The need for love is the strongest emotion in the world and Lucy Wanjiku Njenga knew this too well. She, however, found it in all the wrong places that she ended up becoming a teenage mother. This was when life had just started making sense having been lucky enough to finish her O level education, amidst all the challenges that came with getting a quality education in the informal settlements of Dandora, Nairobi . Seven months later after birth, her son succumbed to pneumonia, two weeks after Lucy had tested positive for HIV. It was all too much to bear, and it only got worse before it got better. Her partner became abusive, refusing her to work to get an income, belittling her and her ideas and resulted in physical violence. She thought she deserved this until she could no longer take it anymore. With all the scars one question that was constant was why this had happened to her
She figured all she ever wanted was someone to stand in the gap for her, someone with more experience who would have helped her make better choices. As she did not have that person, she could be that person and help other girls not to go through what she went through and that is how Positive Young Women Voices (PYWV) was founded. This would be a safe space where a girl’s voice mattered. The founding members were friends, all raised in Dandora and identified with the challenges that girls and young women face in the community. They wanted to live in a community where adolescent girls and young women in their diversities lived to their full potential. They came together to support one girl going back to school through their own contributions. Unfortunately, she got pregnant at 15 years of age. It dawned on the friends that there was a missing link and being in school was not enough. There was a need for something more In 2017, PYWV was registered as a Community-Based Organization (CBO) to respond to the challenges affecting adolescent girls and young women in the community. Our interventions include activities to address violence against women and girls that range from peer-to-peer mentorship, trainings for both young men and women, Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer (LBQ) women support forums and community outreaches . For adolescent girls we have the peer-to-peer mentorship, mentor and mentee program and Adopt a Girl a Month, a monthly mentorship initiative with provision of sanitary towels and life skills training. Adopt a Girl a Month was our flagship project started in 2017 through M-Changa , a crowdfunding platform. PYWV prides itself in the relationship existing with the community stakeholders, the Advisory Group (the Board), partners and committed volunteers who collaborate towards realization of the organization’s vision. The volunteers at PYWV and their supporters are all people who are tired of just speaking and have decided to use their skills, knowledge, and resources to make Dandora a better place for a girl and woman in all their diversities.