Empowering women in prostitution to achieve their vocational dreams.
Malkia, meaning “Queen” in Swahili, provides a safe space for women in prostitution to be equipped, educated, and strengthened as role models that restore hope to their work places. Serving women ages 13-30 from informal settlements, Malkia aims to see women in prostitution drive the process of reform, rehabilitation, and ownership over their lives. Because women in prostitution are subjected to stigmatization in their communities, they are victimized, rejected, and shamed to a point of self-loathing. Many of the women in our program were raped as children and forced into prostitution to support their families. We named this program “Malkia” to refer to them as Queens—hoping to restore their dignity, helping them believe in their transformation, and encouraging them to embrace their beauty.
- To empower women in prostitution with vocational skills or formal education so that they can achieve their dream careers;
- To educate women in prostitution on their sexual and reproductive health rights and promote behavior change;
- To mentor women in prostitution to be role models and agents of change who will work toward the transformation of commercial sex workers.
Malkia enrolls new beneficiaries every year and each cohort runs for 9 months. The women meet monthly at a resource center based in their community. As the Malkia women are provided with psychological support to support their emotional healing, they are also empowered with skills for alternative means of work. This allows them to leave the streets and pursue their dream career. They are educated on their sexual and reproductive health rights so that they can make their own choices when it comes to their bodies.
During phase one of the program, they learn together through sessions where they are empowered to discover their unique potential:
Phase two focuses on vocational skills training. Malkia women are referred to other institutions for job or training opportunities in hospitality, catering, hairdressing, and craft making. In this phase, Freely in Hope also teaches them financial management and professional skills:
Our vision for Malkia is that it will reach out to women working in prostitution in different parts of Kenya.
Our hope is that by the end of our time together with these women, they will have been empowered, strengthened and transformed to shine a light for other women working in prostitution.
“My son always tells me to bake his birthday cake, and now I can because of the training from Freely in Hope. I am so happy because I will soon fulfill his wishes beyond this. In the future, I hope to create employment opportunities to families on the streets because Freely in Hope believed in me and decided to help me pursue my dream career.” Sarafina, age 24
Our success rate
93% Phase I Graduation Rate
100% Phase II Retention Rate
88% Found Alternatives Means of Work
Two of our youngest beneficiaries, both aged 13, expressed their dream of going back to high school. Now, they are part of Freely in Hope’s scholarship program. In addition, one of our alumni has been hired as a program trainee. She will be coordinating the 2020 cohort.
Malkia graduates become role models and agents of change who work toward the transformation of other women working in prostitution.
We believe that true and meaningful change occurs as the women drive their own process of reform.
THE VISIONARY BEHIND MALKIA
Malkia was designed by Freely in Hope alumni, Akinyi*. Akinyi graduated with Freely in Hope with a bachelors in Communications. Being a survivor of rape as a child, Akinyi began prostituting in 8th grade in order to fund her school tuition. After becoming a scholar in Freely in Hope, she reclaimed her power and desired to give it back to other women. Akinyi designed Malkia to help women in prostitution realize that they have the power to say “no.” They have the power to reclaim their story and to also help them make decisions that benefit not only them, but their children.
Help equip the independence of Malkia women.