Jan 25, 2021

January 2021 Narrative Report

Wome at a sewing training session.
Wome at a sewing training session.

The Kakuma Refugee camp women sewing project progressive report January 2021.


“You have all successfully completed your basic training. I welcome you to bring all your rich cultures and designs from South Sudan, Congo, Somalia, Burundi, Uganda and Ethiopia. Through this, we will achieve rich diversity and a unifying community around the camp.” Trainer


GlobalGiving has continued to support women in Kakuma Refugee camp, For many years. GlobalGiving has helped and given a digital platform to help donors across the globe who had keen interest with women in Kalobeyey settlement in Kakuma Refugee camp Many have donated funds to support the dreams of these women,  most of whom are windows and single parents, The last three month since August 2020 we manage to buy 10 sewing machines and started training the women with basic skills of assembling the sewing machines, understanding safety measures and precaution, parts of sewing machines, types of stitches and knots, new market designing technics of fabrics and general repaired of used clothes and fabric.

Early this month 10 women graduated, and are ready to venture into sewing business, 5 from Kalobeyey settlement and 5 from Kakuma two phase two will work together and register a small scale sewing company. Each group of three women from each camp has be given a Singer Sewing Machine. The women will be organized into a business society association which will help with purchasing materials and other necessary items to enable them to start small scale business of sewing school uniforms, designing new dresses and repairs. Through the skills obtained in micro entrepreneurship the women will venture into business of the sewing project. The profits made will help sustain families of these women and host community. Through this project, women will be empowered to self-reliance and sustainability. Through cohesion and integration, host community who are the Turkana will sell the fabric to the refugees and refugees will make clothes and sell to both hosts and other refugees from different countries in the camp.


Next month the remaining ten women will start their training for three months. Later they will join the first group. The advantage of this second group is that tthey will have enough practice from the first ten women who have been already been trained.

Sewing trainees at work.
Sewing trainees at work.
A young son helping out.
A young son helping out.
A mother getting instructions.
A mother getting instructions.
A trainee at work.
A trainee at work.
Jan 12, 2021

December 2020 Report

Participants in a trauma healing workshop.
Participants in a trauma healing workshop.

The world in general has been affected by violence, natural disasters and different other awful things that happen to people in their lives. Giving examples among the many that exist, COVID-19 pandemic continuing to surge in many countries, Kenya is getting into post Covid-19 pandemic period and new words have been added to the question ‘’when you hear the word trauma what comes to your mind?’’, this include corona, curfew, lockdown, stay at home and quarantine. In this new words many people have committed suicide, some gone into depression because of loss of livelihood, starvation and begging for food, families have separated, early pregnancy among school going children and violence against among women and children are the consequences of the new words.


The 3 basic Healing and Rebuilding our Community workshops we have conducted during month of December has help to build community capacity to respond to wide-spread trauma and to strengthen resilience during this difficult time of this pandemic.


“I have been stressed for the last eight months, the anxiety and pressure that I have experience since Covid-19 was reported was overwhelming. The virus confronted me with demands that I was not able to face as a woman and widow. When we were starving I remember you brought us food, Then later you invited us for a one day listening session and you gave us chance to share our challenges how we can manage our own lives during the pandemic. Today I am happy you have trained me on trauma, the training has given me inner strength”


HROC will always talk about difficult issues, we always try to create safe space for everyone because most of the participant may not be knowing each other, most of them come from different places with different experiences. We carefully welcome all emotions from our participants that include fear guilt, grief, panic, anxiety, irritability, depression and intense anger.


“I have developed intense anger and uncertainty of when things will get back to normal. This has been my struggle, intrusive images of how Covid-19 victims were buried in white bags with men in white gears, seeing many people die in other countries, still linger in my mind, am afraid and I hope this training will help me overcome”


Small groups always give in-depth conversation on topic of discussion, partcipants answering the question

“What was the experience like for you to talk about the consequences of trauma?”


