Category: Social Advocacy

Category: Social Advocacy

5 Steps to Women empowerment in Africa.

 

For sustainable development, any progressive nation should take into account critical issues like gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

As evident from surveys, higher female earnings greatly contribute to children’s education and family health, impacting the overall economic growth of a nation.

Statistically speaking, women’s contribution to waged work jumped from 42% to 46% between 1997 and 2007.

Evidently, achieving women’s economic empowerment is the key to solve issues like gender inequality and poverty and to foster inclusive economic growth as well.

Why Women’s Economic Empowerment Matters?

Women are known to contribute significantly to economics in the form of business, entrepreneurial work, or unpaid labor (sadly!).

While women living in some parts of the developed countries have the role of decision-makers and influencers, gender discrimination remains a debilitating social issue in many parts of the world, and those subaltern women are often alarmingly affected by poverty, discrimination, and other forms of vulnerable exploitations.

As any developing nation would agree, sustainable economic growth is unthinkable without women empowerment, and measures for gender inclusion is the driving factor of social progress and economic growth.

Working women have an enormous contribution to education, health, and wellness, and therefore achieving gender equality is indispensable to holistic developments.

Here are ways we can empower women especially in Africa:

 

 

Women empowerment in Africa Infographic

Girls at Risk of Early Marriage, Pregnancies, and Missing Out on School due to COVID-19

Effects of Poverty on Education in Kirinyaga County- Kenya.

743 million!! That’s the number of girls that are out of school right now due to schools shutting down to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Most of these girls may never even return to school after the crisis is over.

Do you know what this means?

These girls are going to miss out on so many opportunities. They are also more likely to experience abuse, child marriage, early pregnancies, violence, and hardship.

With so many issues arising during this time like police brutality, gender-based violence, and digital gaps, we also need to take a close look at how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact girls around the world, and examine past crises to understand the current risks.

Over the past few months, as COVID-19 has moved from a fear-producing unknown to an era-defining terror, we’ve seen mainstream media coverage that mirrors the failures of our healthcare system, the police force, and the government as a whole.

Teenage pregnancies are rising in the wake of this pandemic because so many girls are being sexually exploited in the crisis-affected areas.

Susan, a 15-year-old girl says “ I know that so many girls in my area will suffer. There will be a scarcity of food, we will get abused and violated. Boys always ask for sexual favors if we ask them for help.”

Low-income families are most likely to force their daughters into early marriage. These girls will no longer be able to go back to school and live up to their full potential.

Related Stories: Poverty and Depression as a Result of COVID-19 Has Affected the Youth in Kenya.

Pandemics have been seen to make existing gender inequalities worse and can make it more difficult for women and girls to receive treatment and health.

Health care systems have been forced to channel all of their resources to combat an epidemic so sexual and reproductive health care has been overlooked despite the persistent need for adequate family planning, menstrual health resources, and maternal care.

 

 

 

Universities online learning during covid-19

Many schools all over the world have turned to remote learning to keep students busy but it is unfortunate that most girls do not have access to the tools that are required.

Did you know that only 39% of girls who live in rural areas make it to secondary school? Boys, on the other hand, 45% of them make it to secondary school globally.

Now imagine how much this divide has grown due to COVID-19.

Families choosing boys to go to school over girls is as a result of gender norms. It is absurd how in the 21st century, there is no agency in such issues. Girls still do not have a voice.

Related Stories: Coronavirus- How to Manage Your Mental Health During Self-Isolation.

 

Another issue is that the number of boys in low-income families who own smartphones is much higher compared to girls.

Remote learning becomes so much easier for them. Girls not only do not have access to remote learning, but also general access to learning period!

The big challenge that has remained in many countries is that girls drop out of school at much higher rates than boys.

We have made so much effort to get girls to go to school, and suddenly schools are closed.

School closures are not only causing girls to miss out academically; they also prevent girls from having access to benefits like support from other students and teachers, or the chance to network.

Protect A Girls Image is calling on governments and local authorities to make education affordable and accessible for all, continue access to sexual and reproductive information and services, protect families from hunger, tackle gender-based violence, and provide support for refugees, girls, and women.

 

CONCLUSION

Truth is that in times of crisis, disparities like these become even more apparent.

We have seen the effects this pandemic is having on women and girls.

