I CHOOSE MY LIFE


I CHOOSE MY LIFE

I Choose – My Life is comprehensive sexuality education program that focuses on the youth, (13-20 years old) who are in school. The full length course was originally 12 lessons but has with time become longer because of post program activities and requested additional topics by the participants. The program currently runs in1 primary school, 12 secondary schools and 1 college. The program currently has slightly over 900 participants and approximately 300. alumni.




THE GIRLS EXCHANGE FORUM

Given the increased number of participants, specifically adolescent girls, there was need to provide the girls with spaces, platforms and forums on which we (Dandelion Kenya) and the participants can assess the impact of I Choose, My Life. The Girls exchange forum was borne; the forum is a space where the girls from the different schools participate as panellists in thematic discussion areas such as HIV/AIDS and STDS, SRH, Youth Leadership, Challenges facing adolescent girls amongst other themes. The panellists form a mixed group of girls and boys from different schools with participants in the I Choose, My Life program. The girls who sit on the panel articulate emerging issues within the thematic areas with trainers and facilitators moderating the sessions. The forums have been very successful and some schools that participate in the I Choose, My Life program asked to emulate the model as a tool to assess the impact of the guidance and counselling department amongst their students with Dandelion Kenya as the facilitating and implementing body. The forum piloted in October managed to convene 300 girls from 3 secondary schools and 1 college all from within Nakuru. There has been 2 of these forums held so far.






PROJECTS UNDER I CHOOSE-MY LIFE

HAVE YOUR SAY

This is a segment where girls passionate about writing and expressing themselves in words articulate the thematic areas being discussed by writing. The writing pieces are not limited and girls are allowed to express themselves through poems, stories, articles, and letters to politicians, parents, teachers and organizations. The segment which is also the communication corner for the girl’s forum is run by selected girls who select the best written pieces to be shared and read in the forum.




DANDELION KENYA ADOLESCENT SPACES

This is a project whose aim is for the I Choose, My Life participants to disseminate information to peers from their schools. In this project, Dandelion Kenya negotiates for space in the participating schools in a strategic position with high traffic flow. In these spaces, facts on adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health are shared; the spaces can be in the Dining Hall, dormitories, notice boards or any space where participants of I Choose, My Life and Dandelion Kenya can share facts. Also participants are encouraged to share information and this has borne fruits with our participants being chosen as resource persons in teens’ programs, anti-FGM Campaigns and youth church programs.





We appreciate the support from our volunteers and partners


FREEDOM FOR GIRLS PROJECT


FREEDOM FOR GIRLS PROJECT
Dandelion Kenya partners with the Rotary Club Of Nakuru to ensure girls can access sanitary towels. In this partnership Dandelion Kenya together with the Nathan Halls Williams Centre provides reproductive health information on menstruation and personal hygiene to beneficiaries of the freedom for girls’ project including advocacy against FGM. The project targets girls in rural parts of Nakuru and informal settlement with an aim of stabilizing their school attendance hence the years’ supply of sanitary towels provided to the beneficiaries. This has been a platform for Dandelion Kenya to further strengthen access to comprehensive sexuality education to girls.





We appreciate the support from our volunteers and partners


COMBATING MATERNAL DEATHS


COMBATING MATERNAL DEATHS
Dandelion Kenya is actively involved in maternal health advocacy at the community level, nationally and globally. Dandelion Kenya is the coordinating body and current chair of the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights Alliance Kenya (WAK), a network of 7 community organizations across Kenya. The network is working to ensure reduced maternal deaths by advocating against unsafe abortions which claims 7 women and girls every day in Kenya. Dandelion Kenya is in charge of coordinating projects for the Alliance and as the fiscal body is in charge of handling logistics and coordinating national advocacy and campaign efforts of the Alliance through the Safe Abortion Advocacy Fund.





We appreciate the support from our volunteers and partners


Post 2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals


Post 2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals
Dandelion Kenya has been involved extensively on the post 2015 development agenda at the country, regional and global levels especially through youth initiatives with our deputy director being a member of the African Youth Task Force on post 2015 development agenda. Nationally Dandelion Kenya was part of the National Post 2015 CSOs Reference group which engaged in advocacy with national government during post 2015. Post adoption of SDGs, Dandelion Kenya is part of the inaugural SDGs Forum Kenya, a knowledge Management and peer resource platform for CSOs and government during implementation of the SDGs Communications #post2015dialogue project- social media dialogue for young people and CSOs in Kenya to engage on discussions around the post 2015.





We appreciate the support from our volunteers and partners



Advocacy, information sharing and enabling access to SRHR information, referral for service for adolescents and young people in Nakuru#Nax4FP


Advocacy skills training for young people

The County Executive on Health( County Minister of Health) joins the #Nax4FP to learn of their work on SRHR

Christine Omaon of Dandelion Kenya, second right, poses with other other members of #Nax4FP on world contraception Day in Nakuru

#Nax4Fp project is in partnership with DSW Kenya and is aimed at increasing young people’s access to contraception and advancing intersectional advocacy on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The project consists of a trained cohort of young leaders with more than 30 members from across Nakuru County where we are based. The members are champions of family planning, sexual reproductive health and also involved in the budget making processes in the county through public participation. The champions have also been involved in planning major events in the county like the world contraceptive day in 2016. Some of the issues that they address when it comes to family planning include; challenging myths and misconceptions on contraceptives among young people, role of male involvement in family planning and leading and participating in advocacy to challenge low budgetary allocations on contraception by the county government.

