Women Like Us Foundation traveled to Victorious Teens Bridge near the Rift Valley, Kenya. After meeting with the children of the Nakuru West School, and the women who were working to meet the tremendous needs of the vulnerable children within the community, Women Like Us Foundation took the initiative to get involved and join these women in their efforts within their community.
Ann Kabui first began her mission in her own hometown Nakuru, Kenya. Understanding the challenges teens faced during their critical adolescent years, Ann began her personal efforts to support, mentor and guide both girls and boys. “I came from Rift Valley, Nakuru County, it was where I was brought up. I initially began by supporting a few girls around Nakuru by offering mentorship, career guidance, and providing them with necessary feminine items such as sanitary towels and undergarments. Donations came from personal contributions, but soon the demand became too high.” Shortly after, Ann met Beth Mwangi, a community liason. Together they began reaching out to the entire school through a program they initiated called Victorious Teens. Victorious Teens Bridge International seeks to inform, empower and nurture the underserved teenagers towards self-realization and foster development for future leadership. They strive to be the leading organization that empowers and nurtures vulnerable teenagers and women in Africa.
As the program developed, additional issues were brought to the women’s attention. They noticed that the female children were missing school due to a lack of sanitary towels and undergarments. This absenteeism led to dropouts, drug abuse, early marriages, and prostitution. Unfortunately, they became aware of a certain instances of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as well. Together, Ann and Beth began supporting and contributing with sanitary towels, undergarments and sports equipment. Bringing in the supplies not only assisted in their monetary needs, but it also helped bring the community together. “Bringing these supplies provided an environment of respect, acceptance, and skill development to our school children in marginalized areas.”
In the last three years, Victorious Teens Bridge International has made great strides in improving community experience and the lives of families and children living in them. School dropouts have been reduced by 20% along with a substantial reduction in absenteeism and drug abuse. Children have had the opportunities to travel into the city to see and explore life opportunities for their future career possibilities. Through this youth empowering program, the children have developed self-esteem and acquired skills that will help them in all aspects of life.
Women Like Us Foundation supports Victorious Teens by providing funds and supplies for the underserved children of the school and community. The funds have been used to provide education and training for the parents and students on topics regarding HIV and Aids (prevention and measures), Sexual Education, and Simple Hygiene. In addition, we supported and funded the program Beyond the Classroom, a trip the students attended on June 5, 2015. Women Like Us will be returning once again to the Nakuru West School in June of 2016. If you would like to learn more about the Victorious Teens Program, please visit our website at www.womenlikeusfoundation.org.
Written By: Sommer Bannan