A Journey Of Hope
In the heart of Kajiado county!
In the heart of Kajiado county, Kenya, where the sun-drenched savannah meets the sky, lies a sanctuary of hope and empowerment - the Nice Place Foundation. This remarkable institution stands as a beacon of light, dedicated to providing a safe haven for young women and girls at risk of undergoing female genital cutting (FGC) or facing life-changing child marriages. In a world where traditional practices can shape destinies, the Nice Place Foundation emerges as a potent force for change, reshaping futures and amplifying voices that were once stifled.
19 inspiring young girls, aged 18, recently gathered at Nice Place Foundation to receive leadership communication and public speaking training from The Speech Republic, supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Africa. This initiative is not merely about mastering the art of eloquence; it's about cultivating the seeds of transformation, enabling these young women to blossom into advocates for change within their communities.
Build leaders and advocates!
Public speaking, often hailed as a quintessential skill, plays a pivotal role in the holistic development of the girls undergoing capacity enhancement at Nice Place Foundation. By nurturing their ability to convey their thoughts with clarity and confidence, the girls become torchbearers of change. One of the key issues these empowered young women address is the relationship between environmental degradation and the prevalence of child marriages. They raise awareness about how a well-managed environment can alleviate the economic pressures that lead parents to marry off their daughters at a young age. With flourishing agricultural yields and thriving livestock, families are less inclined to resort to such practices, which in turn paves the way for girls' education and shields them from the horrors of FGC. “There is a myriad of challenges that the girls can talk about, such as good governance in political space. I think it is an area that the girls can really shine in. The reason why we see this speech training for the girl is important is because at Nice Place Foundation, what we are trying to do is we want to build leaders and advocates. We understand that words and speeches have the power to transform the world, have the power to transform the nations, and also it has the power to transform individuals,” says Limo Jancan, the lead instructor at Nice Place Foundation.
PICS: The graduation ceremony!
Renewed hope for a progressive future!
Within the nurturing embrace at the Foundation, young women and girls discover not just safety and support, but also the ability to dream of a brighter future. Emma Musa, once vulnerable to the specters of FGC and child marriage, now speaks with excitement about the opportunity to find her voice, communicate effectively, and emerge as a strong advocate for change within her community. “I think this is a very good opportunity for me. To learn about how to effectively pass my message to the people. It will help me articulate my message and get it to the people and hope it makes an impact in their life,” she says.
The foundation fosters a powerful sense of sisterhood and resilience amongst its participants. United in their pursuit of empowerment, the girls realise that their collective voices wield a transformative force. "We come from Tanzania. We are four girls from Tanzania who joined the other girls from Kenya in the training. I think now I can stand in front of people and I can speak out and I can also guide someone else. I can help other girls in showing them what is right to do and what is not right to do,” says Daima Julius, a head girl in her school. “The girls escape female genital cutting, they get shelter where they can stay. We as the community are also getting benefits from the Nice Place Foundation. Recently, in our school nearby, a female board of chair was elected. This means we are also getting benefits from the Nice Place Foundation through the Leadership Academy,” says Nelson Ngida, the Community Liaison at Nice Place Foundation. This highlights that the ripple effect of the foundation's impact transcends its physical boundaries. Through educational campaigns and awareness initiatives, the dangers of FGC and child marriage are brought into the limelight, inspiring others to join the cause. Slowly but surely, the community is rallying behind this movement, finding renewed hope for a progressive future.