The champions who include Dandelion Kenya staff have are part of the working team on the Nakuru maternal new born and child bill that was launched recently by the county government.

They are involved in outreach programs by them to other youths. This includes meeting with other youth groups and sharing ideas on sexual reproductive health as they champion foe family planning.

Advocacy is at the core of #Nax4FP agendas and especially building a cadre of champions that influence young people through peer actions, feed into policy actions and drive increased budgetary allocations

Advocacy and enhancing understanding barriers that hinder contraception access for young women living with HIV,
Young women living with HIV experience stigma and discrimination in the healthcare setting when they seek family planning services. During the documentation of forced and coerced sterilization of women living with HIV in Kenya, young women living with HIV reported being accused by health care providers of intending to infect others because of seeking FP services. They are not informed on the various family planning methods available but instead are required to accept long term methods including sterilization, indicating the possibility of having a silent policy on ensuring women living with HIV are offered specific methods. These incidences have impacted negatively on the access and utilization of FP information and services by young women living with HIV.

Our project in partnership with PIPE ( Personal initiative for Positive Empowerment) aimed to engage service providers and policy makers in Nakuru County to ensure that family planning programs enable young women living with HIV access to contraception

Through research(focus group discussions )  to inform evidence based interventions, we have provided data for nuanced policy making on contraception access and budget making to ensure that policies, programs and service provision on contraception addresses the needs of young women living with HIV.





2.0 HARNESSING DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND THROUGH INVESTMENT IN YOUNG PEOPLE

 

 

 

 

 

At the African Union, 2017 theme is ;  “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend Through Investments in the Youth” presents an opportune moment in the “Africa Rising” narrative in the context of Africa’s development blueprint “Agenda 2063.  ”  The narrative presents impetus to seize the moment; to engage and tap into the potential presented by African youth estimated to be over 65% – a constituency that can surely not be ignored in Africa’s vision for the future.

Young people exist in a spectrum of diversity which should inform programming and policy making. Ahead of the 28th African Union Summit, Dandelion Kenya through the youth sexual reproductive health and rights/HIV network hosted a youth meeting that supported by the Torchlight Collective to lead discussions on the needs, priorities and concerns of young people and  to enhance young people’s understanding of the demographic dividend  theme.

The theme is based s based on 2017 African Union Roadmap on Harnessing Demographic Dividend; a four pillar AU Road map on demographic dividend aimed at spelling out the critical areas of investments for African governments if the continent is to realize the promise of demographic dividend. The 4 pillars; employment, health, education and governance/civic participation. These 4 pillars guided the discussions

 

On governance, young people’s priorities and needs are that they be able to participate meaningfully especially in decision making and policy. It only makes sense when young people make decisions on matters youth and issues that affect their lives.

On education,  young people felt that it is very crucial to invest in holistic education interventions including comprehensive sexuality education  and also the introduction of life skills education which would support students  to prepare for job market needs ahead of completing their education. Affordable and quality education was a key ask also since it will enable both boys and girls stay in school.

On job creation, rebranding of blue collar jobs and encouraging the use of technology among the youth is key in job creation.

Governments should invest in advancement of technology to create jobs and widen the market space through tapping onto digital markets. This should however recognize the digital divide driven by socio economic status, gender and other factors

Investing in health including sexual and reproductive health and rights . When birth rates decrease then we can easily achieve demographic dividend. One of the major asks was allocation of enough funds for contraception access for young people and investment in youth friendly centers that give information on SRHR and also services.

Improving Maternal Health including safe abortion advocacy

 

Dandelion Kenya is a founder and member of the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights Alliance Kenya hence has engaged extensively with abortion advocacy sub regionally, nationally, regionally & globally. This is through working in coalitions to build skills, knowledge and mobilizing actions on policy and legal reforms (Reproductive health care bill, challenging the withdrawal of the guidelines on reduction of maternal mortality, countering abortion stigma through public awareness and campaigns on September 28th. Also is advocacy around the Helm’s amendment- led the letter to President Obama Ahead of his visit to Kenya and use of  social media to drive policy discussions on abortion. Dandelion Kenya has cross learning initiatives for safe abortion advocates on approaches to tackling abortion stigma and enabling access This is one of our major area of work as an organization. Through trainings in Nakuru  County where we focus on young women, we have led learning processes on what safe abortion is and what the constitution of Kenya says on termination of pregnancy. This includes building champions among young people especially young women

A&Y SRHR/HIV Network

This is a collective of organizations of 24 youth led organizations working on adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights. The collective is aimed to drive coordinated advocacy to champion adolescents and youth SRHR and HIV issues under the #Youth4SRHR umbrella

The network engaged in January African Union summit, national advocacy on SDGs and is currently following through on Kenya’s CEDAW review process.

 

#SRHRDialogues  SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN PLATFORM

Figure 4 Leveraging on #SRHRDialogues platform to engage SRHR policy maker champions and leverage on partnerships with community media platforms

 

 

Social media is a crucial tool for advocacy because of the opportunity presented to reach audiences that are difficult to reach or passive yet insightful during physical meetings. Social media also provides the opportunity to ensure that discussions and meetings are not limited by geographical barriers. #SRHRDialogues is a social media campaign conceptualized to create various online dialogues on health issues and especially Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. The campaign ensures ease in tracking online audience and especially Kenyan advocates on social media advancing SRHR.





We appreciate the support from our volunteers and partners





adminProjects