Participants set of to campaign against FGM
We want to thank you, our supporters. Because of your generosity and good will, we have been able to earn a permanent spot on GlobalGiving. We had 4 weeks to raise $5000 from 40 donors. You helped raise $6146 from 56 donors by June 30th. HFAW team and beneficiary women (and men) are so grateful to you for making it possible for the training of human and health promoters in Kisii to continue. This training which began in February 2014 is based on popular education model which has been highly successful in transforming communities in Chile, South America. After a two week intensive training in Chile (thanks to EPES Foundation) 6 Kenyan women came back to Kenya inspired to immediately embark on a six month pilot training to empower women ( and a few supportive men) to confront many gender issues in this highly patriarchal community. The Abagusii (Kisii) genitally mutilates over 94 % of its girls and women; women have to deal with rampant gender based violence and HIV/AIDS; The community is one of the most polygamous in the world with rampant corruption. Gender discrimination is acute just like the rest of Kenya and Africa where many grassroots women are not aware of their human and women’s rights.
HFAW is committed to empower these women to address these problems. In February the HFAW team prepared for the training; in March we motivated garnered community and leadership support; In April we publicly launched the training through raising awareness of these issues and embarked on the actual training which continues until today. (Please see the PDF report given as additional information of our project). We believe that popular education model will be highly effective in transforming the Kisii community because with some innovation to the model to appeal to African values, it is resonating with the grassroots community to fight and end the most entrenched of the issues. The model is:
• Completely learner centered
• Fully participatory (avoids lecture which has failed many organizations in the community) and compels each person to understand the issue, what causes the issue, how the issue is hurting them and the community and what they can do collectively to solve the issue
• We do not work for people, we work with them. We create an environment where everybody feels knowledgeable, valued and respected.
• We appeal to values of stronger families, stronger women and men and theological principles which many Africans appreciate
• We create a fun and safe environment where every participant feels safe to share their ideas. The learning is also made fun through games, music and dance. We also use lots of teaching aids, resources and dynamic evaluation methods.
• Because of total community engagement we have been able to empower the participants with skills to identify the issues, prioritize the issues(FGM, GVB, poverty, human rights, HIV/AIDS, alcoholism), understand the issues, create an action plan to the issues and implement the action plan
Just on June 24 the health promoters were able to effectively and publicly campaign against FGM as they raised awareness in the market and among students. They were able to talk about the issue, dramatize on the issue, and actively answered challenging questions on the issue. Through this activity they proved that they can be active agents in transforming their community. Many of the men and women who watched from the sidelines wanted to join and support the health promoters. Everybody feels so motivated. Most important the health and human rights promoters felt that they made a breakthrough. “I always watch people in some other part of the world do activism; I never imagined I can be one. Today I am a changed person” said Joyce, one of the trainees.
We believe that we have a model that will change the gender dynamics in Kisii, Kenya and Africa. The answer to African problems especially those impacting on women lie in empowering grassroots women to know their rights and how to stand up for them. Due to your help, we will continue nudging them to realize that they are key to their community transformation. Our desire is to scale up the methods to reach the 4 wards of Borabu sub county, and then later the whole of Nyamira county. To train the 30 health and human rights promoters for 6 months we require $25,000 including a humble salary for HFAW staff. Currently HFAW staff operates on volunteer basis. Please reach out to your friends, colleagues and all kinds of well-wishers to help us reach our funding goal of $25,000 and build a movement that will end gender discrimination in Kisii. We have earned a spot on global giving, so tax deductive donations will reach us through global giving site.
We will keep you well updated on all our progress and achievements. Please visit our website and facebook below to see photos of our work portraying the trainings and the campaign against FGM.
Again, thank you for all your help!
health promoters sharing information at market
Sharing information on FGM with students
Fun, music and dance brings joy to our participant
Addressing the media
Courage to share publicly her woes(effect) -of FGM
Men stood behind women to watch trainees speak up
Chief addressed the public to embrace the training