The team have reported that over the past year due to their involvement, 90 vulnerable girls and women who have been selling sex have been able to leave the sex trade through business and vocational skills training. They have also been trained as peer educators in their communities. 4,060 sex workers and young women have been reached with vital sexual health information through the hard work of these inspiring ladies. 20 teen mums have increased their confidence and life skills, 1,086 young people have been equipped to make wise relationship choices and 3,199 men have been positively engaging with conversations around gender equality.
Maida (name changed) is 35 and has had her life turned around by joining the Shining Star project:
“Life was very difficult; I could not make ends meet or put food on the table. I found it hard to pay schools fees for my child. I did not have any hope, everything was dark.
The Shining Star team have lifted me up as a human being, they have made me a different woman. I thought sex work was the only business I could do, but Shining Star has taught me differently. They have helped me start my own business; now I’m taking care of my sisters three orphaned children and can send them and my son to school.
They have taught me good business skills. I have learnt to grow my business, to put all my goals in writing and have a list that I will tick and stick to. No matter the challenges, I have to keep on trying.
My self-esteem has greatly improved, I no longer undermine myself. I believe I can be what I want to be. I’m no longer depending on sex work – I am so busy growing my business. I know I can achieve my dreams by working with my hands and pursuing the dream and having patience.
I have also been empowered as a peer educator to help my peers. I now can give advice and make referrals for difference services. I can give relationship advice about family planning and making positive life choices. Thank you so much that night life is no longer my life.”