Empowering Women – Educating Kibera’s Women
Providing the opportunity for children to gain an education is a wonderful thing. But this brings with it a unique set of problems. Many parents have never the chance of an education. So when their children came home from school, excited to show Mum and Dad what they’d learned, they were unable to understand. These are proud people, made to feel somehow less so by their inability to participate in their children’s education.
Can you imagine not being able to sit and read a story with your children? Not be able to puzzle over their maths homework or offer to read an essay? What if you couldn’t make sense of their report card, or write a note to your child’s teacher?
In response to this, we began to offer literacy classes to adults. Teaching them the fundamental skills of reading and writing that is surely the basic right of every person on this planet.
Sharing – A vital element of family life.
Our adult education is informal – provided by the centre staff and volunteers. As well as literacy lessons, adults can also learn such skills as:
- Dress making.
- Bag making.
- Basic business skills
All of these lead to opportunities to earn money, support the family and, perhaps one day, the chance to leave the Kibera slum.
Of course, the difficulties of slum life still remain – there is no cure or quick fix. But with these skills comes a sense of self-worth. And this has an effect on all members of the family. Women have regularly noted that since they’ve been in a situation where they can now create items that can be sold, in other words, they can work, that they have noticed a difference in the behaviour of their husbands. Perhaps he might drink a little less – perhaps he might beat her a little less – perhaps he might abuse her a little less.
Kind of puts things in perspective – doesn’t it?
Hopelessness breeds contempt, and with that comes the worst in human behaviour.
But give back just a glimmer of hope.