From the increased reports of domestic violence as survivors are forced to lockdown with their abusers, to the restrictions on reproductive healthcare and the challenges of working women struggling to balance work and family.

The fact that 85% of all nurses, 75% of primary caregivers, and 62% of minimum and low-wage workers are women—women and girls’ lives are especially impacted by this pandemic.

There is a need to look at the global crisis through a gendered lens, to create awareness so we can then address these issues and create change.

Do you agree?

 

Donating Food As A Response To Coronavirus/ The Church and Non-profits.

In Kenya, the Protect A Girl Organization is still providing food and supplies to up to 40 different families in Kirinyaga County. The organization is delivering care packages with food and other resources to the community.

food donations for coronavirus

 

There is a great need for food assistance during this COVID-19 outbreak.

That is why our teams, both here in Kenya and in the USA are doing the best we can to help those in need.

Many local churches we collaborate with are also active in encouraging their members involved in helping others.

One good example is the Agape Apostolic Church of Deliverance in Troy, New York.

Under the Strong Leadership of Pastor David Camp and his wife and Assistant Pastor Paulette Camp, the church came together to start a drive-thru food pantry to help community members impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Both Pastors have served in ministry at the  Church for approximately 28 years.

The church places emphasis on family unity.  Among the various forms of outreach, the church reaches out to the poor and needy in the community with “The Bread of Life Community Outreach Program” (food pantry), an Annual Community & Fellowship Fun Day, and the annual Friends & Family Community Backpack and School Supplies Giveaway.   Agape Apostolic Church of Deliverance has successfully given away over 2,500 bibles in alms bags to date.  The church is rapidly growing and God is a blessing.

The pantry, called “The Bread of Life,” is under the leadership Minister Anthony Lewis.

 

He coordinated with the church and volunteers to put on Saturday morning’s distribution of bags of food from their pantry.

The church said they’ve served up to 400 families since the coronavirus pandemic began.

“So we usually do it just once a month but you know now, we’re pretty much doing it at least two or three times a week making deliveries,” said Minister Anthony Lewis.

The church’s community outreach program said anyone who’s struggling should not be afraid to reach out.

agape apostolic church food pantry

agape apostolic church food pantry

Minister Anthony Lewis quotes “I want to first thank our great Pastor and Assistant Pastor Elder David Camp and Evangelist Paulette Camp for their vision in starting the Agape Bread Of Life Community Outreach Program and how the Saints of Agape and Community Volunteers unselfishly gave their time to come out on such an awesome day to serve the community. We gave out tons of food and supplies to so many families in need. As always God Be the Glory!”

So many people in the US have filed for unemployment assistance in the past five weeks, as the coronavirus pandemic closes businesses and keeps residents mostly indoors. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, 37 million people in the US struggled to find enough to eat according to Feeding America.

They had lines of cars waiting to get food donations from the pantry.

agape apostolic church food pantry

 

“Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6–7

 

Protect A Girls Image dedicates our resources, platforms, and will to make the biggest impact on people with the greatest need. This moment is an opportunity to illuminate how we are all affected when some of us lack the protections of a safety net. By focusing on the needs of people most impacted, we can better ensure the health and safety of all communities.

To learn more about the response in your community and how you can help, find us Here.

Protect a girls image coronavirus food donations

INCASE YOU MISSED IT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

Coronavirus and COVID-19: How We Are Caregiving for the Elderly.

Match Made in Heaven/ How Our Nonprofit partners with the Church.

Tips for parenting during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. {Infographics}

Coronavirus and COVID-19: How We Are Caregiving for the Elderly.

Protect A Girls’ Image Organization takes pride in taking care of the elderly.

We have members of our organization who collaborate with hospices in Lynden Washington USA to take care of them.

When this Coronavirus Pandemic began, we were really worried because research showed that the elderly are the most vulnerable.

Research is showing that adults 60 and older, especially those with preexisting medical conditions, especially heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or cancer are more likely to have severe — even deadly — coronavirus infection than other age groups.

While we have no control over certain risk factors such as age and while questions remain unanswered, there is much we can do to prepare and protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Our work in the industry is facing unprecedented pressure due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak.

Should the situation continue, we have created a contingency plan to support all the elderly people who are in our care now or may need care in the coming months.

I want to give you a few tips and guidance from some of our experts at PGIO on what you can do to help your loved ones during this time.

Keep yourself well.

