Noel Lutomia, Acacia In Kenya – Linda Dada- A Safe Space and Call to Protecting Young Women
Kenya is among 6 countries with the highest number of adolescents infected with HIV/AIDS in the world. Furthermore, there is no formalized mandated reproductive health education curriculum to give girls the answers they seek to navigate adolescence. This is made worse by the patriarchal nature of the community, and traditional taboos. Noel Lutomia is the visionary behind Linda Dada, a project that seeks to provide safe spaces, outreach, education, and life skills training to teenage girls in rural Kenya. Noel Lutomia is passionate about changing the lives and stories of young girls and women in rural communities. She believes that changing their lives will provide better possibilities for future generations.
Linda Dada means, “protect sisters,” or “protect a sister.” The project has three goals: (a) Kanga Talks – monthly trainings to impart life skills to girls on issues such as puberty changes, career choices, and identity formation. (b) Safe space groups designed for behavioral changes to improve the health and agency of adolescent girls living in rural areas. (c) Lastly, the initiation of an annual girls-led three day summit targeting girls where issues such as decision-making and reproductive health are discussed by a panel of successful expert women from the community. The Pollination grant will help Noel Lutomia successfully accomplish her goal of changing the lives of young women in Mumias Kenya.