“I am a born again Christian, born and has a lived here in Kibera. We lost our father in 2006 and so my mum raised me and brother single handed.  Life has been challenging but through God’s grace I have managed this far. I would like to thank you for being so generous and sponsoring my education for one month at Olympic Vocational Training Centre. I learnt about the opportunity through Marline, a  mentor. She has been really helpful walking with me and I am grateful. My experience was wonderful. I had fun learning new things and meeting new friends. My end goal is to open a beauty parlor. I am certain that this program will be helpful to other girls like me. Again, thank you so much for your generosity. I am so grateful”.

This was a touching speech from one beautiful girl Mikaela Koki who graduated today from a short course in beauty.

UNFPA Kenya and Polycom has inspired many girls and this is one such girl with a bright future ahead.

Vocational training was organized in partnership with UNFPA. This arose from the need of the adolescent girls to have economic empowerment. 12 graduands out of the 17 attended the ceremony. The short course attended was on Pastry, tailoring and beauty. This was done in collaboration with Olympic Vocational training college.

Madama Jane Anyango of Polycom reiterated that it is essential that the girls take up the opportunity given to them and run with it. “take whatever you do seriously, do not take the graduation lightly, bless it, celebrate it, and own it”.

Jitambue (self-identity), Jipende (love yourself), Jijue(know yourself) those are the three words Madam Jane encouraged the girls with.

Esther Nyawira of FEMNET, wrote a touching letter to the graduands. In her speech, she congratulated the graduands encouraging them that, Life is a journey, life is what you make it to be, life is yours, life is unfair. “Define yourself without the mention of your school, your grades or your family or your work because that is how to get your real identity”. She urged the girls to own their stories unapologetically.

The plight of young adolescent mothers within urban informal settlements economically is dire. Most are not able to fend for themselves and with a young baby life becomes almost unbearable. We thank UNFPA for the opportunity they have accorded these girls who have a positive outlook in life. The training focused on adolescent girls but attracted two young men. The men graduated in beauty and pastry.

Steven Ominde one of the graduands says’ “he learnt a lot of things and this was a great opportunity that he did not take lightly. He never knew he could bake but the class proved otherwise. This to him is a gift box. “Opportunities always come to us; we don’t take them seriously until it has drifted. He encouraged his other colleagues not to give up.

Benazir Omotto of Umande Trust encouraged the girls to have thanksgiving. “This is a foundation” she urged them to take the challenge and build on the skills acquired and not to overlook the field of Arts.

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