What’s On the Minds of Girls Living in Kibera?

Girls in Kenya’s biggest slum are breaking their silence about parental and sexual abuse, thanks to “talking boxes” placed in schools where they can share their secrets. The metal boxes have been installed in 50 schools across the vast slum by a UN-funded non-governmental organisation, Polycom Development. Girls write down their problems or questions on pieces of paper and post them through a slot in the boxes, which are often placed outside bathrooms or in other discreet locations to give them more privacy, especially in mixed-gender schools. A 2010 report by rights group Amnesty International indicates violence against women and girls is endemic in slums, and is linked to the lack of access to sanitation and public security. Another report released in 2014 by the African Population and Health Research Centre shows in Kenya about 30% of young people aged between 10 and 24 are urban slum dwellers.


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