“As women of Mt Elgon, we have benefited from all the programs TCSC has offere which include AVP, HROC,  Listening session, birth companions, mediation and women empowerment. Uou have been very supportive and companion to us. In our struggle you have helped us heal from trauma. We say thank you. Please share our stories with people that have support your programs. Wish them happy new year on our behalf”

 
Sometimes it is easy for women who share the same pain to understand each other, with one of our lead facilitator Hellen, sharing is part of healing. A group of women who didn’t what to share in a big circle were given to share amongst “I feel better than the way I came”


Moving forward TCSC will be conducting internal impact assessment evaluation on its programs stating next month


Date Activity             Male       Female      PLW    Facilitators   Total
3-5/12/2020 HROC     18                                            3             21
7-9/12/2020 HROC       4            20             1              3             25
10-12/12/2020 HROC    3           18              2              3             26


Update
Starting this January TCSC will be moving to its new office that is located on Kakamega -Webuye road, The office will help facilitate administrative responsibility for our organization as requested my Non-governmental Organization board due to difficulty accessing the Mt. Elgon Peace Centre. However the government in currently working on the road infrastructure.


Small group discussion in HROC workshop.
Small group discussion in HROC workshop.
Small group discussion in HROC workshop.
Small group discussion in HROC workshop.
The ongoing renovation of our new TCSC office .
The ongoing renovation of our new TCSC office .
Nov 30, 2020

HROC and AVP Report, November 2020

Group photo after HROC workshop.
Group photo after HROC workshop.

I was a vigallante under the government with the directive to kill any raider or bandit and honestly I killed ruthlessly in the name of bringing peace. Little did I know that we can achieve that coperation in a small circle like this. Participant in cross-border listening session.

HROC Report

The Covid-19 pandemic has wrecked unprecedented havoc on children, teenagers, families, schools and community in and around Transnzoia County specifically in Kitale town, disrupting vital services and put many lives at risk. Since March attempts to avert this global pandemic have seen closure of most schools, affecting so many children and livelihoods of teachers who were employed by the school management.

For the most vulnerable children, especially girls, accessing basic needs has been a challenge forcing them to engage in unwanted behaviours to meet their needs. The pandemic has caused additional, unanticipated disruption and the likelihood of the vulnerable girls being unable to meet their life goals

The vulnerability that is known to increase due to the closure of schools in time of crisis and risks is “teenage pregnancy”. School closure during crisis can result in girls spending more time with men and boys than they would were they in school, leading to greater likelihood of engagement in risky sexual behaviours and increased risk of sexual violence and exploitation.

In as much as currently we blame Covid-19 for the increased cases of the teenage pregnancy; it can further be linked to lack of sexual and reproductive health education, child marriages, substance abuse, increased poverty and insecurity which is predominant in Trans Nzoia. Complication from teenage pregnancy account for more cases of death of young girls in Trans Nzoia. The situation that has put the leadership of the community in a dilemma wondering what to do.

Since March more than 10 deaths have been recorded in the area as a result of young girls wanting to conduct back alley abortion which is either aided by their parents or a close relative. Due to not believing that children are taking a wrong direction, two parents succumbed because of the death of their young one.

The training brought about so many lessons which included:

  • Through trust walk participants acknowledged the importance of a shoulder to lean in times of distress
  • We see people suffer but we couldn’t identify that it was traumatic stress
  • Trauma is an accompaniment of covid if not shared it leads to quick death
  • People living in suburb’s are prone and at risk of traumatizing events
  • There is dire to be close to our children during this pandemic
  • Prompt more sharing from our teenagers

Recommendations

  • Have regular follow ups to people who are more traumatized
  • Partner with other organization to enhance referrals
  • Develop and train more healing companion in the region

Testimonies

it was on June the second day of the week, memories are still fresh in my mind. I was preparing lunch for my family and children were busy playing at the main house, while others were glued to their phones. Then my younger daughter came to me telling me that Joyce, my form 2 girl, was playing a bad game at her bedroom. I assumed and told her to go and tell to stop the game. She went and again after five minutes she came back again and told me the same story. This time I decided to go with her to Joyce's room. Friends, what I found was shocking. Joyce was hanging from the ceiling, at first I could not believe it was true but from a closer look i saw her tongue out, what transpired next I don’t know because I found myself at Kitale district hospital. I was there for two days in a comma. I buried my daughter because she refused to share her problems with me and I was also not available to her. I am in a lot of pain and when I see parents talk of teenage pregnancy I see the letter my daughter left behind informing me of her pregnancy and that she didn’t want to be a shame to the family. I am still mourning my beloved daughter and kindly I welcome you to my house to come and help me mourn and talk to my kids.

