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It’s time to help break the cycle of gender-based violence.

GBV Fact Sheet

Gender-based violence (GBV) is an endemic perpetrated mainly against women and children that results in physical, sexual or psycho-social harm. USAID and UNICEF research uncovers the following staggering statistics:

  • 83% of women and girls in Kenya report one or more episodes of physical abuse in childhood
  • 75% of women Kenyan report havinge suffered from gender-based domestic violence in the homestead.
  • The majority of Kenyan women believe it is acceptable for men to beat their spouses. 
  • 46% report at least one incident of sexual abuse as a child
  • 36% of rural women report having experienced Female Genital Mutilation (FMG)
  • 25% report losing their virginity by force

228526_405874919462323_1208127050_nThe 2011 drought and subsequent famine in the Horn of Africa and Kenya, recently declared the worst in 60 years, resulted in an estimated 12.5 million people facing a severe food crisis and in urgent need of emergency assistance. While violence against women and girls is often associated with war, natural disasters can bring equally severe risks. The impact of drought and subsequent poverty and displacement heightens vulnerability to gender based violence (GBV) among women and girls. In particular, breakdown in physical and social systems for protection during crisis – like the recent drought and famine – increases vulnerability to sexual violence and exploitation.

Nazarene Compassionate Organization (NCO) of Kenya, Tough Angels, Servant Forge (SF), Strategic Applications International (SAI), UNICEF and IRC are working together as part of our continued effort to address the famine are developing the Kenya Gender Based Violence Partnership to respond to the pandemic of gender-based violence (GBV) in East Africa.

The Kenya GBV Partnership will build its initiative around five pillars that focus on integrated service delivery and sustainable agriculture.  These five components focus on victim counseling, strengthening families and improving community support and response to GBV.

  1.  Training will address how community institutions (e.g. churches and schools) can support a no tolerance stance on GBV.
  2. Counseling services will be provided to victims of GBV.
  3. A GBV Resource Center will deliver a package of integrated services to include crisis counseling, access to medical services, access to law enforcement, child support, and post crisis support for employment and survival.
  4. Family Reunification seeks to reconnect families that have been torn apart by famine, war, and human migration.
  5. The Sustainable Agriculture component will initially be focused on Lodwar where the local beneficiaries of famine relief funds have raised 150,000 ksh ($1,750) of a needed 550,000 ksh ($6,500) to purchase 50 acres of land to develop their own plots to raise maize, beans, and other crops.

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Strategic Applications International (SAI)—in partnership with Servant Forge (SF), Nazarene Compassionate Organization of Kenya (NCO), Pepsi, Kenya Model United Nations, LVCT, Youth TV, The Premier League “Big Four” Fans in Kenya, and Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA)—has developed the SEMA: Mapenzi Bila Chuki campaign to address attitude and behavior change among Kenyan youth.

SEMA is an initiative under the umbrella Kenya Gender-Based Violence Partnership (KGBVP), an effort by SAI, SF, NCO, and UNICEF to respond to and break the cycle of gender-based violence in Kenya. The mission of KGBVP is to reduce incidence of gender-based violence (GBV) through comprehensive and inclusive strategy of prevention, intervention, treatment, and enforcement by strengthening faith-based and community-based responses to the GBV pandemic in Kenya.

Under the overall mission of KGBVP, SEMA is both an awareness raising and fundraising platform, encouraging youth to take a stand in their communities and speak out against GBV. Recognizing that friends and intimate partners conduct the vast majority of GBV incidences, the approach “Mapenzi Bila Chuki” or “Love Without Hate” is a key message to this population.

Rational of the Sema Campaign

Culture and negative stereotypes are formed throughout childhood and extend into adulthood, affecting marriages and relationships. If theses stereotypes are addressed at an early age—the aim of SEMA—GBV incidence can be substantially reduced.

