this year.
Our Empowering Young Women project is a community-led initiative developed in consultation with disadvantaged and vulnerable young mothers in Meru, Kenya. It was developed by the young women to give them a means of growing sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their children and contribute to their local communities while stepping away from commercial sex work or begging as a means to survive.
This project is so important because in Kenya, one in five girls aged 15 – 19 are mothers and come from families struggling with poverty and disease, and have low levels of education. Many young mothers are rejected by the father of their child, their families and community, and become homeless with no decent job prospects. Poverty forces them into commercial sex work, where they are exposed to health risks, sexual abuse, gender-based violence and unplanned pregnancies. This is their only opportunity to step away from poverty.
Years 1 and 2 of the project have been completed with great success and we are looking forward to seeing the young women grow and flourish over the coming months.
We have already secured funding for the first half of this year’s skills training but we still need to raise £13,000 so that all women are able to graduate next summer. If you feel moved to support them, please consider donating to our project.
Any donation – big or small – makes such a big difference in our international projects. Whatever you are able to give will have such a positive impact.