Category Archives: Empowering Young Women and Girls Project

Meeting the UDI team

One day I had the opportunity to meet with 7 out of 13 members of Uwezo Development Initiative. So far, I had been working closely together with Sifah, Ferdinand and Juliet. This meeting was a good opportunity to get to know the other members and how their association is organized.

They registered their association in August 2014 and act in the fields of child protection, youth, peace and education. The Empowering Young Women and Girls Project is at the moment one of major projects of action.


From left to right: Sifah (project coordinator), Maria (peer educator), Walter (youth leader and peer educator), Michael (psychological chancelor), Ferdinand (project director), Eve (media & communication), me, Juliet (youth leader and peer educator)

Training on Personal Hygiene for Young Mothers


Besides training on family planning and entrepreneurship, education on hygiene is also a major issue in the Empowering Young Women and Girls Project. Since all of the young mothers have kids, personal hygiene plays an important role and has to be considered as a matter of course in their daily life.

For this reason Sifah, project coordinator at UDI, trained the young mothers on the importance of personal hygiene and outlined diseases that may result from lack of hygiene, for example concerning teeth hygiene.


IMG_4712 Small things like washing hands properly before and after eating and after going to the toilet is important to avoid infections. With a live demonstration the women could strengthen their awareness on the importance of washing hands properly.


As assisting teaching material Sifah used an e-learning on Personal Hygiene developed by Regina Polczer in the framework of her bachelor thesis at Hochschule Karlsruhe.




Meeting the Young Mothers from Mnarani

In my third week Juliet from UDI introduced to me a group of 8 young mothers from Mnarani, the village where I lived, located about 3 km from Kilifi.

It was a getting to know each other and we exchanged our expectations concerning the project. The women’s goal is to do a start their own business, for example, chicken farming. Furthermore, they are very willing to start a soft loan project within their group, which they eventually started later during my stay.



Training on Family Planning in Bofa Maweni Village

Today I joined a training on family planning. It took place in Bofa Maweni village. In this session UDI worked together with Kesho, an organization which advances access to education and employment in Kenya.




Walter and Juliet from UDI taught the women about family planning methods. Although I knew that there is lacking a lot of knowledge concerning contraceptives it was still astonoshing to experience that this was really how it is and that there are so many myths and rumors on this topic rooted in the society. There are various factors bringing about these myths about using contraceptives. The male domination in relationships or marriages and also in the society is a strong factor. Therefore, it is really necessary to also include the males and the community in family planning education.

In the session the women were taught on different family planning methods. They got to know about how they function, advantages and disadvantages and how they are used. Also, they saw live demonstration, for example, on how to use condoms. It first raised shame among the participants which showed that it is a taboo topic they are not comfortable with.



In fact, using contraceptives in Kenya is not a matter of cost. All contraceptives are available for free for everyone. The biggest barrier is the knowledge and overcoming the rumours rooted in the community. Additionally, they have to get access to hospitals where they get the services.

Thus, visiting communities in the villages to educate them is a first important and necessary step to make the people aware about the importance on family planning, to stop the rumours and to help them in making decisions.

Official Meeting with our Partners at Pwani University


On 17th April 2017 we hold our meeting with our partners from Pwani University and our partners from Uwezo Development Initiative . Since our project kickoff meeting in September we finished the first project period.

Data collection as a basis for further initiatives

This first project period consisted in collecting data about the targeted women. 43 women have been interviewed by both Pwani and UDI team on their situation and their goals and expectations. Moreover, there have been key informant and focus group discussions in order to get a picture from different perspectives. The results from the data collection will be analysed both qualitative and quantitative. This data is an important basis for deriving suitable initiatives and to measure the future success.

For the next initiatives, we agreed on the following topics and activities:

  1. An agricultural project with the goal to enable food security and nutrition as well as and provide job possibilities
    • the young mothers should be given some land where they can grow crops and vegetables. The products can be used for themselves, the community and for sales.
  2. Training on family planning for different groups, including the targeted women, their partners, and the community
    • This should be done by training the groups in their villages and to give them access to family planning methods in nearby hospitals

Excursion to Kenya 2016

During the summer semester 2016 we have been working on two projects that support the Empowering Young Women Project in Kenya. Through the initiative of our professors, Prof. Sissi Closs and Prof. Dr. Michael Tewes, we got the chance to travel there in September 2016, to present our project outcomes and to continue the project work with the local university. In this blog we would like to share our experience from this impressing excursion to Kenya.


Who are we?

We both are students at University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule Karlsruhe für Technik und Wirtschaft) in Karlsruhe, Germany and study in the master programme Communications and Media Management. It was the first time for us to visit Kenya.


My name is Stephanie Winterhalter. I’m 25 years old and come from Nürnberg.

My name is Simone Martin. I’m 26 years old and come from a village called Biberach located in the black forest.

What was it all about?

img_20160926_130810342_hdrOur journey group consisted of five people. Our professors, Prof. Sissi Closs and Prof. Dr. Michael Tewes who initiated the trip, Sissi Closs’ husband Reent Bruns and the two of us. In Kenya we met Sifah, a friend of our professors and project coordinator of the Empowering Young Women and Girls Project. He guided us all along our trip.

The Empowering Young Women and Girls Project

But why did we travel so far? Not for holidays. During the summer semester 2016 we have been working together with some other students in two projects for the Empowering Young Women and Girls Project, led by Uwezo Development Initiative. The project is located in Kilifi, at the east coast of Kenya.

The project empowers young women and girls who are vulnerable and marginalized in their society due to their early pregnancies. Within the project the women are given workshops in which they learn basic skills about health, hyigene and entrepreneurship, e.g. how to set up their own business and to deal with soft loans. The aim is that they are able to live an independent an self-determined life.

women in Majani

Visit of the some women participating in the Women Empowerment Project (September 23rd, 2016)

Our study projects

One study project was aimed to win sponsors for the project (you can see the result here). In context with the other study-project we provided material, that could be used in the workshops for teaching, like a series of posters to several topics, combined with worksheets for the women.

There were two reasons why we travelled to Kilifi, Kenya. First, we wanted to show our outcomes and hand the posters and worksheets to the organizers of the Empowering Young Women and Girls Project. Second, we wanted to establish a collaboration between our university and the Pwani university in Kilifi to support the project furthermore.

Meeting at PWANI university

Meeting at PWANI university (September 26th, 2016)