How Nakuru centre is bringing back meaning to lives of GBV survivors

How Nakuru centre is bringing back meaning to lives of GBV survivors

What you need to know:

  • At the centre, the women are trained on poultry keeping, hairdressing, catering and tailoring.
  • The centre also helps refugees from neighbouring countries like South Sudan.

As they step into the compound of a residential house at Pangani Estate on the outskirts of Nakuru town, the women look like tenants.

However, this is not an ordinary residential house in the densely populated estate. Once in the house, the women dash to their respective rooms where they are taken through life skills.

Women Like Us is a rescue centre that rehabilitates survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).

The three-bedroom house has been converted into a training centre that transforms the lives of women by offering psychosocial support to GBV survivors. 

At the centre, the women are trained on poultry keeping, hairdressing, catering and tailoring. They are also taken through financial management lessons. They form table banking groups where they save and take loans for personal growth and development.  

The centre, popularly known as Women Like Us, is giving a new lease of life to abused women in the slums of Lake View and neighbouring Flamingo.

“I have learnt tailoring and I can now make a dress. I thank ‘Women Like Us’ centre as it has enabled me to fight poverty, I am now independent,” said Ms Catherine Okoth.

"My life has certainly changed, I have acquired catering   skills," said Ms Lilian Akinyi.

"I aspire to own a hotel and help other victim of gender based violence in the slums,” adds Ms Akinyi.

The centre also helps refugees from neighbouring countries like South Sudan.

Ms Rebecca Nyadak, a refugee from South Sudan, has learnt tailoring skills.

“I was tired of idling at home and when I learnt about Women Like Us Centre, I did not hesitate to go there and learn some skills," said Ms Nyadak.

The centre, which can accommodate about 40 women in a class, has 20 sewing machines which the women use to learn tailoring skills and make reusable sanitary towels.

During the launch of the 16 days of gender activism on November 25, the centre launched basic computer classes for the beneficiaries.

 "This is a centre for the sexually and physically abused women where more than 90 per cent have suffered one form of gender-based-violence and we give them a platform to learn for free and later earn," said the  centre’s managing director Edwin Onimi.

The beneficiaries thanked the US-based Women Like Us Foundation for supporting the centre.

“I came to the centre as a student but today I'm a tutor and I'm teaching other women to learn and earn a living,” said Ms Agnes Sagimo.

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