Working with Girls and Women in Kiambiu Slum, Nairobi, Kenya

This past May, PEIF Fund Mentee, Esther Katiba, led her organization, Mentoring From The Heart (MFTH) – a collaborator with the PEIF Fund (PEIFF) in Kenya – to Nairobi’s third largest slum, the Kiambiu Slum, to organize a local event for girls and young women.

MFTH collaborates with PEIFF to realize goals mutually held by both organizations, including supporting school kids, girls and young women in their educational and professional growth. Esther’s MFTH has embarked on these types of local events to support girls and vulnerable children in her community in staying and doing well in school, while educating poor women about entrepreneurship.

MFTH’s first project took place in May 2017. The Kiambiu slum, where the event took place, has an average population of 50,000 people. It is located 4 kilometres east of Nairobi’s centre, with very limited accessibility. Through their ground research, the MFTH Organization identified areas in which they could support school-girls and young women.

Beyond the perennial poverty in the area, major problems identified by the organization include a lethargic attitude to education due primarily to poverty. Esther and her team gave talks on the benefits of education, improving self-esteem, productivity, career and goal orientation, female hygiene, and more. They enlisted the support of professionals in maternal health, career training, crime control, drug abuse, female hygiene and others to offer talks to the crowd. Following the talks, they distributed re-usable sanitary towels to girls — as opposed to the disposable and expensive ones — to enable them attend school even during menstrual cycles.

The MFTH planned the event in collaboration with supporters of Esther’s cause, youth from her local church (Kenya Assemblies of God, Buru Buru) where her spouse and partner in business serve as pastors. Their main goal was to stir up confidence in young girls and hope in the heart of community members who have felt underprivileged for years.

Esther and her team introduced attendees to the entrepreneurial arm of MFTH, which is now in the process of selecting two to three women from the slum whose life stories are poignant and who deserve entrepreneurial support. Esther and her team at MFTH are hoping to begin a carpet-making project that will see the women hired and paid a small amount of income to support their families.

Esther hopes that this outreach will transform lives for poor women in the communities in which MFTH operates.

Read More about Esther and her work here on our website.

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