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Empowering girls and young women to acquire education for development
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The Tamatisha! ‘’Empowering Teenagers to Curb Pregnancies in Kenya during, and beyond COVID 19 crisis” Project is funded by the Ford Foundation and is being implemented by FAWE Kenya in partnership with ENAI Africa between September 2021 to September 2023 in 5 Counties; Nakuru, Kajiado, Nairobi, Machakos and Narok Counties. The project aims to significantly reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy in Kenya during and beyond the COVID 19 crisis by enhancing awareness of the importance of sexuality education and the acceptance of teenage mothers back to school.

Baseline assessment

We are conducting a rapid assessment on the current status of teenage pregnancies, school dropouts and the impact of Covid-19 in the select counties so as to advise apt solutions and generate a reliable comprehensive reports to guide implementation, and policy decisions in Kenya.

Tamatisha project seeks to;

  • Conduct rapid assessment on the current teenage pregnancies and school dropouts in the select counties to advise apt solutions.
  • To empower girls, young women and influence parents, community leaders, and government officials, to customize interventions for prevention of teenage pregnancy, support re-entry to schools for teenage mothers and build their resilience.
  • Increase societal awareness on prevention of teenage pregnancy and acceptance of re-entry of teenage mothers in schools by discussing concepts of human sexuality education through various media platforms.

Introduction

FAWE Kenya is implementing the Tamatisha! Project in partnership with ENAI Africa in 5 Counties of Kenya; Nakuru, Kajiado, Nairobi, Machakos, and Narok Counties. The project aims to significantly reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis by enhancing awareness of the importance of Human Sexuality Education and re-entry/admission of teenage mothers back to school. Through the project, FAWE Kenya is continuing to transform 10-schools-2 schools in each of the select Counties into Centres of Excellence (CoE) to encourage teenage mothers to go back to school and also create awareness of the risks of teenage pregnancies. In the long term, this will result in the establishment of gender-responsive schools that provide a conducive learning environment for both girls and boys thus contributing to improved learning outcomes.

Most school and community-level programs are usually not very friendly and expose teenagers to ridicule stigma and judgment. For this reason, most girls shy away from articulating their challenges and seeking advice, especially on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). FAWE proposes to establish Tuseme clubs in the selected project schools. Tuseme (Swahili words meaning “Let’s Speak Out”), a flagship youth empowerment model that was initiated in Dares salaam by FAWE in 1996. The model uses theatre-for-development techniques to address concerns that hinder girls’ social and academic development. This already tried and tested model is currently implemented in over 15 National Chapters of FAWE in Africa.

Through the Tuseme clubs, FAWE Kenya will promote peer-to-peer counseling and mentorship to enable girls and boys to speak out on issues that affect their lives and specific concerns about understanding their sexuality. This activity is also expected to enhance the impact and resilience of girls and young women in combating teenage pregnancy during and post-COVID-19 crisis. Expected results include a positive change in the narrative that girls are careless (gender construction/perceptions) hence the teenage pregnancies. At least 1 club patron will be identified per school, trained, and mandated to ensure that the activities of the clubs are up and running throughout the project and sustainability beyond.

Radio Talk Shows

Media, and radio in particular, can influence mass attitudes and behaviors through well-crafted, entertaining content that can at the same time have a profound impact on how people think about themselves, their neighbors, and their society. Recognizing the role norms and culture play in both perpetuating and combating teenage pregnancy and championing girls’ re-entry into schools, FAWE Kenya will partner with local radio stations to create awareness, influence societal perceptions about teenage pregnancies, and host radio programs aimed at shifting social norms around teenage pregnancy stigma, SRHR, and GBV by creating an agenda for the masses to create a safe space for teenage mothers to continue and complete their education. The radio shows shall promote key messages to reduce teenage pregnancy and encourage girl’s re-entry to school.

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND ENTERPRENURSHIP SKILLS

The program organized and conducted a 3-day Residential Training on Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills for 19 of the targeted 25 Teenage Mothers and/ or Caregivers translating to (76%) attendance. The training was held at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and facilitated by highly sourced and sought-after trainers from Usitawi Consultants based in Nairobi.

The immediate outputs of the training were:
1. The Teenage Mothers and/ or their caregivers were equipped with business management and entrepreneurial skills for livelihood support.
2. The Teenage Mothers and/ or their caregivers gained information and knowledge on initiating and managing viable IGAs.
3. The Teenage Mothers and/ or their caregivers actively participated in assessing and verifying their IGAs and gained an understanding of the participatory processes being promoted by FAWEK in partnership with ENAI Africa Staff.
The climax of this intervention will be the disbursement of business grants in the course of July to the trained 19 teenage mothers/ or their caregivers.