First and most important, as a caretaker you should take all the precautions you can to avoid becoming infected yourself. Here are the basics:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after providing care, preparing food, using the bathroom, or touching surfaces in public places.
  • Avoid crowds, and if you cough or sneeze, do so into the bend of your elbow or into a disposable tissue.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces in your home often, including mobility and medical equipment used by your loved one, such as walkers, canes and handrails.

We Practice social and physical distancing but not social isolation.

One important way to lower the risk of your older family members catching COVID-19 is to limit in-person visits. But this may be tough for older adults who cherish time spent with friends and family members.

Our CEO Margaret Wangui says, “Social distancing doesn’t have to mean isolation or loneliness. We need to keep older adults safe, but also keep in mind that social isolation can have a negative impact on older people’s  immunity and mental health.”

She notes that in terms of social contacts, seniors should be encouraged to think beyond their usual circle of friends and family. “Saying hello to the mail carrier or checking in on neighbors close by can add to a sense of connectedness,” Margaret says.

With many houses of worship closing their doors until the pandemic eases, congregants, especially older ones, may feel cut off. “Faith communities are often a big part of older adults’ social lives,” Wangui says. Caregivers might help their loved one access online services and outreach for spiritual solace and support.”

We Use Technology for Staying Connected.

We have really tried to help older residents feel involved, purposeful, and less lonely during the pandemic. This is how we do it:

  • We show them how to video chat with others using smartphones, laptops, or tablets.
  • We use apps on these devices to provide captions for adults with hearing challenges.
  • We encourage friends and family outside of the household to telephone, write notes, or send cards to lift their loved one’s spirits.

We Keep elders involved.

Arbaje recommends giving homebound older adults a project they can work on.

“Think about going through and organizing old photos and memories together, and enjoy the stories and happy memories they inspire.

It can be a good time for an elder to demonstrate cooking a favorite family recipe or share favorite songs or movies with other people in the household.”

We Minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection.

We have really tried to postpone unnecessary doctor visits.

If an older adult in our care is feeling well, we consider helping them postpone elective procedures, annual checkups, and other non-essential doctor visits.

We keep in mind that many older people, especially those living with chronic illness, have important relationships with their caregivers.

To help them stay in touch, we ask their doctors’ offices if they offer telemedicine which enables doctors and patients to communicate over the video, email, or other means rather than face-to-face.

We decide on a plan.

We try as much as possible to involve the older family members in discussions of how they will manage interruptions of routines and what will happen if they (or someone else in your family) becomes sick.

Talking things through ahead of time as a family can reduce stress and help everyone feel more involved and prepared.

We normally pick an emergency contact.

If you’re the main caregiver, designate someone nearby whom you could rely on to care for your elderly family member if you yourself become ill.

We keep regular medications and other supplies well-stocked.

Given the vulnerability of older individuals and those with chronic conditions, we recommend that you should have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case they need to stay home.

Monitor food and other medical supplies needed and create a plan in the event that such resources become depleted.

For families, know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them have extra to hand.

We have gathered one to three months of medications, and at least two weeks’ worth of food, over-the-counter remedies, pet supplies, and other essentials.

It is also good to find out which delivery services are available in your area.

If there are symptoms or exposure? Call ahead.

If you or your loved one learn that you might have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or if anyone in your household develops symptoms such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath, call your family doctor, nurse helpline, or urgent care facility.

For a medical emergency such as severe shortness of breath or high fever, please call 719 or text *719# which is a toll-free number provided by the Government of Kenya.

You can also call the following County Hotline numbers 0800721316 (tollfree) / 0732353535.

We respond to multigenerational living situations.

Some of our households are multigenerational, with different people at different levels of risk residing under one roof.

Households, therefore, will need to consider the risks of all its members.

One important consideration is that many older adults live in homes where other members, such as children, may have frequent colds.

Your family institute can change now by not sharing personal items like food, water bottles, and utensils.

If possible, choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. If possible, also choose a bathroom for the sick person to use.

We keep abreast of essential, up-to-date information.

The situation with COVID-19 is changing rapidly.

For example, in some areas, China has moved from in-home quarantine and isolation to dedicated facilities for suspect cases and others for confirmed cases.

That means everyone should find and regularly check a trusted information source such as the WHO’s dedicated website or their national public health agency.

