Kibera Women for Peace and Fairness: Please Support Slum Woman's Voice Day, August 16th!
- Dear Friends,Please see this exciting information about the activities of the women's group, Kibera Women for Peace and Fairness, founded during the post-election crisis in Kenya. This organization addresses a broad range of challenges, including peace, gender discrimination, food-security, income-generation, HIV/AIDS, sexual and physical violence, education, and political and socio-economic empowerment.For anyone in Nairobi this Saturday (August 16th), please consider attending the "Slum Woman's Voice Day", being held at Uhuru Park from 9am to 3pm. This event, several months in the making, is meant not only to bring women in the slum areas of the city together, but also to raise awareness about the struggles and needs of women and girls in Kibera.If you would like to participate and/or support this day or the KWPF nonprofit, please contact Jane Anyango (Chairperson) at nyakodong@.... You can also contact me: Janet Feldman at kaippg@....With all best wishes and appreciation, Janet
Kibera Women for Peace and Fairness: "Slum Woman's Voice Day" (August 16th) and Other ActivitiesKibera Women for Peace and Fairness is an organization that was started at the peak of the post-election violence that rocked our country early this year, after the disputed presidential votes. Kibera was one of the worst-hit areas, this being the constituency led by the current Kenyan Prime Minister, Hon. Raila Odinga.
The day before our group of women came together, the police had come to the slums looking for the boys who had purportedly pulled down the Kenya-Uganda railway line that runs across Kibera. They ended up killing eight women and two girls. It was at that point that women decided to come out and tell the whole world what was and is happening in Kibera.Our organization has since attracted a membership of over 400 women, some of whom have started groups according to different themes that include: HIV/AIDS, Culture, Entrepreneurship, Women's Rights and Protection, and Sports. We all work under the umbrella of Peace, which brings us together.On August 16th, there will be a special activity called "The Slum Woman's Voice Day", to unite women in Kibera and to make us more visible to the world. Below is the timetable for the day, being held at Nairobi's Uhuru Park:ACTIVITIES:
9:00am Arrival of Guests and Registration
9:30am National Anthem and Prayers, followed by Welcome Remarks
-Kibera Women For Peace and Fairness Choir
-Kibera Women For Peace and Fairness Drama
-Kibera Women For Peace and Fairness Traditional Dances
-Dance by Pillars of Kibera
-Songs by Kibera Women's Network
-Presentations by other groups11:30-1:30pm Football MatchKibera Women For Peace and Fairness vs Korogocho Residents Association Football Team
1:30-1:45 pm Special Speech by Kibera Women for Peace and Fairness Representative
1:45-2:30 pm Speeches By Guests
2:30-2:45 pm Last Presentation by Kibera Women for Peace and Fairness
2:45-3:00 pm Vote of Thanks and Closure
THE SLUM WOMAN'S VOICE DAY
She makes up the majority of women in theRepublic of Kenya yet her participation is next to zero! She is vulnerable to disease, poverty, abuse, name it all, yet her income cannot allow her rescue! She works from 5:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m , yet her income cannot change her life, nor can it cater efficiently for her children's education! In case of violence, she is the one who suffers most, as witnessed in the recent post-election violence. She may not be part of the protesting team, but still has to suffer from teargas by the police, property destruction, and assaults by the community youth.
These woman are finally united to ensure that the world recognizes our presence and helps us come out of our agony. We want a better life.
KIBERA WOMEN FOR PEACE AND FAIRNESS was founded during the post-election violence to condemn police brutality and to be there for one another during this time of grief. We have achieved so much and have seen it come about because we are united. Some of our goals include:
1. COMMUNITY PEACE FORUMS and INSTITUTIONALIZING THE PROJECT
As an organization with so many members, we need to establish an office where we can center our activities and where we can be found at any time. We intend to purchase a container and place at the DO's compound. We are looking forward to holding 12 community forums for 100 community persons at every session. These forums will be in the various Kibera villages and co-ordinated by the community leaders.
These forums will hopefully see over 1200 Kibera residents develop a forgiving spirit and be ready to embrace other individuals and communities, as it was before the post-election violence. We intend to make people aware of better way of protesting rather than destroying property and killing others.
2. RESETTLING THE SLUM IDPs
Among the slum women are the Internally Displaced Persons, due to the recent post-elections violence. These women have no money to go and settle again in their rural areas, and we would like to help them in that regard.
Our first phase of implementation will see 50 single women IDPs settled back in their homes and helped to develop a living. This will also help in decongesting these slum settlements, which are currently over-congested with IDPs. Most of these women are older and longing to go back and settle in their ancestral lands, which they left some years ago to go to towns and look for jobs.
3. ESTABLISHMENT OF A REVOLVING FUND
Most of these women have lost their businesses and livelihoods, so this fund will loan to members to help revive their lost businesses. They will return this money with a little interest at the end of the grace period, and the money will then be loaned to others.
These women will also establish a saving scheme, in a program akin to a pension fund, aimed at giving them some funds to invest with back home. All members will be required to take money once the pension matures, go back home to the rural areas, build a house, and resettle.
The post-election violence taught women a lot: that one should have a home to go back to after town life. Many people who lost contact with their rural homes are still in camps to date as they have nowhere to go. We would like to encourage our women not to cut links with their original home areas. These are women whose life standards do allow them to acquire land in the urban settlements, so it is good they have a place they call home.
