GlobeMed at Brown partners with U-Tena in Nairobi, Kenya to educate young women about financial literacy as well as sexual and mental health practices.
GlobeMed at Brown University + Ungano Tena
GlobeMed at Brown University | Providence, Rhode Island
Ungano Tena (U-Tena) | Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya has the fourth-largest HIV epidemic in the world. Women are disproportionately affected — and young women are almost three times as likely to be living with HIV than men of the same age.
“The initiators of U-Tena also noted that there existed a gap in the information on HIV and AIDS, reproductive health, environmental health, and other domains of health of the youth and the community at large. It was due to the above challenges that talented youth came up to form U-Tena. The core strategy was to use theater as tool of delivering health information to youth and other members of the community. People from different parts of the world are invited to join U-tena provided they play part in realizing vision and mission of the organization.”
– Chacha Baru Peter Musya, Deputy Director at U-Tena
About the Partnership
Ungano Tena (U-Tena) is Swahili for reuniting – coming back together. U-Tena is a grassroots community-based organization created in 2005 by youth from the Viwandani-Mukuru slum in East Nairobi. U-Tena aims to educate on topics related to HIV/AIDS, STIs, sexual health, and reproductive health through music, dance, puppetry, and theater. Through performing arts, U-Tena dispels myths about HIV transmission and encourages condom use and STI testing and treatment.
U-Tena established the Kuza Project in 2011 with the support of GlobeMed at Brown University. The Kuza Project matches girls ages 12-17 with female mentors in the community who educate the girls about sexual and reproductive health, self-esteem, life skills, crafting, and financial literacy. In the 2014-2015 school year, GlobeMed at Brown funded various aspects of the Kuza project that collectively allowed it to function and thrive. Some of the funds went towards crafting supplies and transportation for guest crafters to visit and introduce new crafts to the girls. Other funds went towards supplies for the monthly bashes, including transportation for guest speakers who give motivational speeches at the bashes. Funding also went towards sanitary pads for all of the girls, a scholarship stipend granted to a few of the girls, and stipends for the project manager and mentors.
GlobeMed at Brown aims to raise $10,000 this year for the U-Tena and the Kuza Project. The funds will provide girls with crafting supplies, sanitary pads, and exposure visits to universities with the ultimate goal of increasing financial literacy and academic success. Additional funds will provide sexual health education programming for the girls and for the local community.