MOTTO: UNLOCKED POTENTIALS, SECURED FUTURES
Amani Nyumbani Initiative
‘Amani Nyumbani’ is Kiswahili word that means ‘Peace at Home’. This initiative aims at breaking the silence and providing prevention, mitigation and response to domestic violence. When I let out my own story of Domestic Violence, hundreds of women, young and old; rich and poor; educated and uneducated; influential and lowly; Christian and Muslim all reached out to me with a resounding ‘Me Also’ script with most of their stories being more horrifying than my own. Domestic violence is on the rise some resulting in disablement or even death.
‘Amani Nyumbani’ Initiative provides safe spaces for dialogue around domestic pressures and triggers with a view to mitigating potential flare ups. The initiative also provides for safe rescue of victims, trauma counselling and support for them including children as appropriate, legal redress, linkage to other treatment and care programs and economic empowerment for household members. The initiative also provides for a community response system whereby neighbours check on welfare of neighbours.
‘Nawiri Dada’ Project
‘Nawiri Dada’ is Kiswahili word that means ‘Girls Arising’. This Project aims at supporting Adolescent Girls and Young Women who have undergone rape and got children as a result. Sexual violence is one of the worst forms of Gender Based Violence and is on the increase in Kenya. Sexual violence strips survivors of their dignity and self-worth with some left with lifelong disabilities or lose their lives while others even have children out of rape. The shame and stigma around sexual violence is real and runs deep with many suffering in silence. In the case where children are conceived and born as a result of rape, the psychological trauma on the woman doubles and the children act as constant reminders of the violence. ‘Nawiri Dada’ Project comes in to bridge this gap by providing psychological and socio-economic empowerment services for the adolescent young women survivors, their children and broader families.
‘Nawiri Dada’ Project journeys with these adolescent girls and young women through the healing process to make peace with themselves and their children. Through psychosocial support groups, they are encouraged to break the silence and speak out as this will help them in accepting themselves, boost their confidence and self-esteem. Children mothered by these adolescents and young women are also counselled and monitored as they are part of their mothers’ healing process. The young women are also taught skills like ornament making, mat and basket making, soap making and others that ensures they have stable incomes to sustain themselves and their families.
‘Uonevu Shuleni’ Initiative
‘Uonevu Shuleni’ is a Kiswahili word meaning ‘Bullying in Schools’. This Initiative aims are providing a safe space to engage school boys, teachers, parents, religious sector and community members with a view to holding open dialogue around bullying in schools. Bullying is a silent form of Gender Based Violence that is increasing in intensity and severity with some school boys quitting school, dropping in academic grades, sustaining physical and psychological injuries and in some cases even death. Cyber Bullying is also gaining momentum and is negatively affecting many young people. ‘Uonevu Shuleni’ endeavours to eliminate all forms of Bullying among boys in schools by facilitating dialogue forums with key stakeholders, providing psychosocial support for those affected and strengthening school systems and policies that ensure ‘zero’ tolerance to this vice. The Initiative will also provide for broader mentorship of the students on character, leadership, self-image, self-esteem, self-management and goal setting.
Projects under Leadership for Adolescent Girls and Young Women
‘Ongoza Dada’ Initiative
‘Ongoza Dada’ is Kiswahili word meaning ‘Girls Lead’. This Initiative is about supporting, empowering and mentoring Adolescent Girls and Young Women to acquire the confidence and motivation to take up leadership positions at all levels. The space for women in leadership positions especially public service continues to shrink the world over. In Kenya, the story of women in leadership is one that needs thorough interrogation and adoption of innovative strategies starting with young girls if we are to have a significant cohort of the next generation of women in leadership. Young girls in schools and communities often do not have that many female leaders to look up to and hardly are they taught leadership as a life skill from a tender age. Marred with complete lack of/or ineffective mentorship opportunities; inadequate number of effective mentors; lack of/or inadequate social skills such as confidence or in some cases lack of or inadequate academic/professional qualifications; girls and women often lag behind on the leadership equation and hardly feature on key decision tables whether in schools, communities, public service or corporate.
‘Ongoza Dada’ Initiative aims at increasing the number of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in and out of school to become thought leaders, occupy leadership positions and become the next generation of female leaders across all fields and at all levels. Building on the premise that ‘girls who lead become women who lead’ and ‘the more women advance in leadership the more positive communities will change’, this initiative is timely and relevant.
Projects under Youth Talent and Economic Empowerment
Countless times do we see young men, women and even children so talented in music, song, dance, sports, poetry, and acting but have no access to opportunities that can grow them into national and international personalities. Many times do we see those who in spite their humble backgrounds made it big in the talent world but neither remember their roots nor go back to also uplift others to be like them. In spite of the existing talents among the youth, youth unemployment and underemployment still being one of the greatest challenges of our times. Talanta Mtaani Project has robust structures for identify and nurturing local talents, and link them to local and /or international opportunities.
Projects under Peace Building, Justice and Cohesion
Am 4 Peace
Every election cycle in Kenya is marred with elections related violence, riots, destruction of property and even death. Am 4 Peace Initiative reaches out to all people especially young people to message and dialogue around peace, justice and cohesion as part of everyday conversations in schools, work/market places, within families, and even within communities. Our message therefore is aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence before, during and after the electioneering period in our country. The main focus is to promote societal controls, cohesion and accommodation of divergent opinions taking cognizance of the unique circumstances of a people faced with similar daily challenges which can only be conquered by working together as communities towards a common goal our dissimilarities notwithstanding. This will there assure Peace, Justice and Cohesion at individual, family, community and national levels and at all times.