1. Action against Female Genital Mutilation through employing effective behavior change models as locally appropriate and with active stakeholders engagement
2. Provision of alternative livelihoods for local FGM practitioners.
3. Reproductive health programs in schools as well as establishing Peer learning groups for adolescence girls at the village level.
4. Hygiene and sanitation promotion and provision of sanitation intervention at schools and the villages.
5. Introduction of community savings and loans scheme for women in society
6. Undertaking climate change adaptation activities and capacity building in community managed disaster risk reduction (CMDRR).
7. Prevention and countering violent extremism.
8. Support to Early childhood, Primary and Adult education interventions.
FGM through applied behavior change communication
FGM is a common practice among most Pastoralist community in Kenya, the culture is deep rooted among the Somali community with over 95% of girls undergoing one form of the cut or the other, from incision, infibulations, or clitodoctomy. While a lot of sensitization has been done in the urban centers, the practice is still a common cause of concern especially at the peri-urban and the rural settlements where it is commercialized. A lot more needs to be done for us to realize the practice is put to an end with engagement of circumcisers, parents, religious entities and other stakeholder
Seeking alternative livelihoods for FGM circumcisers.
The prominence of the practice has attracted a lot of women to earn a living from the art of circumcision; the business is so lucrative that it is putting food on the table for women who otherwise have no any other means of living. If a total elimination of FGM must be realized, it is essential to engage this group of women who earn a living from the trade. There is therefore need to woe them to other alternatives for their livelihoods for them to abandon the cut. Startup capital, income generating or imparting employability skills comes in handy as it will provide alternative means of survival to these mothers. As part of the said initiative, we have started up a Women Empowerment centre through organization official’s contribution in order to kick start the training and empowerment of women with skilled women volunteers currently providing the training on:-
- Tie and dye ,
- Beauty therapy (Henna)
These trainings are currently up and running at the centre located 12kms to the south of Garissa along Lamu road at a place called Jarirot.
Reproductive Health programs.
knowledge on Reproductive health is essential for adolescence girls who are either in schools or at the villages and women in reproductive age; the formation of clubs in schools as well as peer groups in the villages will help girls and productive women learn to cope with things like menstruation and its management, sanitary towels will be availed to girls in schools and poor women in villages and trainings be done for them on its use, this will reduce truancy in schools, improve their health and restore dignity of adolescence girls as well as provide them with platforms where they can share their challenges and discuss solutions .
Hygiene and sanitation promotion and provision of sanitation intervention at schools and the villages.
Literally in all peri-urban and rural settlements, there is the lack of water and sanitation provision with less than 2% of the residents owning toilets mainly due to lack of knowledge and economic capacity to have one at household level. Water is also a big challenge both in its provision, access and governance. Therefore Girlkind Kenya will work with other stakeholders in order to improve the hygiene, water and sanitation status in these villages for healthy and productive living.
Village savings and loans.
Village savings and loans is a form of a business saving scheme at the village level, where groups are encouraged to pull resources together put them into some form of savings and then allow the savings to grow through continuous weekly or monthly deposits with the intention of enabling members to borrow and invest in rotation. Successful groups will eventually be linked to micro-finance institutions, where they can access loans to better their businesses. This system has been tested globally and is known to be a tool that will empower women who in Pastoralist livelihood set up are key bread winners at household level and thus the success of any home is gauged by the mother’s active involvement in small scale business like selling milk, farm produce and other merchandise . It’s therefore, with this in mind that, Girlkind-Kenya endeavors to actively work with women in both skill building and business development in order to improve household income and therefore have a multi-plier effect on community livelihood.
Given the vagaries of weather and the severe global climate change effect, Pastoralist communities in Garissa County; an arid area have borne the brunt of missed and a times depressed rainfall and with these there has arisen loss of livelihood in terms of high mortality of livestock due to lack of pasture and water together with Tana river belt small plot farmers who earned their living from their farm produce getting unexpected flash river floods sub-merging their farms and destroying their years of investments thus turning them poor overnight. Girlkind Kenya will together with other stakeholders work with communities to enhance resilience and prevent shocks brought about by climate change through building community capacity in preparedness, mitigation and response to climatic shocks. This way; communities are able to adapt to climate change and avert its effect on their livelihoods and safety.
Garissa is a frontier county that borders Somalia and has over the years suffered the brunt of terror, recruitment of youth and terror incursions with some notable infamous loss of many lives suffered by Garissa community. Terrorism being the biggest affront to societal development has had negative impact with the loss of high numbers of education and health workforce among other cadres moving out of the county due to their feeling of being insecure in the area. The situation is getting more complicated with infiltration of local women and youth by terror recruiters and sleeper cells taking advantage of the high poverty levels of 65% and therefore Girlkind-Kenya has been working with stakeholders in community sensitization on the dangers of violent extremism and therefore P/CVE interventions will remain a top priority for the organization