Protect A Girls’ Image Organization continues to work with public health authorities to identify specific coronavirus related issues relevant to the over 50s.

Meantime, in this setting of well-founded concern, occasionally unfounded fears and rapidly evolving dynamics, it’s always important to remember your health basics for a strong mind and body: maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes engaging in moderate exercise, keeping a healthy diet and getting regular sleep.

Household clusters of COVID-19 infections demonstrate the virus can spread more easily among people living under the same roof.

However, with planning, and incorporating additional steps as more information emerges, together we can try to minimize the impact of the COVID-19.

I hope all these tips help you when it comes to taking care of your elderly loved ones. If you have any questions or contributions, feel free to share in the comments below.

We have more amazing content here:

How To Talk to Children and Help Them Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19.

Match Made In Heaven- How Our Nonprofit Partners With A Church.

6 Tips On How To Nurture A Childs’ Mental Health.

How to talk to Children and Help them Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19.

Families all over the world have to adopt new changes and routines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Children can no longer go to school, Parents cannot go to work, all businesses are closed, and public gatherings have all been restricted.

Parents and caregivers are therefore forced to help their families adjust to the new normal.

I am sure as a parent you are struggling to keep your children occupied and safe during this trying period.

I understand, keeping children busy and helping them keep up with school work is not easy.

However, you should remember that our children look up to us especially on how we react to stressful situations.

I am sure our kids are confused about why they are not in school and why they are not allowed to go outside and play with their friends.

Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be.

Here is some advice on how you can start the conversation about coronavirus.

  • Don’t be afraid to discuss the coronavirus.

Your child has already heard about the virus or has seen people wearing facemasks and the constant washing of hands and sanitizing.

Do not be afraid to talk to them about it because keeping them in the dark will actually make them worry more. Summarize the most important facts that they should know.

This will be so reassuring and at least they are more likely to understand better when it comes from you as opposed to hearing it from the news and friends.

  • Be developmentally appropriate.

Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming.

Instead, try to answer your child’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly. It’s okay if you can’t answer everything; being available to your child is what matters.

  • Take your cues from your child.

Invite your child to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus, and how they feel.

Give them ample opportunity to ask questions. You want to be prepared to answer (but not prompt) questions.

Your goal is to avoid encouraging frightening fantasies.

  • Deal with your own anxiety.

When you’re feeling most anxious or panicked, that isn’t the time to talk to your kids about what’s happening with the coronavirus.

If you notice that you are feeling anxious, take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.

  • Be reassuring.

Children are very egocentric, so hearing about the coronavirus on the news may be enough to make them seriously worry that they’ll catch it.

It’s helpful to reassure your child about how rare the coronavirus actually is (the flu is much more common) and that kids actually seem to have milder symptoms.

  • Focus on what you’re doing to stay safe.

An important way to reassure kids is to emphasize the safety precautions that you are taking.

Kids feel empowered when they know what to do to keep themselves safe.

For example, you can tell them that the coronavirus is transmitted mostly by coughing and touching surfaces and that they should thoroughly wash their hands as the primary means of staying healthy.

So remind kids that they are taking care of themselves by washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of two “Happy Birthday” songs) when they come in from outside before they eat, and after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the bathroom.

If kids ask about face masks, explain that the experts say they aren’t necessary for most people.

If kids see people wearing face masks, explain that those people are being extra cautious.

  • Explain social distancing.

Children probably don’t fully understand why parents/guardians aren’t allowing them to be with friends.

Tell your child that your family is following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which include social distancing.

Social distancing means staying away from others until the risk of contracting COVID-19 is under control. Showing older children the “flatten the curve” charts will help them grasp the significance of social distancing.

Explain that while we don’t know how long it will take to “flatten the curve” to reduce the number of those infected, we do know that this is a critical time—we must follow the guidelines of health experts to do our part.

  • Stick to a routine.

Nobody likes uncertainty, so staying rooted in routines and predictability is going to be helpful right now.

This is particularly important if your child’s school or daycare shuts down.

Make sure you are taking care of the basics just like you would during a school break.

Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.

how parents can help their children heal from trauma

 

Having a Conversation is very important.

However, you can use this opportunity to teach your children life skills they don’t learn in school.

The following are skills you can teach your children during this self-isolation period.

Resilience 

A crisis like a coronavirus can evoke feelings of anxiety and fear.

