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visitor report

Deepa Doshi

Sunday, 26th July, 2015 7:52 PM

I met Isabella recently and heard of the success stories that you have achieved and continue to achieve! Its simply amazing! It is heart warming to see the changes that the HMGC makes to peoples lives and the chance that it gives to girls to achieve their dreams and alleviate poverty! Keep up the good work HMGC!

Aly Asani


Monday, 20th October, 2014 3:49 AM

As an average American living in an ordinary life, the Hawkers Market Girls Center provided me with an opportunity to have a once in a lifetime experience. The first day I was there, I already felt like I was at home. The girls are very welcoming and can make anyone feel at home. Shariffa Aunty is a very inspiring figure and at my stay there, she treated us like her own children. I feel very fortunate that I was a part of this magnificent program.

I was able to go to the Hawkers Market Girl Center through the Global Encounters Camp. At the center, we became a part of the everyday lives of the girls. We would come early in the morning and pray with the girls. Afterwards, we would sing songs and play games. It was a way to warm up and to bond with each other. Throughout our stay there, we participated in a variety of activities. We were taught so much by the center. We learned to make briquettes, bracelets, cook food (Ugali), and sew. We also walked around Nairobi Park and visited the actual market to shop for vegetables. Without this center, there is absolutely no way I would ever experience anything like this. I am used to using the microwave to "cook" my food so using briquettes, which I had no clue existed, to cook was new to me. Since the center has no power, we used mechanical sewing machines. For starters, I had never even seen a mechanical sewing machine much less used one. Turns out, its my hidden talent.

If you every get a chance to come to this place, I strongly recommend you go. I learned more about myself in the few days I was here than I have in the 16 years of my life before. Without a doubt, it is a life changing place. Although I had to leave, I left a part of my heart at the Hawkers Market Girls Center and I am eager to go back and visit again.

Tapasya Kaul Rajaram


Friday, 18th July, 2014 5:52 AM

Dated 17th July 17, 2014

I, Tapasya Kaul Rajaram, am a first time visitor to Nairobi. I am a student M.A. Education in Azim Premji University, which is located in Bangalore. I had to do an internship while I was in Nairobi. I got a golden chance of working with HMGC. I met Shariffa and Isabella on the 26th of June. It was a pleasure meeting them. They took me to the girl’s center and I met all the girls in the center.

Though these girls come from an impoverished background however they are full of confidence and poise. It was a wonderful experience to work with the girls. I as a person learnt a lot from them. I taught them interview skills, resume writing, how to have a confident personality, positive body language. Also, the girls wanted to prepare for a Indian cultural song so I taught them that too. I am taking back an enriching experience. I do intend to return and work with all the girls in the center in November.

Though he girls were a bit hesitant at first. The first few days were spent in rapport building with the girls. The sewing teacher Mr Zakayo is an excellent person he is an expert. The girls are doing good work under his guidance. I learnt to sow a little from the girls. After a while the girls opened up and we formed a heart to heart bond. It was a pleasure to attend Ms Wangari’s class with the girls. I also shared experiences from India. The girls learnt about the Indian culture. They were all very keen to visit India. I am taking a golden bond of friendship with all the girls.

I need to especially mention Isabella. She is a very strong, assertive, and an extremely polite women. I got to learn a lot from her during my interactions with her. She is the center manager at HMGC and is doing an excellent work for the girls. I learned to do Masai Bead work under her guidance. I can now make bangles and necklaces. I also learnt the level one Reiki from the girls and Isabella.

I need to especially thank Ms Shariffa Keshavjee who has a charismatic personality. I must say you are doing an excellent work in taking care of 20 girls every year. They will always remember you through out their lives, as you are a guiding angel for them. I am really grateful to be a part of this wonderful saga. God bless and I will keep praying for all the girls to be successful, and become a wonderful human being. I wish you all a happiness, health, wealth and prosperity.

Global Encounters

Thursday, 17th July, 2014 6:56 AM

Our group was a part of the Global Encounters (GE) camp. This summer program brings together Ismaili Muslim youth from around the world together to learn about their faith and history, development and service and leadership. As part of the program, the group of participants is split up into 5 groups and given about one week to work at a particular site in the area. Eight participants this year were assigned to the Hawkers Market Girls Centre (HMGC).

The first couple of days began hesitantly as the participants and the girls at the site got to know one another. As bonds developed, both groups had a lot of fun through games and songs, but they also learned from each other. The participants of the camp felt as if they were receiving more than they were giving, which was an interesting experience for them. They learned to make briquettes, a solar cooker, paper beads and bracelets. They also learned many new activities and songs to sing as they drove back to their residence in Limuru.

The participants also had a chance to teach the students at HMGC some skills. During the first few days, the focus was on communication skills. GE participants created games such as Taboo (using their own words and handmade cards) to help the HMGC students work on their English and did public speaking activities with them to encourage them to speak up. Participants also had a chance to work with the students on basic computer skills to help enhance their skill set for the workplace. Lastly, participants had the opportunity to plant some trees for the centre.

When we ask youth to participate in service, very often the youth walk in with an attitude that reflects superiority in order to serve someone less fortunate. HMGC taught the GE participants that they are not the only ones who have something to share and teach and that everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, has something to offer everyone else.

Thank you to the HMGC for the opportunity to help, to learn and to be inspired.

Global Encounters

Griselda Mussett


Thursday, 9th June, 2011 3:57 PM

We were very impressed by our visit last week to the Girls Centre, and glad to meet Isabella, Iris and Shariffa who are all doing such vital work to help the girls get a good start in life. The garden project (with the water-collection system from the market rooftop), the sewing workshops, the beautiful craft objects on sale, all these show what can be done. I am telling all our friends about the project and looking for retail outlets for their handiwork. I really hope this kind of project can be duplicated. It seems so obvious to start with compost and then build up to education for a sustainable way of life. Congratulations to everyone concerned and thanks for a very inspiring morning. I am trying to find a way to get some books to you for your library!

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