Kenya – The Girl Spark program was created with a $5000 grant from GPA in March, 2016. The program trains and supports young women living in Kenyan slums to work in the hospitality industry either as employees or entrepreneurs. Each participant completed an 8 week skill accelerator program where they learned necessary “hard” and “soft” skills. After completing the program the were linked to employment or entrepreneurship opportunities, mentors, developed a savings plan and learned how to negotiate a fair wage with health care.
27 girls participated and at the conclusion of the program 90% were either employed by others, profiting from their own business ventures (and, employing others) or attending higher education programs in the field.
GPA provided a second grant to the organization in the amount of $5000 in August 2017 to expand the program to reach 300 girls and further provide sustainable sources of revenue for the organization such as a knitting program (girls trained in knitting arts create goods to sell on behalf of Women’s Hope, a baking operation and an agribusiness program). In addition, more women who have been trained through Women’s Hope programs will be connected with mentors, internships and additional job opportunities.
“The girl spark program has empowered me with the
necessary skills and confidence to start my own cleaning
company. Now I have the power to dream big and do big”–Ann
The Girl Spark Experience—
Ann, a mother of one always had a dream to start her own cleaning company, but the cost of paying college fees coupled with the financial challenges of taking care of her young daughter lead her to seek alternatives– when she learned about the Girl Spark Program she saw an opportunity to achieve her dream. Today she is the founder of a cleaning company and provides part-time employment to five young women living in the urban slum of Kibera. Ann’s ambition is to continue with expansion of her company and provide opportunities to other young women.