PS Kenya has had a strong partnership with Kilifi County and has implemented several maternal and reproductive health programs in the county, the recent one being the Maverick Project (Project Riziki) that was succeeded by the current Maverick Next Project. Since inception the county has offered great support which has seen realization of the project goals. With such a strategic partnership, PS Kenya is committed to ensuring that more young women benefit from such noble projects.
Kilifi County leadership led by the County director of health singled out the Binti Biashara program as a model that will be adopted by the county to help address the high teen pregnancy in the county. He highlighted this during a meeting with a visiting team from PS Kenya, PSI and the Maverick Next Fellows, a group of young philanthropists who have dedicated their resources to empower young mothers in Magarini through the Binti Biashara program.
“I want to stand here on behalf of the department to say that Binti Biashara is the way to go. We are looking into ways of how we can lobby the county leadership led by the governor to support girls by ensuring that they receive free training in our Vocational Training Institutes. As a department, we will also allocate some funds which will enable the sustainability of this program” stated Dr Mulewa
Binti Biashara program is a learning-based project being implemented in Magarini Sub County, Kilifi County. The project brings together young women, their influencers, and key stakeholders to co-design, develop, test, and iterate concepts and models that will help the young women feel more empowered to make decisions about not only their bodies, but their futures, finances, and potential career paths. The girls are benefit from various skills ranging from hair dressing, tailoring and catering.
“We are committed to grow this partnership and are in the process of figuring out how to onboard other partners and investors who will play a critical role in providing initial capital and starter kits for the girls who graduate from the skills training,” stated PS Kenya CEO Joyce Wanderi.
Integration of sexual and reproductive health component to economic empowerment has enabled young mothers to benefit from sexual and reproductive health information and services. Access to sexual and reproductive health information enables these young mothers to make informed sexual and reproductive health decisions like child spacing to concentrate in raising an income that will help them support their children.
“PS Kenya has also supported us through the supply of non-pharmaceuticals so that we are able to conduct health in-reaches and outreaches. They have also supported us with the STI treatment drugs to handle cases during outreaches. We also received T-shirts that have increased awareness,” stated Celestine Muye, Magarini Sub-county Reproductive Health Coordinator
Selection of the girls is rigorously done by the Community strategy focal person with assistance from Community Health Assistants and Community Health Volunteers. After their training, the young mothers are celebrated by their community through a graduation ceremony. During the ceremony the young mothers get a chance to showcase their newly acquired skills.
From implementation of this project, it is clear that integration of Economic Empowerment and AYSRH will go a long way in dealing with the burden of teenage pregnancies while ensuring that those who are already mothers get a chance to acquire skills that will enable them to realize their dreams.