With over 180,000 inhabitants, Korogocho is the third largest densely populated slum after Kibera and Mathare and is considered one of the most densely populated informal settlements in Nairobi-Kenya. It is further estimated that 65% of the population is composed of the youth and less than half of the youths ever begin secondary school. Research done by Africa Population Health and Research Center (APHRC), shows that 12% of children in the secondary school-age bracket (at any one time) complete a full course of secondary education in sub-Saharan Africa. This means that more than 80% of children in the secondary school-age bracket (at any one time) do not complete a full course of secondary education, yet secondary education is critical to poverty reduction efforts. Though poor living conditions have taken a toll on the majority of the population, it is girls who bear the biggest brunt due to impoverishment and inequalities in relation to human rights. Most are locked out of decision making processes even those relating to choices about their lives.
Miss Koch Kenya (MKK) was founded in 2001 as a community-based organization (CBO) to address the vulnerability of girls and young women in the Korogocho slum of Nairobi. At the time of establishment crime and gender-based violence were rife in Korogocho. The situation was so dire that the local administration and police were unable to visit certain areas that were the preserve of organized criminal gangs. The culture of silence that existed at the time led to impunity, lawlessness, and much suffering of the local population, especially women and girls. The few groups, organizations, and individuals that tried to address the situation were not successful due to fragmented approaches and lack of supportive structures.
In response, a group of committed young people decided to establish a platform to address the situation and to push for change in their community. Christened Miss Koch Initiative, it started as a girl’s emancipation and empowerment organization – as an intervention against the endemic socio-economic and political problems facing the residents of Korogocho, especially the insecurity and disempowerment of the girl child and young women.
The following five values are at the core of our organizational philosophy.
Trustworthy: MKK and its staff will work and conduct themselves in ways that confirm its status as a trusted agent, pursuing its mission in a way that best represents the interests of the communities it serves.
Resourceful: The human, financial and other resources in MKK will be prudently used for the sole purpose of achieving MKK’s mission.
Accessible: MKK is an accountable organization. Consequently, it will strive to be accessible to the community and all that seek support from it.
Caring: MKK believes in addressing every individual issue independently, with empathy and confidentially.
Ethical: MKK and its people will always strive to do the right thing, including the principle of doing no harm to people and the planet in the interest of serving humanity.
Our Commitment to Change
Invest youth power from Grassroots
Be a voice to unheard voices to influence policy and practices- Task leaders to answer on manifestos implementation.
Promote meaningful youth engagement
Center wellbeing in social change especially mental well being
Keep at learning and unlearning
We welcome conversations with public and private foundations, support organizations, groups, and individuals to share what we have learned and unlearned as we work together to support meaningful change for children, youth, and their communities.
Miss Koch Kenya partners with community-based organizations around Korogocho to help members of the community and youths reach their full potential and advance their skills. We are deeply committed to protecting those most at risk and to acting as a role model for child- and youth-serving organizations.
We are driven by a belief that although children and youth may be extremely resourceful and resilient, they are also particularly vulnerable to abuse due to their lack of status and power, their stage of development, and their reliance on adults.
We are aware of:
● Organizations and professionals working or in contact with children and youth have a duty to ensure safety and well-being.
● The welfare of the child is a paramount consideration, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
● All children and youth have an equal right to protection, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
● It is our responsibility to minimize the harm that may be done as a result of our activities.
Our Miss Koch Kenya Policy reflects our commitment to respect, promote, uphold, and protect the rights of the child as set out in the Kenyan Constitution on the Rights of the Child and in line with our values.
Should you have a safeguarding concern, please contact our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Emmie Erondanga, at: email@example.com
- Supported over 8000 households with food supplies during Covid-19 pandemic and supported children with cerebral palsy to get physiotherapy treatment through our partners.
- Capacity building over 100 reformed youth in urban farming techniques such as; vertical gardening, sack farming and mushroom farming as alternative sources of income to better their livelihood as opposed to illegal works.
- Trained 80 teachers on interactive teaching techniques and the use of e-learning resources to better the learning experience of learners post Covid-19.
- Provided and maintained 18 community hand washing water points to aid with the Covid-19 measures in reducing spread of the deadly virus and providing face masks to reduce the scourge of C-19.
- Helping in reclaiming riparian land into proper use of urban farming and recreation parks in Korogocho
- Reached out to 1000+ girls with sanitary towels during this Covid-19 pandemic and dignity packs from UNFPA.
- Supplied to over 300 young men in Korogocho with male condoms
- To date, MKK runs a 12-year school scholarship and mentoring Program. It has raised Ksh 8 million towards educational assistance to over 150 poor students (mainly girls) go to Secondary School – many to Our Lady of Fatima School (a public school) in Korogocho. In 2013-2019 MKK transitioned 441 pupils (most of them girls) who attained a pass mark of 250 and above to various secondary schools for their O level (272 girls and 169 boys). MKK is also giving mentorship support and guidance to the students under the scholarship Program and has transitioned over 20 students to public universities countrywide since 2010.
- MKK offered after school instructional support to over 700 girls in numeracy, literacy, and life skills to improve their learning outcomes. This was done in partnership with Africa Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) over a period of 3 years (2013-15). This was done through a two-hour session on the weekends where qualified Form Four leavers taught the girls English, Mathematics and Life Skills as well as helping them out in doing their homework. The project was scaled up for another 3 years (2016-19), targeting 600 girls and boys.
- In a project designed to include community participation in the education of girls from the informal settlements, MKK has counseled over 300 parents on how to support their children’s education. Over the 3 years of the project (2013-15), there is evidence that the girls whose parents received counselling performed better in school.
- We have trained over 140 youth in 6 art forms (music, dance, photography, fine arts, modelling and disc jockeying) with elements of entrepreneurship, exposure visits and mentorship as part of improving their livelihoods through creative arts and linking them to opportunities for both self and formal employment (2017-2019). In addition, we have provided a platform for them to involve themselves in civic engagements and other processes in their communities with duty bearers and policy makers in our Programs.
- Through our sexual reproductive and health rights (SRHR) Program we have trained 1,200 adolescents in Korogocho on life skills sessions with emphasis on child protection and SRHR Information in 15 schools. Through the program 20 mentors were trained on effective facilitation skills, SRHR issues and child protection. We also developed a child protection policy as a mandatory requirement for all staff, board members and volunteers in MKK.
- With support from the Israeli Embassy and CopyCat, we trained over 100 young people in information and communication technology (ICT) in 2012-13.
- Since 2011, MKK has trained 90 DJs to work in an intensive 3-month training Program and trained 165 youth dancers – also getting life skills and mentoring support. For both groups, MKK has run various events for over 200 creative artists to showcase talent drawing crowds of 500-3000 youth per event – often used for critical message campaigns with the Miss Koch Skills and Talent Pageant run yearly. MKK hosted and oversaw the financing of the Koch Festival supported by UN-HABITAT in 2011, in partnership with Hope Raisers and Seismic.
- MKK trained 100 Youth Peer Providers and Educators in the last 4 years in support of 3,170 clients on database for SRH services funded by Planned Parenthood Global USA and linked locally with Kariobangi Health Centre; Hope Clinic & Laboratory; and Reproductive Health Network.
- We reached out to 3,500 out of school youth on Sexual and Reproductive Health and family planning throughout Korogocho community and linking clients to health facilities for family planning through our Youth Peer Providers (YPP model.
- MKK is the winner of various awards, including the Mayor’s Award 2004 Safer Cities Program, and Mashinani Award 2005, from Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) in recognition of initiating a vibrant youth movement and Runner-up in UN Habitat Mashariki Innovations in Local Government Awards Program.