The Kuria community is located in the South Western part of Kenya which borders Tanzania. Administratively, Kuria forms part of the larger Migori County. Although it has been the policy of Kenya government to initiate development projects for the purpose of empowering rural communities, such government efforts have been constrained by a number of factors in Kuria land. Sixty six years after Kenya gained political independence, Kuria community has among the highest numbers of child marriages due to retrogressive cultural practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). Consequently Kuria leads in the number of school drop outs and the educated unemployed. Cumulatively, these conditions have contributed to a vicious circle of poverty. Most households within Kuria land cannot afford one dollar for their daily survival thus making the required food per capita for a healthy population not only unaffordable but also inaccessible.
It is within the social and economic context of the above realities that the idea of The Maclyne community library/center was conceived as a remedy to the prevailing social and economic conditions. As a community resource Centre, The Maclyne is a center where both children and youth can develop their reading and comprehension skills, we currently host up to 500 children below the age of 12 who attend the Centre every afternoon after school to participate in the various activities at the Centre.
We are providing a safe space for community dialogues being that it’s a neutral ground on pertinent issues of peace between the clans, issues affecting women and girls and in turn change their behaviour and mindset about these oppressive practices. We have hosted two community gatherings in our grounds over the past few months.
The center doubles up as a Gender based violence, rape and FGM rescue Centre for young girls who have run away from circumcision and women who are seeking refuge from violence. This year’s circumcision will be held in November and December and we are making the necessary arrangements to able to support as many girls as possible with the help of our supporters.
Msichana Empowerment Kuria also runs other monthly girl and women empowerment programs that provide informal training and mentorship in the Centre in education, farming, sexual and reproductive health, maternal and infant health, women’s rights, leadership and political participation.
This has been possible because of the great support from our volunteers, supporters and the community. Thank you all so much. This also means that there is still a HUGE space to come in and be part of the community, we can’t hardly wait to have you onboard.