Parents can turn this around and model a sense of hope and positivity.

Teaching children emotional resilience can help them learn the areas of life they can control in uncertain times.

We can teach them resilience by how we control our attitude, how we are kind to others, how we control consumption and spending too.

Showing children that they are privileged and should be very grateful for what they have is important too.

 Use it as an ultimate training ground

Parents could view this time to provide children with the “ultimate training ground,” giving them an early start to learning life skills for when they no longer live at home.

Restrictions are now in place around the world, limiting how often people can leave the house to visit shops, for example, as part of efforts to reduce outside human contact and curb the further spread of COVID-19.

Signs have also appeared in many shops, rationing the number of certain products people can buy at one time, to combat the panic stockpiling that has taken place amid increasing fears about the pandemic.

At home, however, this offers the opportunity to teach children about rationing, cooking, and budgeting for food.

Fun activities like playing games, sewing, knitting, and gardening, like some other skills that can help children to become more self-sufficient.

Positive messages about money 

Parents can take this opportunity to teach children about money. Budgeting and saving can teach children how money can grow over time. Do not underestimate the ability of children to understand and engage with finances.

Online safety 

Since we are spending a lot of time cooped up inside, this is a good time to teach children about online safety.

They will be online a lot trying to keep themselves occupied and so it is good that we start teaching them how to navigate the digital world safely.

You could also teach children how to use their digital skills more altruistically, to connect with the wider community during self-isolation, or even entrepreneurially.

 

I hope these tips will help you remain sane during this global pandemic. While we all ride out the corona storm, wherever you are located, the Protect A Girls’ Image team wishes you, and your families good health. Remember, we’re in this together, and we’ll come out of this together! Lots of Love!!

RELATED CONTENT:

10 Tips on How Parents Can Help Nurture Children Who Have Experienced Trauma.

Your Daughter Does Not Owe Anyone Anything, Not Even Grandpa.

6 Tips On How To Nurture A Child’s Mental Health.

 

Match Made in Heaven/ How Our Nonprofit partners with the Church.

It so sad that the Love of money has penetrated deeply in churches today.

Ministries are being measured by their monetary worth and even Christians value each other in terms of financial capabilities and this fully angers God.

But this is not the case for Pastor David Camp and his wife and Assistant Pastor Paulette Camp of Agape Apostolic Church in Troy New York.

We cannot be grateful enough for how much our partnership with this church has brought joy to the lives of people in the community.

Service is a part of our vision at Protect A girls Image Organization.

We have a community development model that requires us to have long-term relationships and collaborations with local organizations, churches, and stakeholders committed to transform our community.

We believe the justice of God is always restorative. God is constantly working to restore systems, communities, families, and humanity.

For us to be a just and generous Organization, we serve as a way to partner with God in bringing restoration to all things.

Agape Church of Deliverance believes that there is ONE LORD, ONE FAITH AND ONE BAPTISM.

They teach and believe that Jesus is Lord and they invite everyone to a Holy Ghost filled Anointed Services where God’s unconditional LOVE (AGAPE) saturates the atmosphere!

Our goal of forming relationships with a church or community overseas is to deepen our connection as Christians.

It helps us to better educate each other about what life is like in a different country/culture.

We have become involved in each other’s efforts to make our communities closer to the vision that God has for us.

We believe that everyone has been given gifts and resources by God.

These resources (material, spiritual, emotional, relational, financial, and others) should be used for the greater good of God’s kingdom.

We see close relationships between distant churches as a way to share the resources and knowledge that we have with each other.

Why Should a Non-Profit partner with a Church?

  • Our Organization and Agape Church’s relationship can help us both express our unity in Christ which transcends national, ethnic, economic, linguistic and other barriers.
  • We are both encouraged as we see God working in one another.
  • Agape Church and our Organization serve as we use our spiritual gifts, skills, abilities, and professional knowledge.
  • We both experience Spiritual growth, Revitalization and Community transformation.
  • Agape Church has played a big role in encouraging and supporting us.
  • Creative and innovative ministries are limitless.

 

RELATED CONTENT: Protect A Girls Image In Collaboration with the Church in Providing Hospice Services.

PGIO Lynden Church Hospice

 

Agape Apostolic church in New York has partnered with Protect A Girls Image in the following ways:

 

EDUCATION

Effects of Poverty on Education in Kirinyaga County- Kenya.

