All posts tagged: Kenya

Meet Felogene Anumo – Girls’ Globe Blogger from Kenya

Born and raised in Kenya, Felogene Anumo is a Pan Africanist and young feminist activist who is passionate about gender, racial and social justice with over eight years of experience in advancing gender equality through grassroots and online activism, research and capacity building of young feminists and women activists. Felogene’s roots in the feminist movement were planted at the University of Nairobi where she served as the Women Students Chairperson across the 7 campuses. During her tenure, she launched the first Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Week and a pioneer magazine on young women’s and girls’ issues dubbed AlphaDiva. In 2011, she was awarded Young Woman Achiever by the students’ association. With a passion for sexual and reproductive health and rights, youth leadership and combating violence against women and girls, Felogene advocates nationally, regionally and globally for recognition of women’s and girls’ human rights. Most importantly, Felogene believes that key contributions, lived experiences, perspectives, politics, needs and voices of young women and girls need to be heard and reflected in policies, programs and debates affecting them. …

Nyumbani: A Safe and Caring Home for Hope

Imagine yourself as a little kid. Imagine yourself just existing and playing in a limitless world without worries about global issues, family problems or work obligations. Then finally imagine yourself finding out that you are HIV-positive. All of a sudden your world comes crashing down – nobody wants you anymore. Your parents become scared of being near you and they don’t have the ability to help you with medications. Imagine being abandoned by the ones that are supposed to always be there for you. This is a reality a lot of kids in Sub-Saharan Africa still face today. Once they are diagnosed their families may not have the ability or willingness to care for them and they are left alone and abandoned. Many of the kids also have parents who have died from AIDS.  This is where Nyumbani Children’s Home comes into the picture. Nyumbani in Kenya takes care of HIV/AIDS-affected kids, ranging from newborns to young adults in their early twenties. They provide a safe home, treatment and education for these kids to make sure that they aren’t left to die …

Breaking the Taboo: Ending Stigma Around Menstruation

This post was written for Girls’ Globe by Vivian Onano It is very exciting to be speaking this week at the Women Deliver event in Copenhagen. The conference is the place to be for concrete discussion and examination of the rights of women and girls around the world and covers a host of topics from education, health and gender rights, to legal rights, land rights, and FGM. Each topic presents an opportunity for change but, for me, one of this year’s standout issues is getting schools and local governments to consider how girls manage their periods. It can be an uncomfortable subject, but it’s a crucial one for measuring progress in girls’ education and rights. Staggeringly, over 1 billion women and girls do not have access to safe and clean toilets to go to at all, let alone when they’re on their period. This means girls often go into bushes or hidden places when it’s dark to relieve themselves or change their sanitary wear, violating their dignity and privacy and often putting them at risk of …

#6 – Breastfeeding Mothers Share Experiences

In this episode of The Mom Pod, we meet mothers Kristina and Maria from Sweden, Felogene from Kenya and Julie from the United States. All four of these mothers have chosen to breastfeed, and in different phases of their breastfeeding journey they share their experiences, and talk about the challenges they have faced and the support they have received. Although these mothers are from different corners of the world, there are several common denominators in the equation of making breastfeeding work for them and their babies. Support from family and health care professionals is essential to make breastfeeding work from the start and to make it possible for mothers to reach their breastfeeding goals. “At the end of the day, breastfeeding will take a lot of sacrifice and a lot of love. It is really worth it, but you have to be part of the process,” says Felogene. Maria shares her experience with 6-week old Ella who has colic – and although breastfeeding works well at this point, it is a constant struggle to find a …

Life-Changing Surgery for Refugees in Kenya

Written by Lindsey Pollaczek, Fistula Foundation Program Director It’s difficult to imagine what it would be like to live in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp. Located on the northeastern border of Kenya, the camp is home to more than 300,000 people, mostly refugees from Somalia displaced by years of conflict and famine at home. Iam in the middle of Ben Rawlence’s book City of Thorns, a disturbing look inside the lives of nine residents of this sprawling camp and the tremendous daily struggles they face. When I try to comprehend how much more difficult it would be to live in Dadaab with an obstetric fistula, a debilitating childbirth injury that leaves women constantly leaking urine or feces, it is a harrowing prospect. Over the six years I have been involved in this work, I have spoken with hundreds of women who have lived with fistula. Many endured painful, prolonged labor, lost their babies, and were abandoned by their spouses and isolated by society as a result of their condition. Life-changing surgery Since last May, …

