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Training 1000 Girls in Kibera to #DefendHerself

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Hi from Patricia and Yuly!
We were inspired to launch this initiative because of the growing violence against women, and several recent and tragic attacks on young girls in Kenya. Only $50 will help pay for a full self-defense and security awareness training for at-risk girls ages 12-18 in Kenya!

A donation of $50 will train each girl during this pilot phase, and also help us build a robust and cost-effective program with scale. This amount includes time to interview and work with others to build a stronger program, as well as time for a lead trainer and ~3 assistant trainers to join group trainings of girls.
  • Aim to train 1,000 girls ages 12-18 from Kenya's lower-income communities by April 2022
  • Raise $25,000 to train 1,000 girls for free - PLUS full program design with gender violence professionals and youth educators
  • Build a unique training program designed for girls that combines classroom education on how to avoid violent situations, as well as physical training as a last resort
  • 300 girls ready for the training- and new partnerships planned to reach our goal

Girls deserve to feel safe at home and in school...
In 2020, the United Nations found that 120 million girls worldwide have experiences forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. The World Health Organization projected as high as 150 million girls are victims of violence each year. Women and girls account for about 70 per cent of all human trafficking victims globally. 
Kenya’ girls deserve a brighter future
Violence against women and girls increased by 3x during COVID! Human Rights Watch documented various forms of violence against women and girls including sexual abuse, beatings, being thrown out of the home, being forced to marry, and forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM). These incidents, if survived, creating lasting socio-psychological impacts that must be curbed early on.
Girls who grow up in the slums of Nairobi such as Kibera, Mathare, Kayole and Kawangware are already exposed to a higher risk living environment, and they deserve to be better prepared. The violent rape and murder of 2 Kibera Soccer School girls has highlighted a growing crisis, worsened by COVID, but that should not be forgotten. Even when leading organizations seek to protect their girls and create better opportunity, the protective structures designed to safeguard greater opportunity are not foolproof.
Self-defense training has been shown to shift the course of violence
Being able to defend should be a basic right because evidence shows that trainings for girls to defend themselves increases confidence, and significantly reduces incident of assault. A 2013 study of high school girls in Nairobi showed that self- defense training reduced incidence of assault by 63%! And we still believe a better designed program is needed...
#DefendHerself aims to train 1,000 Kenyan girls by 2022, and eventually reach 100,000 girls around the world
We want to help break the pattern of violence now - with better awareness and physical training #DefendHerself envisions a future where girls enjoy their youth, free of concerns or lack of training to avoid or respond to real-life threats that too often will be faced.
Trainings will include classroom learning related to how to identify unsafe or potentially high risk scenarios, how to avoid these scenarios, and as a last resort, how to defend herself and escape as fast as possible. It will focus on teaching techniques that can be used by those who are likely to be smaller and less strong than their attacker, and who are socialized against proactive response.
Yuly is a security consultant and Krav Maga instructor with over 20 years of experience in these fields. He also launched the first and only professional martial arts school in Kenya in 2015 to offer high quality training to people of all ages. Patricia began training with Yuly in 2019 after an attack on her company, and later joined him to help train Kenyan companies and their staff on safety and self-defense.

Help us reach and train 1,000 girls in 2022! During this time, once funded, we will focused on working with a series of Kenyan schools and professionals who work with girls who have been- or are at risk of violent attack- to build a robust program to better prepare girls as well as help them heal from violence
We are starting our campaign at a $25,000 target to reach the initial 1,000 girls, and to begin our outreach and ensure girls get training sooner rather than later. We hope our early pilot trainings will convince other funders and institutions of the value and importance of further funding this training.


  • Angela Matthes
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Shriram Narayanaswamy
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Audrey Desiderato
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Sowparnika Srivatsan
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Elaine Tinsley
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs


Patricia Chin-Sweeney
West Orange, NJ

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