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Empowering communities in slums to promote a culture of protecting rights of the girl child.

We come to cities because they represent opportunities for better life but once people arrive at these urban centres, they quickly realize that everyone is scrambling for the few and scare resources. Many developing countries including Kenya have lately witnessed a rapid growth of their urban centres. This is mainly due to mass rural-urban migration of populations in search of employment opportunities. Because these jobs never come through, many people find themselves living in low income settlements-slums. In these settlements life is extremely difficult and it is a survival of the fittest theory in action. Many of the children especially the girl become vulnerable and unable to access very essential services for their development.

Photo of Philip Nyange

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This idea will work because my organization is already implementing a project that aims at safeguarding rights of children. This project will be specific to address the plight of the girl child and empower women with parental responsibilities at younger age. Islamic Relief Kenya is already partnering with Youth Initiatives Kenya in a child protection project in Korogocho slum.

Explain your idea in one sentence.

Empower poor communities in low-income urban settlements to safeguard rights of the girl child through education, awareness creation and skill development for employment and wealth creation.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

According to UNICEF’s report dubbed State of Worlds Children (SWC) 2012 which documented the well-being of children in the urban world, primary education is generally more readily available in urban than in rural areas but it remains beyond the reach of many children growing up in poverty-especially in slums, where there is often little or no public schooling. Many of the girls here are less likely to attend school due to the many underlying factors associated with the slum environment. With such a situation, the urban advantage no longer extends to girls living in slums. Urban advantage means that circumstances in urban areas are much different and better from those in rural areas. It could be a common believe that urban areas have more equipped hospitals, schools and living standards are generally better, meaning children raised in urban areas have more advantages than those raised in rural areas. The fact is, children in rural areas are much better safer than those in urban slums.
In Korogocho Slum in Nairobi Kenya for instance, an estimated 200,000 people live in crowded conditions, a combination of extreme poverty and absence of essential basic services characterize the circumstances under which hundreds of girls in slums are raised. Crime, drug and substance abuse, health related threats as a result of poor hygiene, dilapidated shelter etc are some of the serious problems affecting children, particularly girls. There is a huge population of young mothers most of whom had a potential to pursue education but due to lack of attention to the girl child, majority of them could not access the opportunities in life. Young mothers therefore require the support as much as the girl child so as to avoid the spiral of poverty and suffering among girls and young women living in slums.
Communities living in slums therefore need to be empowered to intervene and address the plight of the girl child and recognize potentials among young mothers at the same time supporting government agencies to develop workable plans for slum dwellers. To make this idea a reality, the approach will focus on capacity building on protection of girls and young mothers targeting key stakeholders who include community leadership, religious institutions, youth and women groups, local administration, school children and teachers, massive awareness creation for behavior change by all community members on protection of girls and entrepreneurship skill development for young mothers. Esther W. is a 21 years old young mother who left her rural home for Nairobi City several years ago to look for opportunities after loosing her parents. She began her life in Korogocho slum at a time when Youth Initiatives Kenya, a local organization has just begun a Girl Empowerment through Micro-Franchise project. She was among the first to be enrolled into the programme and started a hair dressing business. Currently, she attends to 70-100 clients per day and her monthly income is about Kenya shillings 10,000. With this income, she is supporting her child to access education and other basic needs. She is one of the success stories of the girl child protection and empowerment interventions in this slum.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

This idea will directly benefit hundreds of girls and young mothers who experience difficulties accessing the basic necessities of life as well as opportunities for personal development within the slum set-up. A monitoring plan will be developed and a project team established to ensure that successes, good practices and challenges are documented and shared. Review meetings will also be done for learning and improvements.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

This idea will be implemented by my organization (Islamic Relief Kenya) in partnership with a non-governmental organization based in Korogocho slum, Nairobi. This partnership has already been formed and we are jointly implementing a project on child protection in the slum since mid-2013.

Where should this idea be implemented?

This idea should be implemented in urban slums around major towns and cities. This is because communities living in slums experience similar socio-economic problems.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

This idea will first be tested in Korogocho slum or any of the other four slums in Nairobi City. Islamic Relief Kenya is already partnering with a community based non-governmental organization called Youth Initiatives Kenya in Korogocho slum and implementing a child protection and education project since 2013. This idea will be important in scaling up the project and replicating some of the already achieved successes.
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Team (3)

Katie's profile
Katie Potter

Role added on team:

"Living in a place dangerous for girls is a very moving documentary. My question is, why should girls suffer when the whole community is watching? we can do something for girls growing up in slums in Kenya. They are too very dangerous places for girls."

Philip's profile
Anne-Laure's profile
Anne-Laure Fayard

Role added on team:

"Thanks for appreciating my efforts in protecting the girl child and i'm also encouraged by your interest in understanding how the micro enterprise for young women works in Korogocho slum, Kenya"

19 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Ryan Sarafolean
Team

This is great to hear about your work. We too are working in Kenya but work in Kibera. Best of luck with your work and let's stay connected and build!

Photo of Philip Nyange
Team

Thanks for appreciating my work, lets get in touch i think together we can do more.

