Young Women Initiative Ruiru

Introduction

Nairobi is the largest metropolis in East and Central Africa and continues to grow swallowing small towns in its environs. Nairobi and Kenya as a whole boasts as one of the most unequal societies in the world. Many people migrate from the countryside and settle in Nairobi as casual labourers in the manufacturing industries or the thriving informal sector. This fuels growth of small outskirts towns such as Ruiru, A collapsed industrial town that in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s boasted of over 20 large scale manufacturing industries and coffee farms. In late 1980’s the Kenyan economy took a nose dive and with it thousands of jobs. Once thriving communities were reduced to poverty stricken populace struggling to survive. This brought with it developmental challenges such as an explosion of prostitution, drugs and alcohol abuse, insecurity, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy and children dropping out of school. Ruiru at one point had one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate among Kenyan urban settings.

 

In 2008 YADEN East Africa with the support of OXFAMNovib initiated a teenage mother’s project called TEEN MOMS aimed at bringing the mothers together impacting them with life skills that boasted their self esteem and confidence besides creating awareness on issues such as gender based violence and HIV/AIDS. After the one year project 24 young women from the group organised themselves into a Young Women Initiative with a focus of gaining vocational and development awareness skills that would enable them earn a descent income, educate their peers and the community on various developmental issues but most important ensure that the young woman was no longer marginalised, her issues were brought to the community, local and national platform and she gained the capacity to become a leader and an influence in decision making not only to the issues affecting the young women but the community as a whole.

 

Two years later 90% of YWI original members are in secure income generating venture, As a group they have set up a thriving catering business and are consulted regularly by the local authorities with their invitation to grace national holidays and other official events being prove to their growing influence and status. Their experience has prompted YADEN East Africa to set-up other YWI’s all over East Africa with Bagamoyo, Kampala and Kariobang’s YWI’s thriving. In 2010 and 2011 YADEN will add 15 more YWI’s giving hope to hundreds of young women who currently remain invisible and YWI-RUIRU will be at the forefront of this effort.

 

Mission

Equipping and Empowering the Young women in Ruiru with technical vocational skills and development awareness/life skills that will enable them address their developmental challenges, become economically independent and use their capacity and experience to educate their communities’ especially fellow young women besides inspiring other localities to set up similar initiatives.

 

 

Vision

A skilled, empowered & independent young woman living free from discrimination & violence & with an opportunity to exploit her potential.

 

Income generating activity

  1. Edutainment
  2. Catering
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