ChezaCheza launched its first girl-focused program in March 2021, targeting 30 girls between 13 and 17 years old. The aim of the GIRLS! program was to provide a safe space and build coping skills by providing access to female experts to reach not just girls, but marginalised girls. The program ran from May to December 2021, with a total of sixteen sessions, one group counselling session and graduation. Each session of the curriculum was hosted by two female role models from Kibera, one volunteer and a different female expert. Each expert brings their knowledge and skillset to inspire, motivate and educate the girls in the class.
Results from the program show a positive change regarding knowledge retention on all subjects provided in the sessions. The fact that knowledge increased suggests that girls improved understanding of girl-related topics regarding HIV/AIDS, menstrual hygiene, sexual reproductive health and gender issues. We found that girls had increased awareness of support agencies for girls and women through the attendance of experts during the sessions. They also showed increased self-esteem and self-awareness. We also found that some girls improved their leadership skills. During the sessions, they support the teachers in conducting some elements of the session.