Photo of Ryan Sarafolean
Team

Would you be interested in joining our team perhaps and helping build on our idea? Would you want me to get involved in your work? Let me know your thoughts on collaboration. If you want to get in touch with any of our directors too in-country let me know.

Photo of Philip Nyange
Team

Hi, i'm very much interested in joining your team because i believe together we can do more. I'm ready to collaborate with your team Ryan. Are you also working in Kenya? i'll check your contribution to this idea as soon as possible.

Photo of Philip Nyange
Team

Hi Ryan, now i know you are working in Kibera. I'm working on a project in Korogocho slum, which is no different from Kibera. Lets link up and put our efforts together to support our communities.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Philip,

this is a great idea and you seem to have done already a lot and have the right connections to move to the next steps.

I'm curious to know how the program will work in terms of informing the girls of the existence of the program, having them enrolled and then offering them the training. How long would be the program? Will this require the participants to come everyday for a certain period of time or will it be part-time so that they can still work (if they have a job) while taking the training.
You mentioned the example of Esther W. who was able to develop a hair dressing business: are you planning to have a micro-finance program to help these young women to start their business?
As suggested by Meena, developing scenarios might be useful in making the program clearer for community members.


On a side note, because of your work with young girls I wanted to share an idea I'm collaborating on with Melchior:
http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/ideas/their-problem-is-ours-too
Melchior is looking for a way to share the views of young people from different countries and potentially create a conversation across them. I'm wondering if there would be a way for you to run an offline conversation and then share with him the findings in order for him to post them on the blog. He could even create an account for you. Thanks!

Photo of Philip Nyange
Team

The process starts with awareness creation at community level which is done by the interested organization or sponsor supported by local structures such as churches, mosques, vocational training institutions etc. The girls are enrolled into the programme and immediately go through a three weeks general training on entrepreneurship and business skills. Depending on the type of business one is interested in, it may be recommended that they go for another specialized training to master the required skill. They are then provided with materials for start up and they are closely monitored by the project team up to a point where the sponsor approves that they can manage their businesses. This process could take a year or more depending on various factors that would affect the setting up of a business.

But for girls who are in schools in slums need to be protected from violence and the communities are able to do so as long as they are supported and local mechanisms and structures are strengthened as indicated in my contribution to this challenge.

Yes i'm interested in Melchior's idea of sharing views from young people and my email is pgnyange@gmail.com

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Philip,

thanks for the extra details (and adding me to your virtual team).
I like that you work and the community level and also in a holistic fashion. This is something that I learnt during the research phase: http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/research/learning-from-an-expert-in-the-field

I can see the relevance of having a 2 steps training process and a close monitoring.

You might also find these 2 ideas interesting:
http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/ideas/real-women-innovation-hub

http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/ideas/youth-women-entrepreneuship-and-community-based-enterprise-approach-for-human-capital-development

It's great to hear that you'd be interested to share views from young people on Melchior's blog. I'll tell him so that he can send you an invite to the blog. You will then be able to post directly.

Last, with a group of students we posted an idea to try to develop a connecting role to help share information, provide basic training and increase safety in the community. We'd love to have your feedback on the idea. http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/ideas/bindis-community-concierges-to-inform-connect-and-empower

Photo of Melchior Tamisier-Fayard
Team

Philip, your work is really inspiring. I'm glad you're willing to have some of the young people you are working on sharing on the blog I created. I sent you an invitation. Let me know if you have any problems. Looking forward to the collaboration!

Photo of Melchior Tamisier-Fayard
Team

Philip, I sent you an invitation to the blog. Let me know if you have any problem joining it. It'd be great to hear about the students you are working with.

Photo of Philip Nyange
Team

I will get back to you as soon as possible

Photo of Melchior Tamisier-Fayard
Team

Wonderful! Looking forward to reading the contributions.

Photo of Peter Mwashighadi
Team

Awesome idea, a life changing project to the less fortunate in the society.

Photo of Peter Mwashighadi
Team

I agree peter, help my team bring this idea to reality.

Photo of Philip Nyange
Team

Thanks peter you will be a good member of this team to take this idea to the next level.

Photo of sssss 22222
Team

Thumbs up for this brilliant .Its really a practical and a workable idea, To be sincere,I am a living testimony of the great achievements already made on the ground through your Child Protection program at the Slums of Korokocho in Nairobi Kenya.This additional project idea will be a big boost so much to the alleviation of poverty of the most vulnerable and weak part of the Society.

Photo of Philip Nyange
Team

Thanks Khalifa, this is encouraging and ultimately we will together change lives positively.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Interesting stuff, Philip! We'd love it if you might consider helping people better grasp how it could play out by describing some example scenarios which illustrate user journeys through some of the proposed activities you've outlined. Check this example: http://www.openideo.com/open/e-waste/concepting/neighbourhood-e-waste-champion/ where a few simple scenarios were created in an attempt to explain the goodness on the idea. (You can update your post at any time by hitting the Update Entry button up there on the right.) Through doing this we'll be able appreciate your idea through the lens of people in low-income communities.

We also hope you'll join in on discussion on others people's ideas here. Your perspectives would certainly enrich our conversations and collaboration...

Photo of Philip Nyange
Team

Hi Meena, thanks for helping me rethink my idea