At present AOSK-JPC focuses on facilitating the Women Peacemakers to form and empower the associates with skills so that they can join hands to reduce marginalization in the society.
Gender Equity Programme facilitates Women Peacemakers to form associates groups at the grassroots. Our dream is to have well established groups addressing social issues as they undertake income generating activities to sustain their mission in each of the diocese where we work. This is to strengthen the initiative and offer the trained WWAs opportunity to share the skills and information gained with the community hence become true ambassador of Peace in their own communities. This will enable AOSK-JPC reach out to more people hence the impact of the work can be measured. We already have a plan we are appealing to well wishers and donors to support us so that we can realize this noble dream and together build a more just and more peaceful society.
Gender-based violence particularly against women remains a major problem in Kenya and there is much to be done to curtail this evil. Gender violence is on the rise in Kenya and women are more affected than men. From the field experiences we have realized that many GBV cases at the grass roots go unreported and women, girls and children in marginalized communities continues to suffer silently while the perpetrators continues to enjoy their freedom and threatens the victims. This threatens the future of our Kenyan society since the victims do not receive any support.
GARISA DIOCESE- Bidii Group is a Group in and is comprised of 34 members. The group is working towards promoting Human Rights and advocating against Gender Based Violence, promotion of human rights women’s dignity. The group seeks to break the silence against all forms of violence against women, girls and create a society where women and girls live free from violence. They encourage women to be peaceful at home, empower poor women to recognize their gift and realize their potentials. They also have some income generating activities like merry go round.
o Intervene in situation of injustices in the community
o Eliminate Violence against women
o Care of Environment
o Promote Dialogue in the family and community
o Sensitize women on how to protect themselves against rape (sexual offence act)
NYAHURURU DIOCESE- ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS- The group is comprised of 12 members of which 4 are CJPC members 1CDA, 3 WWA’s and 3 leaders from self help groups, one children officer and a sister. The group has been conducting awareness on environment issues, tree planting and has a tree nursery project. They have also been involved in dealing with Domestic violence and child abuse and successfully been though with some challenges. Some cases are desperate that they need longer time to settle. The group has been able to assist a widow get title deed back which was taken by in-law. The group is registered as self help they were able to access government loans through uwezo funds. They have also helped a woman recover loan money from her husband which he had taken to buy a motorbike.
EMBU ASSOCIATE GROUP-The group was formed in August 2014 and was officially launched by AOSK-JPC. The group has 18 associates who have gone trough some training on how to be peace makers. The group is comprised of women, men and youth. These associates are from different religious background. This is due to the diverge needs of the community and the members felt the need to have a holistic approach top the issues affecting the community. The group’s objective is:
o To inspire and influence the mind set of the women, girls, men and youth to embrace a positive change.
o To sensitize the community about the effects of drug abuse
o Advocate drug abuse among the youth which poses a threat about the future of a boy child
To sustain their initiatives the group started a small project for making door mats and table clothes and Merry go round. In future if they get some financial support they intend to;
Start poultry project to be owned by the group as well as encourage members to keep chicken at home
Purchase an incubator machine for hatching
Begin a class for Sunday school to save them from loitering around.
Kisii DU-The group is comprised of 25 women from different deaneries of the Diocese. The group has been in existence since 2014 conducting awareness on FGM campaigns and organizing community trainings and forums. FGM is highly practiced in the area and the community had radicalized it hence it remains a silent injustice women do to their fellow women especially the children who are defenseless. There’s growing intolerance where the community is not willing to listen to discussion against the practice. Many interventions to curb the problem have failed because often times the community is condemned and not given opportunity to look at the issue and give part of their story. The group also realized that there is close relationship between the practice and increased school drop-out among girls, increased promiscuity, early marriages, and unwanted pregnancies, increased level of discrimination, low self esteem and self-image. FGM affect the health of women and exposes a woman to high risks when in menstruation, high maternal and infant mortality and problem in consummation of marriage.
