Bright Futures is an empowerment program and support group for young mothers ages 18 to 30 living in Kibera. Formal education and employment opportunities in Kibera are limited, making it challenging for Kibera’s youth, particularly young women, to find productive ways to earn income and utilize their free time. Bright Futures was founded in 2015 in partnership with the Junior League of Evanston-North Shore to empower women to be able to work together, gain skills, and find solution to support themselves and their families. The program and all activities have been designed and implemented by the group members, ensuring that they feel ownership of the group and value the group’s sustainability. Uweza and Junior League’s role is to provide guidance, oversight, and funding for the group’s activities.
Currently, 12-14 young women meet at the center every Saturday to participate in Bright Futures activities. These include:
Group Savings and Loans:
Business and Finance Training:
Income Generating Activities:
Life Skills Training:
Impact of the Program:
Bright Futures has helped empower the women in the program to stand on their own and support themselves and their families through provision of knowledge through training, improved financial sustainability through group savings, and opportunities to earn income. All of the women in the program are mothers so the impact of the program on them automatically extends to their children as well as their partners/spouses and households. All of the members of the Uweza community are aware of the group’s activities and see them meeting every Saturday and participating in income generating activities at our gender and this also helps combat gender inequality and challenges societal norms about women needing to be reliant on men for income.
Karen Leese Miller Legacy Bracelet:
In 2017, we created the KLM Legacy bracelet in honor of Karen Miller, a dear friend and the driving force behind the creation and sustainability of the Bright Futures program. Each bracelet was handmade by a woman in Kibera and the beads on the bracelet represent events, relationships, and experiences in Karen’s full and vibrant life. To learn more about the bracelet and how to purchase, visit: http://uwezakenya.org/klm/. All of the proceeds from the sales of the bracelet support the Bright Futures program.