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University of Richmond

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Kenya: Health and Community DevelopmentOne of the major issues facing Kenya is HIV/AIDS. With recognition by the global community that providing women with economic opportunities can help both those who are HIV positive, as well as in prevention for those who are not infected, programs combining microfinance and HIV education have started to emerge. While women in these programs 3 3 have shown preliminary signs of success, young girls did not respond as well in part due to lack of interest in the particular programs themselves. As such, this study examines two economic empowerment programs for girls and young mothers at the non-governmental organization Carolina for Kibera, in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. The research is primarily based upon interviews with program participants and leaders, as well as program administrators. The findings indicate that one of the most prevalent problems in Kibera is a lack of financial independence for females, which forces women and girls to engage in transactional sex, thereby putting themselves into the highest HIV risk population. Findings also indicate that the success of the programs studied is the result of the respective curriculums meeting the needs of the demographics they serve, particularly by combining both reproductive health and economic empowerment.

Abstract

One of the major issues facing Kenya is HIV/AIDS. With recognition by the global community that providing women with economic opportunities can help both those who are HIV positive, as well as in prevention for those who are not infected, programs combining microfinance and HIV education have started to emerge. While women in these programs 3 3 have shown preliminary signs of success, young girls did not respond as well in part due to lack of interest in the particular programs themselves. As such, this study examines two economic empowerment programs for girls and young mothers at the non-governmental organization Carolina for Kibera, in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. The research is primarily based upon interviews with program participants and leaders, as well as program administrators. The findings indicate that one of the most prevalent problems in Kibera is a lack of financial independence for females, which forces women and girls to engage in transactional sex, thereby putting themselves into the highest HIV risk population. Findings also indicate that the success of the programs studied is the result of the respective curriculums meeting the needs of the demographics they serve, particularly by combining both reproductive health and economic empowerment.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Family, Life Course, and Society | Growth and Development | Health Services Administration | Inequality and Stratification | International Public Health | Macroeconomics | Maternal and Child Health | Public Health | Women's Studies

 

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