In July of 2015, Bakashana opened a resource center to provide a Safe Space for the young women of Kasama to form community, relate to one another, read in our library, learn computer skills, as well as discuss, learn, and access resources related to sexual and personal health. In 2017, Bakashana began to offer Boarding to 14 of its most opportunistic and vulnerable grantees.
Thanks to a grant of $6,000 received in 2015 from the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (VGIF), the Bakashana Resource Center is now equipped with 16 computers and has started computer training courses for the young women in the program. We currently operate free computer classes 4 times per week for young women and girls in the Kasama community looking to learn the increasingly important skills of operating a computer, word processing, and accessing the unlimited potential of the internet! This empowers women to access the world outside of Kasama, and offers greater employability. To date, we have trained nearly 300 young women in computer and internet basics.
Sexual and Personal Health Training
Currently, Bakashana offers sexual and personal health training to all of our grantees through our Grantee Workshops . Furthermore, we offer HIV/AIDs training and sensitization to BanaChimbusas (female elders who teach young women about traditional cultural practices regarding sex, gender, and relationships) – read more about our Staying Alive Through Culture Project . Bakashana has also applied for several grants which would enable us to provide larger scale sexual and personal health counseling at the center. Currently we are forming a community of young women who come together to share their experiences and challenges, and we offer some forms of family planning. If funding is acquired, Bakashana looks forward to hiring a certified nurse who can provide sexual/personal health counseling, and administer a full set of family planning services.
Bakashana is also building a culture of reading for enjoyment at our center. Our library is stocked with many books of varying reading levels (in English and the local language, IciBemba), so that young women in Kasama can discover the joy and freedom of reading!