PGIO believes that the best way to build a stronger Africa is to foster future African leaders from diverse backgrounds.

We find bright children living on the edges of society and provides them with long-term, quality education, leadership, and critical thinking skills.

We provide them with resources they need to become leaders in their communities and beyond. Our beneficiaries come from families stricken by AIDS, Illiteracy, and poverty.

They don’t lack ambition, they only need resources to make their dreams come true – that’s where we come in!

We have very kind sponsors from Agape Church who have made a great impact on educating our Beneficiaries. We have also run a crowdfunding campaign to raise school fees for our beneficiaries.

They have provided promising children an opportunity to attend the best local schools in the region, where they gain the skills and confidence to become leaders.

 

SCRIPTURES/ EVANGELISM

Evangelism

Agape Church always reminds us that each of us is created in the image of God, filled with potential and worth.

As we respond to God’s call to care for our brothers and sisters in poverty, we seek to celebrate their inherent, God-breathed value.

Traditional models of charity often emphasize what those in poverty lack—overlooking their unique skills, abilities, and drive.

We believe that a scriptural approach affirms the dignity and value of those we seek to help.

We believe families in poverty have the God-given talents and skills to provide for their families.

What they don’t have is a lump sum of money to invest in their potential—by paying school fees, saving for the future, or investing in businesses.

 

ADVOCACY

PGIO Advocacy Work

Pastor Paulette Camp has a great influence on the Grass-roots level. She runs a ministry called “I AM MY SISTER’S KEEPER”. It is an uplifting and motivational Program that seeks to advocate for random acts of kindness to women. Paulette Camp also encourages us to push Advocacy work here in Kenya.

We have worked together to influence the decisions, policies, and practices of powerful decision-makers. We are advocating for change where they will address underlying causes of poverty in Kirinyaga County, bring justice and support good development.

Through our pieces of training, initiatives, and programs, the Organization builds community capacity to mobilize civic action.

 

EMPOWERMENT

Empowerment

The Church started an Initiative called the Agape Sparkles Youth Program. The Program strives to build the strength of the community by empowering youth to maximize their spiritual, personal, and educational potential.

The mission is to teach, lead and live the Christian life, using all appropriate methods to excite, inspire, capture and ignite young people for Jesus.

PGIO also works to empower our community and beneficiaries by giving them the tools to help themselves break out of the cycle of generational poverty. We educate children about sexual consent, the importance of staying in school and to our girls we teach about menstrual hygiene.

Our work is all about DEVELOPMENT, not charity; DIGNITY, not shame.

We believe all humans are created in the image of God. We will always promote the dignity and worth of people and families.

 

FOOD

PGIO Food Drive

Agape Church has a Bread of life community outreach program run by Minister Anthony Lewis.

They give free food and supplies to members of the Community every 4th Saturday of every month from 11 am to 3 pm.

PGIO also plays a big role in feeding the poor in Kirinyaga County.

We have scheduled outreach programs where we distribute maize flour, sugar, cooking oil, rice, beans, soap, tissue, and tea leaves just to mention a few.

We distribute clothes, shoes, underwear, and jackets too for the cold seasons. We believe that if a child is well fed and clothed, he or she will be able to stay in school. We don’t underestimate the power of a hot meal in a child’s life.

 

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Catcalling is Not A Compliment, It’s Harassment.

 

SUMMARY

When we are drawn to respond to a particular area of suffering and need, we reflect the heart of our Heavenly Father, who is grieved by all forms of injustice.

Protect A Girls Image, through Christ-centered economic development, addresses the root of many issues like child marriage, illiteracy, hunger, and homelessness by dealing with the underlying causes of poverty and hopelessness.

Together we can share the love of God in word and deed, building His Kingdom and growing our faith as we invite Him to work through us.

Our Girl Susan Wambui always says, “I am so grateful that Jesus heard my prayers and sent a sponsor to provide an education that has changed my life.”

We pray that through the many Ministries offered by PGIO, that many lives will be changed, in ways to restore people to Jesus Christ and provide hope for a bright future.

Jesus gave us the blueprint when he said these words “a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all will know that you are my disciples if you have a love for one another”

John 13:34-35

 

Catcalling is not a Compliment, It’s Harassment!!

