Girls in Kibera face tremendous obstacles to securing an education and protecting their physical and emotional health. Beyond the daily hardship of life in extreme poverty, these young women also face horrific rates of sexual assault and violence, and lack access to basic needs like food, shoes, clothing, and sanitary napkins.
The Shining Girls for Kibera is a self-named girls’ empowerment group founded to address these needs. The group is led by Emily, a strong female role-model who has lived in Kibera her entire life. She is a former member of Shining Hope for Communities' youth programs, and is also a Community Health Worker for Shining Hope's clinic.
The Shining Girls of Kibera provides a safe space for its members to learn about preventive reproductive health measures, rape prevention and response, as well as to collaborate with each other to perform dance, song, and theater--which they perform for their peers and at public spaces around Nairobi. The Shining Girls group pays for all participants'
school fees, as well as distributes sanitary napkins, uniforms, and supplies to ensure the girls stay in school instead of being forced into prostitution or domestic work. By providing the girls with a safe space to gather and learn from one another, Emily is giving them the opportunity to build a bright future for themselves—something that is entirely too rare in Kibera.