The Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya Justice and Peace Commission (AOSK- JPC) have been working on the promotion of Humans Rights over the last fourteen years. In the year 2003 the AOSK-JPC started the initiative of working closely with schools in order to introduce Human Rights learning and action in schools. This was a dream, which was meant to start with one seminar per year on an experimental basis. This initiative was started after a visit to Nigeria where various Human Rights Kenya partners went for an exchange visit with Human Rights groups in Nigeria. The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) together with the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru started this initiative which involved working with students through a Schools Human Rights programme. The AOSK- JPC together with the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar then joined the Nakuru Diocese to jointly start training teachers. This was with the understanding that the trained teachers would then go back to their schools and initiate a Human Rights, Law/ Peace or Justice and Peace Club in their school. Their aim would be to create awareness among the students on respecting Human Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities. Our main objective therefore is to train teachers in human rights skills in order to promote, protect and enhance a rights-based approach and to contribute to the building of a human rights culture in schools. It is also aimed at developing an understanding of school governance vis-à-vis the human rights work that will be carried out. This will hopefully be achieved, not only through the teachers, but also through student participation in the schools Human Rights Programme.
It is our hope and prayer that at the end of our efforts our students will became better leaders of tomorrow where values are reflected upon and shared among God’s people enabling all students to live in harmony where their human dignity is upheld and they are enabled to enjoy their God given basic rights, recognizing that Human Rights are natural and God given, they do not have to be earned and that all people are equally entitled to them regardless of sex, race, color, language, tribe, class, religion or political beliefs. It is also our prayer that all students grow responsibly and never to be misused.
Why the formation of Human Rights and Peace Clubs in schools?
• Teachers to mentor and support the children in carrying out activities in the respective clubs besides offering material and informational support for learning with regards to Human Rights Education.
• HR Clubs to provide avenues where children meet discuss issues affecting them and organize advocacy activities within the schools’ setting and the community at large.
• To create awareness on the human rights issues at regional level and national level. This therefore instills tolerance, non-discrimination and equality among students.
• Club members to become advocates of human rights and responsibilities in schools and communities.
1. Commemorating of international human right days which includes:
• World environmental day
• The Girl child day
• World peace day
• Human right day
2. Holding Human rights debates in schools and facilitating inter-school human rights club exchange initiaves
3. Lobby for school head teachers on formation of Human right clubs in school
4. Strengthening human right club in school through the training of club patrons and students
5. Field visits to schools
6. Formation of club members on various issues of concern like Moral values, leadership, constitution, HIV/AIDS, peace, tolerance, discrimination Catholic social teachings
7. Teaching on Children rights, gender issues, child abuse issues, policies on children to teachers and students
8. Meetings with club patrons
9. Hold forums with community leaders, parents, and other education stakeholders.
10. Capacity building of teachers on education policies likes Basic Education Act.
11. Capacity building on human rights and human rights instruments to the club patrons.
12. Initiation of solidarity activites
This is one of the many strategies of strengthening the promotion of the right to education and other rights in the educational and social system, through the joint efforts of individual, partners, organizations and institution who share common objectives. Since then AOSK_JPC have had teachers trained from various schools. The students/pupils have, to date, proved to be very good at articulating in respectful manner human rights issues in schools. Those with an active Human Rights /Law club in schools can give evidence that through these clubs students can easily approach their teachers in a mature manner and dialogue on various issues or even participate in contributing to the school rules. By doing these students are able to accepts the rules and put them in practice. This has brought about discipline and good morals practices.