I met a community leader in Kibera who inspired me with her bright spirit. She is the reigning Miss Kibera, Zitah Jimoi who has become a role model in her community for young girls and is giving them tools to live a better life. Zitah educated me about the sad fact that opportunities are limited for girls in her neighborhood. Most girls are kept home instead of going to school. They are expected to be mother’s helpers; assisting with cooking and caring for their younger siblings. Being kept at home hinders them from gaining the education they need to change their lives. Many girls become dependent on men for money due to the lack of education. Feeling trapped by their academic insufficiencies many young women get married and have babies.
Zitah wants to change the outlook for young women in her neighborhood. She works with teenage girls at risk for getting pregnant and dropping out of school. She emphasizes the importance of education, teaches them that they have choices, and that their futures are in their own hands. She has created something she calls the “Princess Account.” That encourages girls to save even the smallest bits of money in bank accounts at a local bank. The lesson of the savings is that over time their small amounts saved will add up. As the young women mature they will have money from their savings available to them. They now have more options for their future and can make better choices. Having a bank account allows them not to have to rely on men anymore to survive. The knowledge provided by Zitah Jimoi – Miss Kibera 2011 empowers these young women to find their independence. All women need to feel independent and empowered. Education is so important for everyone in the world. Education empowers people to make changes to move forward in life and to help others.
I was impressed by how one person’s simple idea became an effective solution to a major problem. Zita takes tremendous pride in mentoring these young girls. By taking the time to connect with her neighbors, she is changing the lives of so many young girls in her community. Everyone needs a support system. I am grateful for all the people who support me in my life! I am very blessed for Zitah reminder that we all should reach out to each other and create support networks. Her unselfish giving spirit is a true gift for her community and for all the young girls lives she has helped to change.
My next post will be about my adventures in the rural areas of Kisumu Village.
Read more from Equipe Übersite
There are 12 comments to “Miss Kibera”
But wait! would you like to have your avatar in your comment? Get a Gravatar