Chanukah girls


A project that uses radioprogrammes with outreach and online social networking to create a learning platform for girls in three slum areas of Nairobi, Kenya. Chanuka! is Nairobi street lingo for empowerment. It is generally recognized that girls living in slums and rural areas are among the most marginalized section of communities in the world. It is estimated that nearly 60% of primary school age children not enrolled in school are girls, dropping out of school gives a girl 90% chance of living in poverty, 70,000 maternal deaths a year are adolescent girls and that 36% of all global marriages are girl child marriages.

Often the struggle by girls to make it out of poverty is hindered by lack of education and access to information on opportunities available to them to improve their lives. They are not well informed about education opportunities, financial aid, training opportunities and lack of information on issues such as reproductive health leaves them exposed to early pregnancy and disease that often arrests their ambitions. It is critical to provide the girls with relevant information that will increase their self-belief and confidence thus leading to their empowerment.

Project activities 

Listening sessions with girls Mathare

To re-inforce the impact of the radio broadcast and make them well understood by the target audience of our Chanukah project, we formed listening groups with girls in three slums in Nairobi; Kibera, Mukuru and Mathare. The girls listened in on the radio shows that aired on Ghetto radio and discussed the major themes highlighted in the show.

Empowering girls in Nairobi Slums

MFA produced a series of radio programmes with Ghetto Radio and girls from the slums of Kibera, Mathare and Mukuru. The girls participated in the production of the radio shows that covered a wide range of personal stories about rape, drug abuse, contraceptives, abortion, daily struggles but also hope for the future.


Increased levels of knowledge

  • 9 radio programmes aired on Ghetto Radio
  • 27 sessions in 3 locations
  • A cumulative total of 1,518 attended the sessions
  • Online directory established


The effect of the programme:

  • Increased knowledge on sexually transmittable infections (STI’s) and contraceptives, towards 100% knowledge on prevention of STI’s
  • Increased knowledge of 70% on help centers after sexual molestation, reproductive health and drug rehabilitation centers
  • Increased knowledge of 70% on symptoms of drug abuse
Come on, every body knows if you sleep with men from different tribes you wont get HIV/Aids. Who doesn’t know that, who?
Quotes radio programmes
Those pills are bad, i heard that girls can become barren after taking them, i know only married women are supposed to take them, young girls should not take contraceptives
Quote radio programme
These girls say that getting pregnant is fashionable in their area, where I come from its like abortion is the in thing. Everyday we find foetuses disposed in ditches
Quote radio programme