When I go to the shop every morning, our gate man and his friends will not let a lady pass by the gate without uttering words like “mrembo leo hunisalimii?”- “Beautiful come and say hi”. You can imagine how you look in the morning – baggy t-shirt or hoodie, sweatpants or tights, and they still catcall us which is very irritating. Most of the times I just pass by without saying anything or when am in a good mood I just wave and move along.

I am sure millions of women and girls around the world will have heard phrases like that. “Hey Sexy!” “Hey Beautiful!” “Ouh your body this or that!” or something like it. Some might say that it’s harmless, just a joke, or perhaps even a compliment.

But to be honest catcalling is none of those things. It’s an explicit demonstration of power, one that is intended to frighten or intimidate the person it’s addressed to. It is based in deep-rooted gender inequality, which sees women’s bodies as not their own.

 

In my opinion, in the context of gender, harassment often ends up being a way for men to exert control over women and their bodies. Shouting a crude comment about a woman’s appearance suggests entitlement to her body. Groping or stalking or simply standing too close without a woman’s permission shows entitlement to her space. Expecting a woman to talk to you while or after you harass her displays entitlement to her time. Do You Agree?

 

What is Catcalling?

Catcalling is when an individual whistles, shouts, or makes sexual comments toward another individual as they are walking by. Women are often the ones faced with having to deal with this ridiculous issue. The fact that I get a little nervous when I decide to get dressed up because I don’t feel like getting harassed, is a problem. You shouldn’t have to feel self-conscious or nervous every time you get dressed to head out the door or every time you pass by men on the street.

What is Street Harassment?

Street harassment is one of the most pervasive forms of violence against women and girls. It’s a type of sexual harassment and includes catcalling, unwanted comments, gestures, honking and uninvited sexual advances from strangers in a public place.

When you face harassment as part of your daily life, whether it’s while going for a run or getting the bus to see friends, what does that do? It holds you back right?

You are compelled to change your clothes, or routes to work just to try to avoid it. It can even  prevent you from working, from socialising, from learning, and from living with freedom and dignity.

This is not acceptable. No woman or girl should feel afraid in the streets of her own city.

Did you Know Poverty makes girls more vulnerable to harassment??

We help and interact with many women and girls in the rural areas we operate and they have stories to tell about street harassment. One would think thank living in the rural areas is a bit safer than urban areas but we were wrong.

Women and girls living in poverty are even more vulnerable to this sort of street harassment. For example, Rose Wanjiru attends a local school in Kangai village, Kenya. She is only 12 years old, but she and her friends are often harassed by men as they walk to and from school. Rose says:

“On my way home, we often get catcalls from the farm workers and boda boda [motorcycle taxi] riders. My biggest wish is that we get an education, the men should leave us alone.”

 

RELATED CONTENT: See How we are Raising Funds to help our Beneficiaries like Rose to stay in school.

How Protect a Girls Image is helping girls who are experiencing street harassment.

Jackline Wamwitha, Our eldest girl belongs to the Protect a Girls Image-supported girls’ club at her school. The club is a safe spacewhere the girls learn about their rights and gain the confidence to report harassment and abuse. Jackline looks out for other girls at school. She says: “I tell my friends: don’t pay attention to those men.”

In addition to girls’ clubs, Protect a Girls Image is working with women’s groups and training government officials, police, health workers and legal advisers in Kenya on how to best to tackle violence against women and girls.

By working closely with local commuities, PGIO is tackling gender-based street harassment at its root, by challenging the behaviours and gender inequalities that cause it.

 

READ MORE: Our Visit to Kangai Sunday School  Support Club. – Talks on Menstruation, Sex, Consent and Safety.

 

How Should You Deal with Street Harassment?

 Ignore It

Sometimes, no response is the best response (especially if you’re concerned about escalating the situation). Some harassers might enjoy any sort of attention, so ignoring the foolishness is the best bet. Hopefully, they will eventually get a clue and stop catcalling completely.

 Respond

If you’re a quick thinker with a strong voice, then responding may be a good choice. If you feel safe enough to do so, assertively respond to the harassers calmly, firmly and without insults or personal attacks to let them know that their actions are unwelcome, unacceptable and wrong. It’s one way to turn the situation around.

Show Compassion

Sometimes kindness is the most unexpected, confusing, and wonderful response of all. So if some guy is saying garbage about your appearance, you can respond with quiet sympathy. “You must be in a bad place to comment on stranger’s bodies like that. I hope life gets better for you.” You can say, with full sincerity. Then sashay away!

