Our usual plan to celebrate each year in May with Dinner on a Donation, your impact presentation, and some fun with Maridadi Market was placed on hold when COVID -19 came about. We postponed our celebration until summer, however it then appeared to be unknown when such an in-person event would have been safe to host this year. We find it incredibly important to celebrate YOU and recognize all you have been a part of in empowering women and girls around the world, so we still are!
We hope you enjoy the highlights of 2019 while sifting through the creative solutions of 2020.
75 days into 2020.....
The schools of Kenya closed
Businesses closed and the daily hustle jobs stopped in the communities
Counties were locked down with no movement between them
Supplies were becoming a challenge
A curfew of 7 PM went into effect
Absolute fear of the worst for Kibera kicked in.
Our Founder was on the ground in Kenya when flights to the United States started canceling and borders started closing.
The first action we took was to address the need for health and immediate safety. We suspended usual gatherings and we flipped our Maridadi Skills into making 570 masks by Teachers George & Benard
The Refugio in Mexico stopped allowing new admissions of women in need
COVID-19 wreaked havoc around the world.... but the team devised creative solutions to the challenges of COVID-19.
Second, we addressed basic needs. Because the schools were closed, it meant our girls were not receiving the daily school meal which is sometimes the only meal of the day for many. With your support, Angaza was able to make food care bags that contained Ugali, Rice, Beans, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cabbages, and skuma mix (kale and greens). It served our girls AND their families!
In Mexico, care bags were given to the women at the Refuge and also the women who transitioned out to a new community.
180 kgs of Beans = 396 pounds
130 kg of Potatoes = 286 pounds
300 kg of Rice = 661 pounds
720 kg Ugali = 1,587 pounds
Crates of Tomato and Onion
30 bunches of greens
60 Wash Sticks for clothes
90 more bars of bath soap
With schools having closed in March, it meant the girls would be exposed to the very dangers you kept them from by keeping them in school and our girls empowerment. In line with the Ministry of Health's gathering numbers, we created School Tutoring. Our Shining Brighter Scholars each provided their best subjects on a rotating schedule so all the girls could be served by this in the small numbers. This kept them engaged in learning and reduced their exposure to the lurking dangers in the community. We are committed to continuing this until the schools re-open and all of our girls are phased back in.
30 care bags filled with toilet paper, pads, soap, shampoo, tooth paste, cook oil, pasta, rice, and flour were issued to the women at the Refuge and/or delivered to those who transitioned out to a new community!
23 women in the community and 7 remaining at the Refuge were served by this, thank you!
You helped reach 89 teen girls in Kibera and their families!
Your support provided a qualified community development worker that delivered 96 hours of topics such as self worth, assertiveness, goal setting, leadership skills, relationships and boundaries, abstinence, menstrual health & hygiene, and more!
You were instrumental in providing 1,056 Saturday lunches in Girls Empowerment. Why is this so important? With schools not being open over a weekend and so many looking forward to the school lunch, this lunch at Girls Empowerment helps get them through the weekend - Thank you!
Each month, every girl in our Girls Empowerment, Shining Scholars, and Shining Brighter receive a pack of pads and a soap. You provided 768 packs of pads and 384 bars of soap!
This allows her to avoid unhealthy materials and/or inappropriate exchanges.
Last, but not least, we thank you for providing a safe place for the girls to enjoy. The Angaza Project space offers the girls a classroom, a skills room, a small kitchenette area to prepare the lunch, and our own bathroom. Why is the bathroom important? 91% of our girls don't have toilets in their home and have to walk anywhere from 2 to 16 minutes to the public squats which are not all free (TAP Survey, 2020). The public squats cost reported is 5 KSH (5 cents). The space you help maintain gives the girls a safe, clean, private, free toilet at our location along with free clean water while present for activities.
In Kenya, you helped reach 18 adult women with 48 hours of workshop topics on gender based violence, self worth, goal setting, financial literacy, leadership, and skills in the workplace.
In Mexico, you reached 12 women at the Refugio (Refuge) with 24 hours of the same topics over a 12 week period.
In 2019, our USA Board of Directors along with some volunteers visited the Refuge and together with the women, we painted, decorated and provided a workshop on site.
Your support provided an educational field trip to the Kenya Medical Research Institute KEMRI in Nairobi where the girls engaged women in science and research
KE Board Director Fay Sejo is visiting the Girls Empowerment and delivering a topic with the Coordinator Michelle
Only 46% of girls are in secondary school (High School), which leaves even less who attend College or University. School fees make it a real challenge for most to attend after grade 8 and girls face this harsh reality more so than boys when resources are available. Our Shining Scholars Sponsorship program focuses on only the girls who are at risk of dropping or being asked to leave from the High School. We appreciate our High School Admin partners that help to very carefully identify the at-risk girls. Through sponsorship, she can continue to attend High School and remain away from the dangers awaiting in the streets if she were not in school.
We are proud of our four graduates in 2019! And, we look forward to seeing our current Form 4 Scholars navigate toward graduation after this upcoming year.
Our Girls Empowerment Coordinator Michelle makes monthly visits on every Shining Scholar in school, she gets a teachers update on each and has a chance to engage them during the school day so they know they are supported
Girls Empowerment Coordinator
Qualified Community Development Worker
St. Paul's University Certificate of Community Development
Michelle is has been under our Shining Brighter education program which is a path to College or University
She graduated with her certificate and her credits rolled over to the Diploma level for her to continue on her education journey!
In 2019 we launched Shining Brighter!
This addresses the second dropping off point in education. Shining Brighter is a scholarship fund that we hope to grow over time to be able to serve as many college ready young women as it can. There is now a process in place that includes a Shining Brighter application to our office alongside of the College application process to the College or University. We determined with some of the University officials that working within the Certificate level first would be best. It is a shorter obligation of study (6-8 months to complete), it is a goal that is achievable and it gives us all a chance to assess the student’s motivation for additional studies. While the College or University is not guaranteeing admission of our girls since they have their own admissions criteria and process, but they are looking forward to receiving our girls.
Our first Shining Brighter University Scholar entered St. Paul's University and GRADUATED with her Certificate in Community Development! She now rolled those credits to the Diploma studies.
We have several girls who are preparing to complete High School with a dream of going to College too, will you help brighten the path and be involved in the Shining Brighter Scholarship fund?
We presented at Wake Forest University with Operation Smile!
And at NC State University's
Women Who Launch Series as a Panel Speaker