Since 2017 CBRE EMEA has supported the Safer Cities for Girls project in Nairobi, a programme delivered by global children’s charity, Plan International. Safer Cities for Girls puts adolescent girls at the centre of transforming cities into places of inclusion, tolerance and opportunity for everyone. Through gender training, awareness raising and advocating for change, Plan International and CBRE have empowered girls to feel safer in Nairobi.
In July, a group from CBRE visited Nairobi to meet the young people and communities involved in the project, to hear first-hand how it has transformed their attitudes to gender equality and girls’ safety. The group included Claire Anami, George Muthuri and Michael Mugambi from CBRE Kenya, as well as Jonathan Hull from CBRE EMEA.
The project has worked with girls and boys, as well as the wider community including parents, teachers, public transport and national government to tackle harmful gender stereotypes and promote girls’ safety at every level.
The day started with a meeting with matatu (bus) drivers and boda boda (motorbike taxi) riders; the project has trained over 1,700 transport workers in how to consider girls’ safety, including preventing and reporting harassment and driving safely.
The boda boda riders explained how they hadn’t realised the effect catcalling and harassment has on the girls, now they champion girls’ rights within their roles and call out harassment from other drivers. Thanks to a public campaign the wider community and public transport sector is championing gender equality and safety.
“Having the CSR programme gives the company a soul and face to touch the society at large, and I was glad to directly experience the positive practical impact on the ground.”
“Riders are committed to the programme, all wearing our yellow jackets identifying them as trained and most importantly “safe” for young girls in particular.” – Jonathan Hull, CBRE EMEA.
Next, the group heard from some of the young girls and boys who have been trained on the Champions of Change programme – lessons which challenge stereotypes, promote gender equality and empower young people to affect the change that they want to see in their communities. Over 2,000 young people have been reached so far through training sessions, community campaigns and Safety Walks.
“Seeing well trained, young, confident girls speaking up, sharing their personal life experiences, and demonstrating a great knowledge of their rights, was very encouraging. This was something unheard of before [in Embakasi]. It was very touching.” – George Muthuri, CBRE Kenya
Thanks to the brilliant fundraisers at CBRE, the partnership with Plan International has achieved incredible results on the Safer Cities for Girls project.
Michael Mugambi, CBRE Kenya, described the visit as “profound, moving and left [him] with a desire to do more for the less fortunate”.
“All I can say is how delighted and quite blown away I was by the scale of what we have achieved” – Jonathan Hull.