Report to Employer

If you are being harassed at work you can air your views and let Human Resources know that their employees are harassing people on the job and why that is unacceptable. I know you might be thinking “what will my colleagues think and what if I lose my job” If we don’t start standing up for ourselves now then when?

Step In

If you see a lady being harassed, please help them out of the situation and let the harasser know that their actions are not condoned by others. Ask her if she wants help and what she’d like you to do or simply check in to see if she is OK. Majority of street harassers look to other men for approval so they might gang up on you.

 

What will you Do to Help Girls facing Street Harassment??

If you Donate to Protect A Girls’ Image Education Funding>>>HERE, you can help us support more Girls in School, so that they can be educated on preventing and responding to harassment and violence. Here’s what your money could do:

  • $80  could help educate girls and ensure they are aware of their rights
  • $5 could help girls carry their books to school.
  • $10 could help get a Dozen of Books for each girl, to write down everything  they learn.
  • $3 could help buy a Dozen of Pens for them to write with.

 

SUMMARY

The most common defense that men have against this issue is that catcalls are their way of “complimenting” a woman’s looks. Going up to a woman and telling her she’s beautiful is one thing, but shouting “damn!” “hey sexy!” or whistling and honking the car horn as a woman walks by is a different story.

Catcalling can even get to the point of being dangerous if women decide defend themselves or ignore the cat-callers, because often they will get offended causing them to act in an aggressive or intimidating manner by name calling or going as far as assaulting women. It’s important that you assess your situation and ensure your safety before responding.

What men need to understand is that catcalling is not cute, funny, or complimenting. It’s harassment, degrading, and disgusting. It lets women know they are being objectified and looked at as nothing more than a piece of meat. It makes women feel as though they have no rights or values. Women are not dogs to be whistled at and they are not sexual objects. Women are more than their looks. Women have the right to be treated with as much respect and dignity when walking down the street as any man. Women deserve to feel safe!!

RELATED CONTENT

Ten Ways to Teach your Children Consent at every Age.

Ten Tips on how Parents can Help Children who have experienced Trauma.

Skills that Dad’s should teach their 13year Old Daughters in 2020.

 

HIV/AIDS in Kirinyaga County

Like any other county in Kenya, Kirinyaga county continues to face many challenges as a result of HIV and AIDS. HIV/AIDS prevalence among the people of Kirinyaga County is 3.3 % compared to the national average. Most of those affected are women and young persons aged between 15 to 24 years of age.  AIDS-related mortality has resulted in an increasing number of widows, widowers and orphans. Young students drop out of school owing to the stigma and discrimination. The virus is being fueled by mainly sexuality among teenagers, economic vulnerabilities especially among women and youth, alcohol and substance abuse among others.

According to the Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework, the priority population for HIV in Kirinyaga county are as follows:

  • Female Sex Workers especially in the urban centres. Most of the women who are sex workers are employed or work in farms but often engage in sex work to boost their income. Due to stigma, most pose as customers in clubs while others engage in the vice in towns away from where they live. Their clients cut across the sector but most are those living away from their spouses like police, civil servants, truck drivers and business people.
  • Men who have sex with men are a group of the population that exists in Kirinyaga county. They are however not public due to the stigma. PGIO has identified a clinic in Mwea Town that caters for this group only. It floods with clients but especially at night.
  • People who inject drugs are another group which has risen due to the increased usage of drugs in the county mostly happening in schools and universities. There have been reports of persons injecting drugs.
  • People with disabilities in this county are also likely to be infected with the virus since they are unable to protect themselves from rape or sexual exploitation. They also lack access to HIV information.

Women are at a higher risk of being infected with HIV during sexual contact than men are. This is because the fragile tissues of the vagina can tear slightly during sex and let the virus enter the body. This is most likely among girls under the age of 18. Women who have HIV can pass the infection to their children during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. PGIO create awareness and educate women in Kirinyaga county to take the necessary steps to protect their children from infection.

PGIO is looking for Doors and well-wishers to help the organization to form units to address and mitigate the raging negative effect of the HIV epidemic. If you wish to help with regard to this issue please scroll down to the DONATE button or email us on info@protectagirlsimage.org . Every Dollar/ Shilling Counts.

By Caroline Wangechi.