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Empowering Girls to be Self-Reliant:

"After completing my course and graduating, with support of NIGEE’s Girls Employment Bureau, I was able to get attachment at Vera’s Saloon where I currently earn KES 500 (USD 5) on a good day and I’m happy that I can pay rent, sort out my bills and even support my sibling’s education" . ~ Quinter

However, her life gained a new meaning when she was enrolled in the NIGEE’s Girls Empowerment Centre where she undertook a hairdressing course, completing in 2017. She is now a paid intern and is able to provide for her and her parents’ needs. Quinter hails from Nyando Sub County in Kisumu County. She used to stay with her parents till the year 2007 when her parents separated and her mother left her and her younger siblings, the last of whom was a toddler, under the care of her father and her step mother. When her mother left, Quinter was 12 years old and in Primary Grade 4. Despite the young age, she took over the role of her mother. She would leave school early in order to look for what they would eat, wash her siblings and their clothes. She reports that the father would leave the house in the morning and return back in the evening empty-handed. They would be reminded to look for their mother any time they asked for food. Despite the struggle and the condition, she managed to sit for her Grade 8 national exams and scored 306 marks out of the possible 500, an equivalent of grade B Plain. With that, she was qualified to be admitted to a good secondary school; however, her step mother did not want to hear any of that and influquinterthumbenced her father to not support her education. Luckily, through the intervention of community and well-wishers, she joined secondary school with high hopes of securing and a better future, but this was not to be as the money donated could not sustain her four years in school. She was sent home for fees so many times she ended up dropping out. Her extended family also declined to help: “I remember trying to seek help from my uncles who turned me away, saying my dad was able to afford my fees but my step mother was adamant. I left home disappointed and bitter with everyone, and especially my dad.”

She then decided to move to Sori Beach in Homabay County with the hope of earning a living. At the beach she would wash and sun-dry dagaa (sardine-like) fish for the fishermen and women and earned about KES 4500 (US¢ 45) a month. While at the Beach, she learnt about NIGEE Girls Empowerment Centre through a friend: “I learnt about NIGEE’s Girls Empowerment Centre through a friend and I got interested in knowing more so I borrowed a phone from a friend and made a call. I was briefed about the courses and requirements for the registration. I got interested in Hair Dressing and Therapy.” She saved the little she was earning at the beach to help her register and for her upkeep during the training and was enrolled in 2017. She was one of the best students in her Hairdressing class – a performer both in theory and practical sessions. She was passionate about what she was doing. After completing her course and graduating with a certificate in Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy, Vera was placed for attachment at a saloon where her performance was exemplary, and they offered her a job at the saloon. She reported earning KES 500 (US$ 5) on a good day. She is now an independent woman able to take care of her bills, pay rent and even support her sibling’s education Quinter plans to save and start her own hairdressing business by opening her own saloon, with a hope to eventually creating job opportunities for other girls like her.

ABOUT NIGEE

logologoNyanza Initiative for Girls' Education & Empowerment is an organisation that envisions a society and a future of self-determining and self-reliant girls and women.

Contact

P.O. Box 7979-40100, Milimani Estate - directly opposite PathFinder International
Kisumu, Kenya.
Email : info@nigee.org

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