The group seeks to end unjust cultural practices and discrimination of women in development. FGM is being practiced even with laws in place. There’s less involvement of faith leaders, men. The approach need to revert to upholding dignity of women. The overall goal of the project is protect the rights of women so that they can live a dignified life. The trends in FGM are changing and girls are being targeted when there are most vulnerable under the age of 10 years. The project aims to end the practice by involving all the members of the society to join in to protect and uphold the rights of women so and have a positive view of women so that they can appreciate their sexuality in the future and be viewed as people who can make informed decisions. The women will also move towards economic stability by starting alternative livelihood activities to generate incomes to provide for their families as well as benefit from devolved funds.
The project takes a bottom up approach to issues affective women and involving different stakeholders so that they collectively come up with ways of addressing the challenge and promoting the positive aspects that emanate from avoiding the cut. The society has for a long time taken for granted the rights of women especially in regards to their security and hence the project main goal is to encourage the entire community to join in and protect the rights of the women and girl child. The project seeks to establish why FGM is still predominant despite the many interventions and establish effective local strategies to curb the practice, To influence the community to embrace alternative values and shun harmful practices against women, To localize the problem of FGM and advocate for positive approach to women related issues and to enhance the capacity of women to embrace alternative livelihood activities for economic stability. Key strategies involve conducting research in each county to localize.
Organize awareness forums for local leaders, church leaders, church groups (CWA, CMA, youth and children)
Conduct research, share findings in forums with stakeholders, map advocacy issues. Build capacity of faith leaders, men and women to fight FGM and economic empowerment of women.
Advocacy against FGM through media, campaigns, Churches and learning institutions to influence the mind set of the community
To reduce FGM to 50% in the Kisii areas and change perception of the community from seeing women as ‘objects’ to seeing them as important people who need to be protected and empowered for family wellbeing.
Train the community on Alternative Rites of Passage (ARP)
The group has merry go round project going on and they intend to begin faming and animal keeping as a project that will sustain their lives.
There three groups in Homabay organized by 3 Women Peacemakers. In Rapogi the group is comprised of 15 members two WWAs and 13 associates. The group is involved in creating awareness on human rights issues to the grassroots community. There many cases of gender based violence and the most affected in the area are women and girl child. The community is also ignorant of Human rights and many cases go unreported since people are not empowered to speak up for their rights. As a way of sustaining their initiatives the group seeks to embark of keeping the local chicken and brick making project.
HOMABAY DU -Kuria
Veronica is WWAS from Ntimaru has been actively involved in campaign against FGM as Peace Maker. This has cause her sleepless nights of tears given that her son is also chief of the areas and trying to implement government policy e.g. Fighting FGM. There is a strong need to enhance the activities of the Women Peace Makers as they advocate for fair treatment and equal opportunities for men and women.
Well defined and supported advocacy would be the most relevant strategy to address the issue of FGM in Kuria. Socio-economic empowerments of the women to enable them engage in alternative activities for their livelihoods.
KERICHO DU-Anti-Female Genital Mutilation Campaign-The WWAs have been going round to school and in the community to create awareness to the girls, parents, and community elders as well as teachers about the effects of FGM. The campaigns have been intensified in Nandi, Pokot and Marakwet where FGM is still very rampart. Rape and early marriages are on the rise and they go unreported.
ELDORET DU-There are 27 associates who have being trained on sexual offence, child protection act, conflict management and human trafficking. The group intends to address the problem of human trafficking since it is rampart in the area. They have started a small project on merry go round. For economic empowerment they wish to purchase chairs and tents for hire.
KISUMU DU-The Tank Mabati groups comprise of 30 members both men and women. The group exists to advocate for the rights of widows in Luo Nyanza. Women for a long time have been violated in the area when their husband dies, they have no say. They began with merry go round to purchase iron sheets for the widows and later tanks as the name suggests. They have a number of activities including farming where they hire a portion of land and plant ground nuts and fruits. The group intends to purchase machine for making peanut and bee keeping project to sustain their initiatives. There are other four groups in Kisumu DU involved in peace building.
WWAs Group in Kisumu DU- involved in farming and Merry go round initiative
Africa is rising May Women and men be part of that rising. Women and women will be saved through women and men. We can only get our continent to have inclusive growth if we are educated and change our mindsets and ensure that our poorer and vulnerable neighborsare carried along.