International day of the girl child-the voice of Girls from Kibera
Stella shyly draws a map on the ground as we inquire on whether she knows about the International Day of the Girl child. She shyly tells us upon further prodding that the day focuses on the girls and anything to do with empowering the girls.
Every year on 11 October, the International Day of the Girl, UNICEF launches an annual campaign with girls to amplify their voices and stand up for their rights. This year, the theme is, “My voice, our equal future”.
In line with this year’s theme, Polycom Development organized a well-attended event that has seen the girls address issues that have affected them during the pandemic.
“The virus affected my going to school, I can’t study at home, there is also a lot of peer pressure and sometimes I feel like giving up”. Achieng lamented during the discussion.
The other adolescent girls raised issues ranging from idle time, loss of income by their parents, sex-extortion, early teen pregnancies and increased hunger due to lack of food.
Activities leading to the day
Tree planting-Polycom engaged with the community to ensure e that Kibera has a clean environment. As a build up to the main day, the girls were taken through the importance of tree planting and a safe environment for women and girls
Polycom Girls have further engaged in extensive zoom meetings with adolescent girls as they discussed ‘my voice my future’ theme. Among the issues raised was that girls voices need to be heard by policy makers, the Government and civil societies who champion for the rights of the girls. Our future as women in this country depends on how we are treated as girls.
Further to this, the Director Polycom Development engaged with Family television in discussing the voice of girls from Kibera as well as highlighting the plight of women and girls who live in Kibera.