AVP Report

Venue:cheptonon in Suam, Mt Elgon

Suam isoin the boader of Uganda and kKnya. They border the hostile pastorlist comunities of Pokots from Kenya and Sebei from Uganda. The cross boarder conflicts between the warring communities have led to loss of many lives and displacements of  hundreds of people.The old, women ,and children seem to bear the brunt of this socioecomical and politically instigated forms of violence. Violation of fundamental rights of women and children are widespread in times of conflict. This include crimes like murder, rape, torture, mistreatment and neglect. Women are left in situation where they can hardly make ends meet. With little or no resource at their disposal eventually leads to unfaithfulness to look for the basics from the haves.The communities live in constant fear of attacks from bandits and raiders. The often wanton destruction of life and property and the use of terror and threats in all its manifestation tend to undermine peoples value, dignity, and hermony .

When security forces fail to net bandits and raiders in their operation, they often vent their anger on the civilian population,who they accuse of colluding and harbouring the bandits. As a punishment they always confiscate their cattle to put pressure on the locals to return the stolen cattle. And on the other hand the bandits may also heavily punish some mebers of the community who are suspected to be working with the government. The locals therefore finds themselves in jeopardy or unsure on how to balance between the two forces. It's such scenarios that often lead to victims running and escaping for safety. What has real aided this henious act of banditry and raids is the inflitration of small and light arms in the region from neighbouring countries.

The government has tried several measures to end this unending conflict at the boaders which include

  • Police post and military camps in the region
  • Political approach
  • Having homeguards and vigilante groups
  • Disarment programs

But with all this the conflict continued. Even the police posts were being raided. After several listenning sessions with the so called perpetrators, we realized that the gap in all this measures was lack of :

  • Addressing attitudes
  • Perceptions
  • Retrogresive culture
  • Behaviour change

This informed the AVP tranings contacted in the community to address the gaps.

Lessons learned from the training

  1. Timeliness and effective response is key and this can be achieved through identfying hotspots.
  2. Identify pattens and trends of the conflict for proper intervention planning.
  3. Use the locals who understand the history of the place to do further tranings in their dialect. This will ensure sustainability and ownership of the process.
  4. Coflicts in this region are dynamic, interlinked  and its this relationship that determines the nature of conflict  .
  5. Exclusion of a segment of the community from decision making is a recipe for prolonged conflict
  6. Cordination and patnership is paramount in achieving desired outcomes
  7. The locals want to be treated with love and repect

Reccomendations

a)      Have cross boader dialogues between the communitie living there.

b)      Let women also participate in this forum as they also play key role in instigating violence.

c)      Increase political wing in the campaign against ending violence in the region by invting them in the trainings.

d)      Have the trainings even in schools to transform the violent nature at a tender age.

e)      Have regular follw-ups for encourgement.

Challenges encountred

  • Changing the narrative of gun ownership is tricky since they find value in them.
  • Due to their living nature most of them haven't gone to school hence communication is hampered.
  • Fear and uncertainity is still high hinderig concetration during training.
  • The hilly terain of the region makes participants to come in the training a bit late and tired .
  • Due to the sensitivity in the group partcitipants didn’t want their pictures taken.

Testimonies

I am gratefull today because all along I knew this other tribes as people who came to snatch our land but I have realized through this training we can build a new society and stop fighting each other.

 

Teenagers in small group sharing challenges.
Teenagers in small group sharing challenges.
Young adults in the trainings.
Young adults in the trainings.
 
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