A confident slum/grassroots woman, with some surety and security about her future life.
4. RIGHTS AWARENESS and GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE WORKSHOP
We intend to hold several workshops to train slum women on human rights and gender-based violence. These women who are mostly the victims of this violence are not even aware when they are being abused, and how to seek justice.
All 384 current members of Kibera Women for Peace and Fairness will have a chance to participate in these forums, know more about GBV and use it to manage their lives positively.
5. GIRLS SPEAK-OUT FORUM FOR 200 KIBERA GIRLS
The girls of Kibera are some who were so much affected by the post-election violence, and some are still IDPs. We want to give these girls a chance to express themselves on how they were affected by violence, how they can move on, and how to be more careful next time such a thing happens. Some of these girls were raped, some lost their parents and people who were very close to them, so they need to heal and reconcile with the communities where they live.
-On January 19th, we mobilized up to 200 women to converge at the Kibera D.O.'s compound to condemn the police brutality and call for peace, calm, and restraint among residents, beginning with the women.
-We have been holding women's peace talks, dubbed "We Speak Out", every Saturday starting at 4:00 p.m at the Kibera DO open grounds, to help our women in their healing process.
-Alongside the international press with an interest in youth and peace in Kibera, we managed to mobilize up to 85 youth under Zolo 7, a self-styled artist, to draw peace messages all around Kibera on Friday February 8th.
-We have mobilized food distribution for women members three times through a well wisher.
-We have staged several community talks in Makina, Olympic, and Kianda villages alongside Rehma Ta Allah Community Development Group, a group working with People Living with HIV/AIDS on effects of the post-election violence on PLWHAS.
-On February 13th we had a Kibera Women's Peace march to preach peace and show the whole world that we love peace and are pursuing it at all costs. This was highlighted by the major media houses.
-On February 14th we had a successful live peace talk with the Pamoja Radio that lasted for 15 minutes.
-On February 19th we had a 30 minute live session on KISS 100's Big Breakfast, facilitated by Caroline and Walter Mong'are.
-On February 26th and 27th, under the supervision of the area DC and DO, we received and hosted the IDPs from the Jamhuri showgrounds. We later went down to their houses to talk to the neighbors about receiving them back, distributed foodstuffs to them and escorted them to their houses.
-On March 8th, we joined the rest of the women worldwide in celebrating INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY at Kibera DO open grounds, which was attended by close to 3500 people. This was a very remarkable and historic event, showing that grassroots women are yearning for a change of their position in the society.
Since March 3rd, we have been having daily medical camps--supported by the International Medical Corps--in various Kibera communities, this in conjunction with promoting our peace advocacy to these communities. As a result of this, our activities have indeed been felt in the community, and have helped to make changes in peoples lives. In any community we visit, we conduct our activities with five women from that particular community, two youth, and three volunteers who are paid Kshs 200 each by the International Medical Corps. We have so far worked with more than 40 people from different villages of the Kibera slums.
On April 3rd and 4th, we participated in recording of a TV show known as "Hatua", conducted by the Mohamed Amin Foundation, which works worldwide. We participated in the "Access to Justice" and "Domestic Violence" shows. These shows will be aired on a local TV station, NTV, starting in May of 2008.
On April 5th, at Mchanganyiko Hall along Karanja Road, we had a "Reflection on Post-Election Violence Forum", where we got people from the community to talk about their experiences during this time. This was facilitated by Men for Gender Equality Now and was attended by 88 men, women, and youth residing in Kibera slums.
On April 11th, we had a followup open forum at Kibera DO Open Grounds which was attended by 520 women, many members of the community, including men and children. Many people were counseled and many of these people are showing healing progress.
On April 18th and 19th, the women participated in a Peace Football Tournament in Kibera, organized by the Coalition For Peace, which was recorded by Reuters for screening on the African Journal Programme.
The group has since come up with a women's football team, and we are part and parcel of the WE CAN campaign, established to help end violence against women.
Nairobi is cosmopolitan, our organization has no religious or tribal barriers. We believe that women can change the world. We are completely against projects being imposed on us, we want to be part and parcel of various projects aimed at improving our lives, linked to the Millenium Development Goals.
On August 16th, 2008, KIBERA WOMEN FOR PEACE AND FAIRNESS is organizing THE SLUM WOMAN'S VOICE DAY to make it known to the world what we want for ourselves, which includes:-Better reproductive health, including breast checkups and pap smear tests.-Development of a revolving fund, with very minimum interest, to enable us manage and build up our lives. Nobody works as hard as the slum women: more than 50% of slum women are the sole bread winners of their families. They wake up at 5:00 am and don't stop until 10:00 pm , mostly selling sukuma wiki, maize, mandazis and other consumables. These women engage in various merry-go-round activities, they use their income to buy household items and to educate their children. Their income in very insufficient to cater for all these. The revolving fund can boost these women to better enable them educate their children and have a decent quality of life.-Promotion of sporting activities among these women to help them relax and enjoy life once in awhile.-General recognition by various international and local organizations, and projects set to improve our lives.-Representation in different governance and civil-society deliberations and activities.-Political involvement and representation.Kibera Women for Peace and FairnessP. O. Box 16797 00100
Tel.: 0722 437620 / 0202 136259
contact Jane Anyango, Chairperson, KWPF: Nyakodong@...