A Coordinated Approach towards SDG Implementation in Kenya

Along the journey towards formulating the 2030 Agenda and even post adoption of the ambitious sustainable development blueprint, we laud our global efforts of being consultative and inclusive. The phrase, ’Leave No One behind’ was coined by impassioned stakeholders who were adamant to learn from the process that bore the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which was criticized for its top-bottom approach. It was criticized because it did not take the voices of all people nor did it reflect adequately the needs of the world. However, this development framework was not comprehensive enough to fully address the world’s challenges.  Making Bold Steps Together, Initiating the Journey with a Solidarity Pledge Before the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and especially during its formulation, the Kenyan Civil Society organized to form the Civil Society Reference Group on the post 2015 agenda. This organization served to provide an avenue for advocacy with the Kenyan national government, making contact with the Kenyan Permanent Representative to the United Nations and mobilized fellow civil  society to support a common position …

Unsafe abortions: The silent epidemic

Enabling access to maternal health services for women and girls including access to safe abortion brings to light sensitive issues in cultures around the world and presents a diverse discussion on women’s health. The World Health Organization describes unsafe abortion as a silent epidemic  that requires an urgent public health and human rights imperative. The silent epidemic threatens the life of women and girls across the world and in Kenya as well. Despite its frequently morbid effects and high contribution to maternal mortality, unsafe abortion remains one of the most neglected global public health challenges. As a public health and women’s health rights issue, unsafe abortion is advanced by misconceptions about the procedure and misinformation about its legality, amongst other socio-cultural factors that in many countries hinder women’s and girls’ access to safe and legal abortion services. According to the African Population Health and Research Centre, at least 2,600 women die from unsafe abortion in Kenya every year; 16 % of abortions in Kenya involve women below 20 years of age, while women between the ages …

The Journey from Nursing to Maternal Health Innovation

This article was written by Lindsay Sanders, Communications and Design Fellow at Jacaranda Health, and originally posted on Jacaranda’s website.  There are few people in this world who dedicate their lives to serve others. Most of us bounce around from job to job, exploring new industries, discovering which professions we like and dislike. But not Jacaranda Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Faith Muigai. She knew from a young age that she was committed to one cause: empowering women and families to make positive health decisions. Faith mapped out her professional path to the medical field as a teenager in Kenya. She ambitiously uprooted to the United States when she was 17 years old, working as a nursing assistant to pay her way through college. She quickly rose to the ranks after receiving her Master’s Degree in Nursing and Administration, taking on management and leadership roles from leading organizations like John Hopkins University. After a long journey in the states, Faith headed back to her roots in East Africa to use her skills to help the women and families who need …

Why Are Youth Voices Around the World So Valuable?

Insight for the article provided by Nick Oketch As a college student passionate about empowering youth and improving conditions in developing countries, I have thought about the ways and means to making a difference. I asked myself, “How can I, personally, make a difference to help create sustainable change?” I brainstormed about what areas needed the most attention. My thoughts and ideas grew out of information I had come across, articles read, conversations with people who worked in NGOs, and on my experiences from a volunteer trip to Tanzania two years ago. When Girl’s Globe launched their #YouthVoices campaign, I suddenly understood that I was not thinking about igniting change in the best, most efficient way possible. I was basing my ideas off of only my personal experiences and own education. I realized that even though I had great intentions, if I wanted to make positive change for youth around the world, I would be required to speak and engage with the youth directly. Who better to ask about changes for youth than the youth themselves? …

Nowhere in the World is Safe for Women

Violence against women is a vice that has continued to be a serious global health and human rights issue. It touches millions of women and girls in every community in every part of the world. Up to 70 percent of women and girls experience violence in their lifetime. Violence against women is not confined to a specific culture, region, country, or socioeconomic group. Rather, its roots lie in persistent discrimination against women. “I still remember that day like it happened few minutes ago. There I was, bleeding, crying, confused and shaking. Yes I had just been raped by my uncle who had lived with us for over 5 years. I felt useless, miserable and was sure I was never going to heal from this. All I wanted was to die or sleep and never wake up.” – Phyllis Nekesa 15 years old. Although violence against women takes many forms (i.e. violence by an intimate partner, sexual violence, sexual violence in conflict, violence and HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation/cutting, dowry murder, “honor killing,” human trafficking, violence during …