Kenya’s Women Fight Back (My Article At Newsweek/The Daily Beast)

(Via Newsweek/The Daily Beast)

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“Today, I’m your guide and your security guard!” Mercy Anyong’a cheerfully tells me as we walk through the narrow alleyways and muddy paths of Mukuru Kwa Njenga, one of Nairobi’s largest and most dangerous slums.

Caroline Gitau, a young, vivacious Kenyan woman perpetually in motion, tells me that I should give my camera to Mercy: “She knows the slums well.”

“More than a white American?” I joke meekly while handing it over.

“It is always risky, but we risk it because we have to reach these girls,” Mercy adds.

Mercy and Caroline are two very young, infectiously passionate members of No Means No Worldwide, an NGO that is reducing rape in the slums of Nairobi. Caroline is the program manager and Mercy is a trainer of trainers for the organization, which has taught thousands of teenage girls and elderly shooshoos (“grandmothers” in Kikuyu) a specially designed self-defense program called IMpower.

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