Home > Counties > Kiambu to benefit from SGBV programme

Kiambu to benefit from SGBV programme

Kiambu County is among three counties in the country that are set to benefit from a three-year Gender-based violence programme dubbed “Elevate Voice Yake.”

The programme is geared towards amplifying the voices and aspirations of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) to better exercise their right to a dignified and meaningful life protected from Social Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

This will be done through integrated action by communities, government, private sector, and civil society initiatives across the three counties of Kiambu, Kwale, and Meru.

The programme is funded by USAID, runs from 2023 to 2026, and is implemented by three organisations, namely the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW-Kenya), Life Skills Promoters (LISP), and the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA).

Speaking in Kiambu during an entry meeting of the project for the county, Pauline Mbodze from YWCA said the project in Kiambu will engage Kikuyu and Kabete sub-counties.

She added that the programme, guided by four pathways, will look at social norm transformation, mentorship, coaching and life skills promotion, advancement of legal and policy reforms, and improved coordination, networking, and collaboration.

Mbodze said that under the programme, they will recruit 1050 AYGW who will undergo training on social behaviour change and support them to voice their issues in not only county SGBV forums but also during behavioural change campaigns.

During the campaigns that will be used to strengthen community responses to SGBV, there will be the development and dissemination of key messages such as IEC materials, social media, as well as the testimonies and voices of AGYW, as well as online campaigns, webinars, Twitter space, Facebook, and even Instagram,” she said.

The outcome, Mbondze said, will see enhanced community actions that promote positive norms, values, attitudes, and practices that prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence.

She added that the programme will also establish male engagement, where 60 male Training of Trainers (ToTs) will participate in training and community campaigns and have quarterly dialogue in the male space.

The programme, she noted, will also have 120 County SGBV review team scorecard holders whose engagement will involve the development of the SGBV scorecard tool, community scorecard meetings, and presentation of scorecard results to County SGBV forums.

On mentoring and life skills coaching promotion, the programme targets adolescent girls and women of between 15- 25 years in learning institutions and three TVETs.

Mbondze said the programme intends to reach 1800 AGYW across secondary schools, and the three TVET institutions will be involved in activities carried out in schools.

Mbondze noted that the outcome will see a strengthened voice, power, and agency of women and adolescent girls across three counties to prevent, detect, and respond to violence through mentorship, coaching, and life skills promotion by 2027.

“Our approach is engaging entry-level meetings with educational stakeholders for project buy-in and implementing the Ministry of Education life skills training manual in schools and TVET institutions, and this will see 18 Tots deliver training in targeted schools and TVETs.

The activities will involve holding sensitization forums and training sessions for AGYW on human rights, SGBV prevention, and response; developing tools to assess individual life skills gaps; training teachers on providing first-line support to GBV survivors using WHO’s LIVES approach; and collaborating with existing interventions for effective support and referrals.

She noted that the programme will also strengthen county-specific gender policies on SGBV in the target counties.

“We will leverage county structures to carry out coordination and collaboration forums  in counties between county government, private sector, and CSOs to strengthen proactive mechanisms to prevent exploitation and abuse of AGYW,” Mbodze said.

There will be provision of legal and psychosocial support to survivors of SGBV and also consultative meetings on subsidy on essential commodities with private sector actors.

Beatrice Martha from the SGBV coordination office in Kiambu said the reported cases of GBV in Kiambu have gone up to 705 cases currently, up from last year’s 607 cases.

“There are more females affected by GBV than men, but the males might be below because they are not seeking interventions,” she added.

Martha noted that a quality assurance assessment done shows that the majority of recommendations given following cases of GBV are not implemented, and most of the time the facilities lack funds, which is a main barrier.

She said that they are soon establishing a one-stop clinic at Ruiru Level 4 and also pursuing one at the Thika Level 5 hospital.

“We want to address the challenges of SGBV by having standalone clinics in health facilities and also establishing county/SGBV chaplains in primary and secondary schools, considering the sensitivity of the matter,” Martha said.

According to Chief Magistrate Kiambu, Emily Ominde, Kiambu is one of the counties where SGBV cases are high, with statistics showing that 17.7 per cent of women were subjected to violence

The Magistrate said the courts have set up strategies on how to handle the cases with the necessary sensitivity they deserve, considering that most of the victims of SGBV are children.

Ominde explained that out of six courts at the law court, two courts will be handling SGBV cases from Monday to Friday and that files containing SGBV cases shall be colour-coded for ease of identification.

“In consultation with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), we will be registering and flagging out GBV cases by prioritising them on the plea dates, and our strategy is to complete and finalise cases within 6 months.

According to experts, the biggest challenge in the GBV has been data and delayed justice. Government statistics from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) last year indicated that over 40 per cent of women have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime.

By Wangari Ndirangu

Leave a Reply