Mike Acton and Christine Illanes are students who traveled throughout Africa and visited a number of GlobalGiving projects. On March 19th they visited "Adolescent Girls' Legal Defense Fund." When asked what they would tell their friends about this project, Michael said “It's a good project," while Christine said "Incredible: You need to see this!"
We met with Carolina at the Equality Now Kenya office to discuss the organization and a couple of their projects in the field. The office was relaxed but full of activity. While Equality Now in Kenya understands the importance of project updates and the need to share the stories of the work they are doing in the field, the fact is that Equality Now Kenya is a branch of International Equality Now organization and much of the interaction between Equality Now and Global Giving occurs from the New York Headquarters.
Nevertheless, Equality Now Kenya is working on several projects including finding funding to assist disadvantaged women fight forced marriage, abduction, rape and mutilation. Due to the nature and location of their project as well as our compressed schedule, it was not possible to visit beneficiaries.
Equality Now is an organization that funnels funding to grassroots, community groups that others would be unable to get donations. I spoke with Caroline Murithi, a program officer with Equality Now, who told me that her concern for women started young when she noticed that tragedy always seemed to follow girls and that when bad things happened to women it was always the women’s fault according to society.
She wanted to work for an organization that helped women's groups reach their potential. She views the largest challenges to be cultural and religious resistance, as well as a lack of general political will, against women’s rights and equality in Kenya.