I haven’t written in a month not because I haven’t wanted to but because I have been unable to. When I write it usually stems from a place of motivation and inspiration but those two have been lacking in supply lately. Mainly because I had to make a choice about something and the fear of making the wrong decision pretty much crippled any form of productivity for the past 4 weeks.
Earlier in the year I was in a space where I was looking for purpose and meaning, I was trying to figure out how I could contribute to adding value to society. I was riding the ‘this is the time to be great wave’ and that wave led me to a lot of amazing things. The vision was clear then: write on the blog every week, contribute to thought revolution, go to a credible African institution and grow from there and then everything else will fall in place. I am a planner so I was sure I had it all down and ready to go. One thing I forgot to take into account is that things don’t always go as planned and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Safe Spaces is the dream that I had not planned for. It’s so unreal to me that it is an actual thing and that it is so beautiful. It warms my heart that Safe Spaces creates a platform to amplify the voices of young women and their issues. Allowing them to come into a place where they do not really know each other but are comfortable enough not to just sit and listen to speakers but to actually engage with others and ask questions that they normally would not in other places. It brings me such joy that Safe Spaces can act as a bridge between the young woman who wants her voice to be heard and the experts/professionals who want to guide and teach them. It’s even more beautiful that at Safe Spaces both the young person and the expert engage on a level platform. Safe Spaces is such a beautiful thing and it is so unreal to me.
For all of you who were not able to attend the last one you really missed out but here’s a recap for you. We started off the day with group sessions, we had 3 groups made up different people and we had a set of questions for the groups to discuss. The questions were around SRHR which was our topic for the day. It was interesting to learn that ‘the pull out method’ is also referred to by some as ‘the pull and pray’ which was explained as he ‘pulls out’ and the woman is left ‘praying’. Another point of interest was around the topic of safe abortion. All three groups felt that safe abortions should be made more accessible to women.
We then had our first speakers of the day, Harriet and Matthew from Marie Stopes who took us through the different forms of contraception available. From the hormonal ones such as the implant, birth control pills to non-hormonal ones such as the copper T and to the barrier methods such as the male and female condom. They then demonstrated the proper use and removal of the male and female condoms, the dos and the don’ts. These demonstrations were followed by a fun little game to see who was paying attention. The groups chose members to represent them to put condoms on penile models and take them off properly. The winners were handed gift hampers courtesy of Marie Stopes.
Our second speaker for the day was Evelyn Njiri an amazing lady who works for JHIPIEGO. She looked at contraceptives in terms of life planning and not just as a family planning option. How using contraceptives could be a professional choice for your career or a way for you to prioritize your studies. It can be a way for you to be able to pursue your goals with some freedom and not have to worry about a pregnancy at that point in time. She had such amazing insight to give on the topic. She was followed by Joy Bii; a friend of mine who ran as through a list of STDs and their signs and symptoms. She followed it up with a fun game of ‘STD charades’. Did you know that gonorrhea is also referred to as the clap? Our last speakers for the day were Caroline and Peter who are experts in the field of HIV. They expounded on PreP a drug that can be taken to prevent HIV if you are HIV negative. The procedure to be followed in terms of how to access it; counselling, reason for use and all that. They also emphasized the importance of getting tested whether you are married, single or in a relationship.
I really wish you were there because it was such an amazing session, there was so much knowledge that was shared, so many inside jokes created. Planning a lot of more sessions for you all since I am not going anywhere. We should have another one early next month and a really big one in November and we are working on starting a podcast as well, so yeiiiy! I’d also like to do a series on women in Nairobi so if you know anyone with an amazing story you feel should be shared or if you are the person with that story please let me know, you could drop a comment below or reach out using the social media handles at the top of the page. Till tomorrow (yes there’s another article for tomorrow) love and light to you all.