GlobeMed at Brown partners with U-Tena in Nairobi, Kenya to educate young women about financial literacy and sexual and mental health.
Who We Are // GlobeMed at Brown University
Founded in 2011, GlobeMed at Brown University is one of 50 university based GlobeMed chapters working to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world. In striving for this goal, we partner with the grassroots organization Ungano-Tena (U-Tena) located in Nairobi, Kenya to support programs that develop creative and innovative solutions to raise awareness about sexual health practices and improve the health, education and quality of life within their communities. Through performance, U-Tena, dispels myths related to HIV transmission, to encourage testing, treatment, and discussions around family planning, sexual and reproductive health.
Our Partner // Ungano-Tena in Nairobi, Kenya
Ungano Tena (U-Tena) is Swahili for reuniting – coming back together. U-Tena is a grassroots community-based organization created in 2005 by youth from the Viwandani-Mukuru slum in East Nairobi. U-Tena’s mission is to educate local communities about sexual and reproductive health, and to raise awareness of related issues through popular education and partnerships with key stakeholders. Using music, dance, two-dimensional art and theatre, U-Tena teaches communities about HIV, STIs, sexual health and reproductive health, among others. Since the fall of 2011, the GlobeMed chapter at Brown University has raised over $14,000 for U-Tena’s Kuza Project.
Our Project // $10,000 to Build and Fund Kuza Project Youth Center
The Kuza Project of U-Tena was established last year with the support of GlobeMed at Brown University and has been mentoring 50 girls, aged 10-17, on issues of sexual health practices, mental health, and financial literacy, with hopes to expand in many areas this year.
- Financial Literacy: U-Tena has partnered with Equity Bank in Nairobi, Kenya to open bank accounts for the 50 girls in the mentorship program. These bank accounts will serve both as a lesson in earning and saving and provide them with a tangible way of utilizing their lessons.
- Job Training/Skill-Building: U-Tena will be building a center in the Mukuru slum and providing supplies for the girls to learn about how to make handicrafts so that they can learn how to run small businesses, sell their own work, begin to put money away in their new savings accounts, and also delay or avoid entrance into exploitative lines of work such as sex work.
- Sanitation: Many girls do not go to school several days a month because they do not have sanitary pads, which U-Tena hopes to provide for the girls in their center.
- Mentorship/Sexual and Mental Health: Mentors come from the slums that the girls are recruited from, as to relate to their individual experiences and pressures, and are trained and hired by U-Tena to council the girls in sexual health and mental health issues ranging from body issues, family pressures, to pressures to engage in sexual activity. The girls build close relationships with the mentors that advise them in responsible decision-making and self-empowerment.
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