Inua Dada teams up with Plan International-Kenya to #RewriteHerStory


Inua Dada Founder Janet Mbugua (right) with Zainab, a digital content creator from Huruma. PHOTO | ...
Inua Dada Founder Janet Mbugua (right) with Zainab, a digital content creator from Huruma. PHOTO | COURTESY

Inua Dada Foundation and Plan International-Kenya have teamed up for a TV series dubbed #RewriteHerStory.

The five-part series is aimed at highlighting stories of girls and young women who have faced various challenges and are now either rewriting or seek to rewrite their stories.

“We are working with girls to design solutions that work for them. We need to listen to girls and allow them participate in policy discussions. It (teenage pregnancy) should not be a death sentence for girls but rather we can all work together to rewrite her story,” said Kate Maina-Vorley, Plan International Country Director.

#RewriteHerStory airs on Citizen TV every Sunday.

The first episode which highlighted broken dreams of teen mothers saw Inua Dada Founder Janet Mbugua speak to several girls who live in informal settlements such as Mathare and Huruma.

One of them, Mariam Hamza, narrated her experience after she became pregnant.

“My dream was nikuwe pilot… Nichange future ya babangu. Niliona kaa like nimem let down but aliaccept hadi mimi ilifika place nika accept (My dream was to become a pilot so that I could change my father’s future. I felt like I had let him down but he accepted it and I ended up accepting it too.”

Girls and young women face sexual harassment, exploitation and insecurity; some of whom have been raped or killed.

Teen mothers featured in the series narrated how they have always felt unsafe; whether at home, in the neighborhood, school and even in public transport vehicles.

Some said they were touched inappropriately when boarding a matatu while others were pushed or harassed when disembarking from a Boda Boda.

Plan International-Kenya set up the ‘Safer Cities for Girls’ program which involves mobilizing a team of people known as safety ambassadors, to create a safer environment for everyone.

Together with Inua Dada Foundation, the organization seeks to highlight safety and access to public spaces for girls in Nairobi.

Also Read: Inua Dada Foundation rolls out advocacy program to amplify youth voices

David, a matatu driver, said: “Vile nimeshakuwa ambassador naongea na madereva wenzangu, conductors wenzangu na hata na pass message (Now that I am a safety ambassador, i speak to my fellow drivers and conductors and pass the message).”

In the second episode, Janet Mbugua also spoke to 22-year-old Zainab, a digital content creator from Huruma.

Zainab convenes her peers to discuss social issues that affect them, particularly the issue of the safety of girls and women. She said she is choosing to rewrite her story by amplifying their voices for the world to hear.

Zainab says she reported an assault on her friend and got the perpetrator jailed. “Huyo chali kushikwa na kupelekwa kortini na kupatiwa sentence… Ndio story ilinipatia hiyo nini (morale)… Like I can go ahead and speak out, msee anaweza saidika,” she said.

Janet Mbugua also spoke to 18-year-old Irene: she narrated how she tried to get herself out of an uncomfortable situation when she was cornered in an alley by someone bigger and older than her.

The man slapped her; but when he reached towards her again, she kicked him and ran off. She is one of the few who are able to run to safety.

Irene says she is now speaking to young people, boys and girls from various communities, on how to be vigilant in the face of danger and speak up. She says she is re-writing her story by using her experience to educate others.

And for Cosmas, a boda boda operator, having witnessed a young girl in Mathare being harassed by a fellow boda boda operator just didn’t sit right with him.

This is the reason he chose to be part of the ‘Safer Cities for Girls’ program.

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