Partnership with Kenyan girls centre to empower young women


Climb for Leaders is delighted to announce a partnership with the Hawkers Market Girls Centre (HMGC) in Nairobi, Kenya. The HMGC was created in 1996 to empower young women between the ages of 12-21 years from the Mathare slums and other similar areas, enabling them to become educated, self sufficient, as well as emotionally and physically secure.

The HMGC provides its students with a safe and secure class environment that feels more like a home than a school. The centre offers students FREE meals and lessons daily, and opportunities in skill development, as well as the opportunity to become a part of a greater organization. For as part of the Kenya Girl Guide Association, the students benefit from a life-long sisterhood, improved self esteem, and a greater sense of self worth.

“On a recent visit to Nairobi, we were delighted to learn first-hand from the program coordinators of the successes—and challenges—that the program had. Young girls from poverty stricken backgrounds now have a great opportunity to future independence and a solid livelihood, which will make a huge impact to a growing number of families,” says Narmin K. Ismail, co-founder of Climb for Leaders.

Adds Shariffa Keshavjee, Founder of the program:”It’s important to understand the context in which the girls grow up, and as a result, our objectives. The Mathare slum is  Africa’s oldest slum. It is home to over 500,000 people and is one of the largest slums in Kenya. The slum is located approximately 5km from the city center. Most of the population consists of laborers living on daily wages. The area is economically disadvantaged, with a very high rate of illiteracy especially among young women. Even though there is intention to send the girls to high school, education is the least priority due to the state of circumstances.  However, the girls have a keen interest in furthering their education.

We are delighted to partner with the Climb for Leaders, who we are confident can help us meet some of our key program objectives:  reach out and train disadvantaged young women, build their self esteem, entrepreneurial, social and life skills and empower them with knowledge through our capacity building programs; promote social awareness and understanding of young women in Kenya; and provide opportunities for jobs to these young women through sewing and other vocational skills. This is the only way that they and their families in the future will be able to break the endemic cycle of poverty in this area,” she adds.

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