An Africa-wide program designed to build resilient girls has become a local movement.
SKY Girls Kenya began its journey in September 2020 with a mission to connect, empower and build confidence amongst teenage girls between the ages of 13-18 years within greater Nairobi. SKY gives teenage girls a supportive community of peers to help them follow their passions and say no to the things they know they’re good without.
Unlike other programs, SKY is built on the ethos of ‘by girls for girls.’ Rehema Muniu, Spokesperson & Sky Parent highlights “There are so many pressures on girls today. It is important that as communities we take the time to understand the way these young girls live their lives; their hopes, fears, aspirations. Through doing so we can create programs that allow our Kenyan girls choice and control to feel empowered”.
The Sky program is designed and built around things young girls love to do and talk about; whether it’s through the thriving community of over 50,000 girls on social media or in-person engagement within schools and estates.
· ‘SKY’ the magazine is a hugely successful communication medium co-created with young teen girls. To date SKY has run six editions with 160,000 print copies circulated across the city. One of its most popular segments ‘what I wish my 15-year-old self knew’ highlights advice from well-known female personalities including Elodie Zone, Tracy Wanjiru and Ivy Mugo.
· ‘SKY S.I.S.T.A’ (Sky is Staying True Always) a two season show touching on teen interest topics. It is the only show specifically designed to address themes teen girls care about. The show has enjoyed over 15million views.
Off the back of the positive reception SKY has received in the past 18 months, the program is proud to introduce its latest initiative – a brand-new teen drama by Kenyans for Kenyan girls. ‘PAA – Born To Fly’. Written by Davina Leonard, produced by Enos Olik and soundtrack by Emma Cheruto. This miniseries follows the story of three teenage girls living in Nairobi and dealing with the everyday challenges of peer pressure, sexual harassment, bullying and self-identity crisis. Coming from different backgrounds, these three girls are influenced by each other to make both positive and negative decisions. The drama aims to explore the lives of teenagers and in turn, encourage them to make positive choices thus leading to behavioral change.
Rehema Muniu, further adds “Evaluations of SKY programmes elsewhere in Africa show that 83% of girls believe SKY helped them think about their future and what they want and 78% of girls believe SKY made them feel more confident in resisting peer pressure. As a mother, I know that I cannot control all the information my daughter has access to. But I am reassured that there are programs that we can participate in to help our girls navigate this new world of uncertainty.”
In a post Covid19 world nearly 50% of Kenyan adolescents are experiencing symptoms related to depression; and 39% of teen girls are undergoing physical abuse according to the Presidential Policy & Strategy Unit Report 2021.
Locally, the program is a thriving community that impacts more than 40,000 girls per quarter through estate activations. At the heart of it is research to understand what motivates young girls in their wider lives. By giving girls a platform to speak out SKY aims to help parents, teachers and guardians nurture teenage girls who are healthy, happy and can go on to become active women in the future.
Mother and noted personality Caroline Mutoko highlights, “There’s a part of me that wishes this “SKY sistahood” of teen girls was there when I was growing up. A place that said I didn’t have to be like others…that it was okay to stay true to who I was and what I believed in. A friendly community to help teen girls build the resilience needed to be self-determined young women.”