At HerStory: Working Together Centre
Female Sex Workers are enrolled in a variety of programs and opportunities to help them succeed in life – and become self –reliant, and independent; to make his-tory, “Her”-Story.
HerStory programs provide a foundation for the women and girls to find their productive place in society. Female sex workers may suffer from violence, abuse, intolerance, stigma and prejudice in their line of work and are sometimes sexually brutalized in their quest to earn money to support themselves and their families; HerStory helps to lead the path from abuse to empowerment.
HerStory provides health education and counseling on family planning and reproductive health, nutrition, parenting skills, STI/HIV/AIDS and negotiating safer sex practices. Contraceptives are provided free of charge through the Peer Lead Support System.
The women and girls are referred to other agencies for health care and social services as needed. In addition, HerStory members are training to administer home based care for women with AIDS, and to counsel and educate members of their communities.
Female sex workers entering HerStory form groups of five; maintain group bank accounts and start small enterprises. Within the groups, women learn how to provide peer counseling, home-based care for sick members and peer education outreach to the community – additionally, the women form lasting bonds on which they can rely through any difficulty. Many sex-workers are isolated from friends and family, HerStory provides a new beginning and support system for former sex workers.
Girl-Child sex workers are stigmatised, discriminated, marginalized, disowned and others are led into early marriages. HerStory offers a empowerment through vocational training programs for girl-child sex workers aged from 10 to 18 years; they learn tailoring, dressmaking, weaving, tie-dye design, hairstyling and mechanical training.
In addition, they receive counseling in health education and social training, which includes women’s rights and lessons in character building. 600 girls have passed through the program since its inception.
It is a sad reality that some individuals who are afflicted with HIV/AIDS will perish prematurely; and often, these persons leave behind young children who sometimes have contracted the virus that causes AIDS from birth – other children are unaffected. In the event that a member cannot care for her children due to her condition, HerStory works with members and family kingship system. Orphaned children are allowed to remain in the HerStory family and allowed to live with a qualified and prepared individual preselected by HerStory staff and his or her mother.
A Kikoi (pronounced: kee-koy) is a beautiful, hand-woven sarong that can be worn around the shoulders or waist by men or women – Kikoi are prized for their beauty, versatility and uniqueness. A Kikoi can be worn like a sarong or a casual evening dress. They are not only ideal for the beach either, as they have been used to double up as a scarf or picnic rug or even a colorful furniture throw. Other uses include as a table clothe, bedspread or just about anything a rectangular decorative fabric can be used for. Beautiful, hand-woven Kikoy, proceeds from all sales go directly to women and girls in Kenya