HMGC in the media
Thursday, 26th February, 2009
Taifa Leo - Fujo zu achaguzi zilifungua
Commonly when there is violence in any place women and small children are the ones that are mostly affected. Most women are sexually abused and children basic needs neglected.
That’s how it was after post election violence in Kenya. We met 2 girls aged 20 whose lives changed after violence and it seemed to follow the same stream.
Dorcas Mehta was born and raised in Mathare north the family of Dorcas was not attacked or any belongings destroyed during this period but the family business was shuttered and her parents lacked money to pay for her form 4 exams therefore she was not able to continue with school.
In march last year she joined a Youth programmee called “Reality Tested Youth Programmee”. And in good luck she was directed to Hawkers Market girls Centre (HMGC) in City park market which assists girls who have not competed their primary or secondary education.
Dorcas says the main reason she joined the centre was that she wanted a place to relax her mind and be able to hear her inner soul-away from the slums where she is able to keep away from the vices of the community. After a few months her success came and she joined secondary school through sponsorship from the centre where she is now completing her secondary school she went back to form 3 to be able to learn better and get a good result which will enable her get a college in which to study business since she wants to be a business woman.
For Miriam Maina she was able to complete her form 4 in 2006 and at that time they were living in Mathare North. She was interested in computer programming even if life was difficult she believed that her parents will tighten their belts and pay for her college even if it take ages she wanted to join one of the universities in the country.
She did not get tired of waiting till the end of 2007 when she had high hopes of the new year which did not happen as wished. Violence broke when they were in the village and there house was broken into their belongings stolen and house burnt to ashes.
They were forced to shift to Huruma and start life afresh. While in Huruma she was informed about HMGC and she saw instead of staying in the estate and wasting time she is better of joining the centre.
At the centre she was lucky to get a sponsor who paid her fee balance in school which hindered her from taking her secondary school certificate and more to that she is pursing computer studies at Graffins college in westlands.She says her dream is still on for now she is pursuing IT after look for a job then continue with her studies thou it seems a long journey my dream will come true.
Dorcas and Miriam are among the 18 girls who join the centre after every 1/2 years. According to Mrs.Shariffa Keshavjee the founder of HMGC the main aim of starting the centre is not only to provide the girls with lunch which they cook on their own with aid of their teacher but also to teach them good manners and provide them with skills in life in order to equip the girl child for her better future.
The motto of HMGC is “to Empower, Learn and Earn” in this the girls learn as they earn. A girl who is willing to joined has to adhere to the rules and regulation of the centre and should be willing to learn techniques like Dressmaking,Computer,Catering and environment. The items made form the centre are sold and the girls get a percentage.
To those who tried to shutter their lives Miriam does not have a grudge with them. And those that burnt their house she says thank you for it was through that that she was able to know about HMGC they were a stepping stone for her life.