Nairobi, Kenya is home to one of the largest slum populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Adolescents living in these slums, especially girls, are cut off from the potentially protective environments of school and family and lack safe economic opportunities. Unemployment is a major concern for adolescent girls, and desperate circumstances force them to survive however they can: 21 percent of sexually active girls aged 15–19 report exchanging sex for money or gifts. This heightened vulnerability is reflected in rates of HIV infection. In response to these circumstances, the Population Council and microfinance institution K-Rep Development Agency collaborated on the implementation of the Tap and Reposition Youth (TRY) program. The goal was to reduce adolescents’ vulnerability to adverse social and reproductive health outcomes by improving their livelihoods options. As noted in Promoting Healthy, Safe, and Productive Transitions to Adulthood Brief No. 15, the TRY model evolved from a minimalist savings and credit model to one that also provided social support and a savings option. The TRY experience underscored girls’ differing capabilities during their transition to adulthood.
Erulkar, Annabel, Judith Bruce, Erica Chong, Aleke Dondo, Jennefer Sebstad, James K. Matheka, Arjmand Banu Khan, and Anne Gathuku. 2006. "Tap and Reposition Youth (TRY): Providing social support, savings, and microcredit opportunities for young women in areas with high HIV prevalence," Promoting Healthy, Safe, and Productive Transitions to Adulthood Brief no. 15. New York: Population Council.