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Organization sensitizes over 230 learners on Gender-Based Violence 

A community-based organization in Kisumu County has sensitized over 230 learners on the identification and reporting of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

The awareness campaign conducted by Nyalenda Young Turks Community Based Organization (CBO) in partnership with Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) was in line with this year’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week marked on Feb 13-17.

During this period, stakeholders raise awareness of sexual and reproductive health and promote resources to improve community health.

The program benefited young learners from the Oasis of Glory Secondary School, Chief Onunga School for the Deaf and St Mary’s Legio Maria Church in Kisumu East and Central Sub-Counties.

The CBO’s Executive Director Mr. Victor Elvis said that the main aim of the End SGBV initiative project is to reduce the number of SGBV cases within the community by enhancing the capacities of households, teachers and community gatekeepers.

“The deaf community, students and churches are becoming the latest victims of SGBV in our community. We envision a community where girls and women are free from the threat of violence of any kind and opportunities for empowerment that are available for them,” Elvis emphasized.

In this way, the CBO and its funding partner KCDF plan to enhance community awareness of SGBV and advocate for improving health services for the survivors with a keen focus on screening and the generation of medical reports that can be used to seek legal redress.

To effectively and efficiently achieve this move, the CBO will undertake capacity development for policymakers, Community Health Volunteers (CHVs), HealthCare, and the community on SGBV reporting, referral mechanisms and social accountability so as to participate in budget-making processes to push for gender-responsive budgets.

“This will help in building the resilience of survivors of SGBV, promote safe neighborhoods for young girls and women, sensitize the community on the existing 2019 Kisumu County SGBV Policy,” Elvis said during an event held at the Oasis Secondary School over the weekend.

Elvis further pointed out that they also seek to create awareness in the community on SGBV through community dialogues and radio and enhance the capacity of the community and other grassroots organizations on budget processes.

Elvis observed that through active participation in the budget-making processes, the community will be in a better place to push for more resources to be allocated for GBV prevention and treatment of survivors, advocate for improved staffing and develop their capacity.

“We shall also continue engaging with the faith-based organizations as they are key in supporting and promoting peace, and healthier coexistence in the society,” Elvis stressed.

The County SGBV Policy aims at strengthening its mechanisms for reporting and making referrals on SGBV cases. Felix Ochieng, Oasis school administrator lauded the good initiative by CBO for the outreach and on GBV and SGBV in schools.

“There is a high number of such cases within the community that students face, even at school including primary school, where there are high numbers of sodomy, rape and defilement,” Ochieng said as he urged more partners to collectively fight the menace.

He added that there is a need for psychosocial support experts in schools as there are multiple challenges at home related to addressing SGBV and GBV cases.     

By Rolex Omondi

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