YOUNG WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT
As the Youth Project Coordinator with Christian Partners Development Agency, I designed and fundraised for a project called Young Women in Development. YWD’s aim is to realize economically independent and development conscious young women in the society.
We train young women aged 18 – 35 Years on Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Governance and Human Rights skills. This project was funded by African Women Development Fund and seeks to empower young women with the mentioned skills to be able to start small Income Generation Activities and indulge in leadership opportunities within and without their locally. It also empowers the young women to be able to take part in governance issues around them and intervene when there is a governance problem. The young women involved in Income Generating Activities also link up with the Ministry of Youth to access the Youth Fund wich was intoriduced by the government of Kenya to help the youth access loans at a subsidized interest. The young women also access funds from other Micro Finance institutions.
CPDA has a program called the Alternative Leadership where villagers come together and form bunges or in English Mock Parliaments where they debate on governance, leadership and human rights issues affecting them in their community and come up with home grown solutions to the problems identified. The Mock Parliaments are called Neighborhood Assemblies (NAs). CPDA encourages the young women through the YWD Project to join the NAs and participate actively. Through this project we have had young women apply for local leadership posts such as Area Chief Post etc.
I also empower young women under the Gender and Governance Program to be able to become social entrepreneurs. As a result of these training we have seen young women form groups and even fundraise for their own designed projects. So far 2 women groups have received funding from USAID and Kenya Community Development Foundation to implement their own initiated projects. The same program has also seen young women start small Income Generating Activities for their livelihoods. Others have even vied for civic and Parliamentary posts.
These are young women who were once idle and dependent on their parents / guardians / spouses for everything. They are women who did not have money to continue with their education and so they lost hope in furthering their education and getting employment. As a result of this empowerment project, HIV prevalence and unwanted pregnancies have gone down. We continue to fundraise for this project to be able to empower the whole of Western Province in Kenya since we have only empowered young women in 4 locations in Vihiga District.
Christian Partners Development Agency
P. O. Box 13968 - 00800
Tel: 254 20 4441994 / 4442838