Working in the informal settlements brought to light the drastic issues affecting young girls in their day to day life, such as high dropout rates in school, early pregnancies and early marriage, making them miss out on opportunities due to an inadequate job skill set. NairoBits seeks to actively bridge these issues by advocating for equal educational skills and access opportunities for girls from the informal settlements.
In 2015, Nairobits in partnership with the Malala Fund opened 3 Girl centers targeting marginalized girls aged 17 to 19 from the informal settlements.The training is conducted in three satellite centers in Kibera, Korogocho and Kariobangi.
To achieve this Nairobits works with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to reach the most vulnerable girls and actively involve business companies to provide information on skills demands and job market, train and thereafter offer job placements for the girls who successfully complete the training. This kind of model provides relevant hands on skills for the girls; therefore channeling qualified and skilled girls to meet the needs of the labor market.
Since its inception in 2015, 399 have received training with 50% girls employed in ICT companies, 20% ventured into entrepreneurship, 10% are currently pursuing higher education with a significant number involved in community projects.
The SisTech program also integrates different activities to provide a holistic learning environment for the girls. Activities engaged include:
• MENTORSHIP SESSIONS:
To ensure girls are holistically empowered, we integrated mentorship as a key component in the girls program, providing them with a platform to learn and engage guest speakers and learn from their experiences. This leads to a positive mindset and organic confidence and skills growth.
• SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH & RIGHTS TRAINING (WORLD STARTS WITH ME):
World Start with Me classes are offered every Saturday for 8 weeks under the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights program. These sessions give girls a platform to gain information regarding their health and how to access Youth Friendly Services. As a direct result, this has led to a decline in pregnancy cases.
• IN-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES:
In-school activities championed by the SisTech program students was started to facilitate Life skills and SRHR sessions in different schools. This has led to improvements in performance, reduced drop out cases and increased self-awareness among teenage girls.
• ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT OF PARENTS:
Parents act as our key stakeholders in ensuring consistency during training. They play a key role by encouraging the students and supporting them financially and emotionally. They act as community mobilizers by identifying marginalized girls in the communities and thereafter link them to NairoBits program.
• COMMUNITY OUTREACH:
To address the low turnout of girls during recruitment, we conduct outreach forums to sensitize the community on the importance of supporting girl child education, efficiently communicate to girls on the importance of acquiring education/employability skills using technology, and share existing opportunities for girls in the informal settlements enhancing pro-activeness among girls.