Nairobi, 17th January 2023: The Forum for African Women Educationalists, Kenya Chapter has today kick started the process of rolling out the Imarisha Msichana program in Kiambu county with a stakeholders’ engagement meeting at Elysian Resort in Kiambu. This consultative meeting is meant to seek stakeholders’ support, recommendation and explore areas of synergy with ongoing county and national government efforts and initiatives to curb teenage pregnancy.
Kiambu is the 12th county we are undertaking the stakeholders’ engagement after Turkana, Narok, Elgeyo Marakwet, Transnzoia, Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Migori, Homabay, Siaya and Nairobi counties with 8 more counties to go.
Teenage pregnancy has become a major challenge even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) through its Kenya Demographic and Health Survey report 2022 puts the number of teenage pregnancies in Kiambu County at 267 for girls between ages 15 and 19 highlighting the need for quick interventions.
Speaking during the forum, FAWE Africa’s Executive Director Ms. Martha Muhwezi said, “Your role in achieving the set goals cannot be underestimated because we have leaders right from the grassroots who interact with these girls, their parents and guardians and identifying them will be key. Championing for re-entry of girls to school, sensitization forums for girls, young women, young men, parents, community leaders on human sexuality and media advocacy programs are some of the intervention we hope you can help us with.”
The programme will run for the period of two years, June 2022 to June 2024. The main participants will be teen mothers/adolescents ages of 9 to 18 years and young women aged 19 to 25 years. In the framework of this programme, girls and young women who are teen mothers will be provided with useful knowledge and necessary support to go back to school, pursue their studies and excel. Additional psychosocial support will be provided to ensure they have a supportive ecosystem that does not discriminate and further marginalize them.
Also speaking during the event Madam Emily Nyaga, Program Coordinator-Ministry of Education and representing Mr. Simon Wanjohi, County Director of Education said, “This is a timely programme and as the ministry, we will coordinate and collaborate with FAWE and other stakeholders to make sure the programme is successful and our girls benefit from the interventions brought forth by Imarisha Msichana Programme.”
This entry meeting was aimed at getting the cooperation of all relevant stakeholders. Those present included the County Commissioners office and Assistant County Commissioners, National Police Service, Chiefs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, State Department of Gender, Members of the County Assembly, Directorate of Children Services, school head teachers and principals, Representative of people with disability from Joy Town Secondary School, Kiambaa Member of County Assembly also part of the health committee, PTA representatives, Media houses among others. They all agreed to invest in adolescent girls and young women in Kiambu to grow and effectively participate in their society. The selection will also include specific targeting of adolescent girls with disability and displaced/refugee girls. These girls will be consulted on the proposed solutions and as key participants in the Imarisha Msichana programme. Boys and Young men will also be targeted as champions of the “I Care About Her” which will aim to empower boys and mentor boys to be agents in championing for their rights and allies for girls and young women. Students in participating schools will be introduced to FAWE’s Tuseme youth empowerment programme that engages girls and boys and provides them with training on youth empowerment and gender awareness by enhancing girls’ self-esteem, leadership, social and life skills, and promotes a positive attitude amongst boys towards girls’ education. Tools of empowerment will include usage of existing Tuseme Manual to establish Tuseme Clubs in participating schools.
About FAWE Kenya
FAWE Kenya supports women and girls to acquire education for development at the County and National level. We implement programs that aim to empower girls and women through gender-responsive education. Our work focuses on influencing action to reduce gender disparities in access, retention, performance and completion through a range of initiatives. www.fawe.or.ke
Name: Philip Makori, Communication and Advocacy Officer FAWE Kenya
 “2022 KDHS Key Indicators Report.” Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. https://www.knbs.or.ke/download/2022-kdhs-key-indicators-report/
 FAWE Interventions- Tuseme http://fawe.org/our-programmes/interventions/tuseme-youth-empowerment/