Objective of Sema

  • To sensitize youth on issues of GBV through training and community mobilization
  • To foster change in stereotypical thinking and attitudes around gender issues
  • To facilitate behavior change from negative cultural norms to positive gender respect
  • To improve the health response for GBV survivors at both community and campus settings
  • To fundraise for future youth sensitization projects and KGBVP activities across Kenya
  • To promote gender inclusion policies among community and campus settings

Sema Campaign Strategy

The campaign targets to reach young people aged 12 to 35 in six participating in Nairobi universities, Manchester United Fan Club events, and MYSA football activities. The targeted universities include Africa Nazarene University (ANU), Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA), Kenyatta University (KU), University of Nairobi (UON), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Daystar University. The campaign expects to reach nearly 73,000 university students, 1 million Manchester United Fans, and 50,000 MYSA members and community members. A summary of the outreach strategy involves:

  1. University Outreach Strategy – The university student councils (specifically the Gender Affairs Secretaries) will be consulted to endorse university clubs that will spearhead the campaign and receive GBV sensitization training. Participating clubs will be involved in fundraising activities and advocating for behavior and policy change. The club with the greatest funds raised and most successful implementation strategies will be awarded the SEMA Ambassador Award. Talent-based sensitization events will be held in selected campuses each semester, sponsored by PEPSI and Youth TV, and these events will both promote positive GBV messaging and engage local student art and music talent.
  2. Premier League “Big Four” Fans in Kenya Outreach Strategy – Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool Fans in Kenya organize events around Premier League games. These events are held at various venues throughout Kenya’s cities and towns, venues which SEMA is developing strategic partnerships for GBV messaging. The Fan Clubs also promote SEMA’s GBV messaging via SMS, radio, social media and half-time show presentations. The Fan Clubs support SEMA fundraising efforts by placing tins at each venue and promoting giving among fans at various points during the game.
  3. Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) Outreach Strategy – Through its YouthRights program, a human rights and gender-based violence prevention initiative, MYSA incorporates GBV messaging during games, football practice, and other MYSA events. YouthRights supports SEMA fundraising by placing tins around all game venues and practice sites, encouraging players, coaches, and viewers to contribute to GBV prevention programming among the youth and throughout Kenya.

 Sema Campaign Activities

  • Training on university campuses and among MYSA’s YouthRights Committee on GBV
  • Talent-based university events, sponsored by Pepsi and Youth TV
  • Fundraising on university campuses, among MYSA communities, and at Premier League screenings
  • Advocacy on university campuses and communities to promote attitude and behavior change, and gender inclusion policy creation, enforcement, and compliance
  • Media to promote GBV messaging, trainings, and events through social media, Youth TV platforms, and print
  • YouthRights and university student leaders’ customized strategies of GBV prevention and response in their respective communities

Sema Campaign Outcomes

  • Attitude change among the youth around issues of gender
  • Behavior change among youth around issues of gender
  • Improved health of survivors through university and community strategies to promote service and care
  • Reduced frequency of GBV cases among youth in communities and on university campuses
  • Advanced gender inclusion policies
  • Enforced gender inclusion policies
  • Improved community compliance of gender policies
  • Increased involvement among youth of GBV prevention initiatives

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A survival strategy for women in the sex trade is exchanging sex for food, shelter, or protection.

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Recently we met a woman named Mary in Kisumu,a western Kenyan city that is at the intersection of commerce for goods and services moving North and East. Mary, a sex worker for more than three years, reported that she began her work each day byreported that she began her work each day by exchanging sex for an Orange Fanta. That was her price for the cost of sex and her hope for survival that day. In subsequent interviews with other women in Kenya, Swaziland, Rwanda, and South Africa, we discovered that this is a common practice among sex workers.

Sex for an Orange Fanta – that is the harsh reality for women in extreme poverty and living in abuse. They risk everything to survive for a day. An Orange Fanta costs about thirty cents in US currency. We can help stop this!

We are calling on women, men, and organizations to help us do something about gender violence and abuse by taking a series of simple actions.

  1. Purchase a bottle of soda
  2. Each day for thirty days put the money you would spend for one bottle of soda in the empty bottle of soda.
  3. Encourage your friends, colleagues, members of your Church, classmates, roommates, and other social net working groups to do the same.
  4. The average cost of a soda is $1.00. At the end of the month you should have approximately $30,00.
  5. Send the $30.00 to NCM at www.ncm.org and designate it for the Kenya Gender-Based Violence Initiative or to Servant Forge at servantforge.org. For more information on Gender- Based Violence visit the Servant Forge website.

The bottle campaign has a goal of raising $60,000. The money will provide vocational training for women in Turkana and Kisumu Counties in western Kenya where 20,000 women have gone missing because of famine, war, and violence. Three thousand women will benefit from this ministry and work. We need 2,000 women to participate in the campaign to reach our goal. You can start TODAY – help us by taking action and encourage your friends to do the same.

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Thanks to generous donations from the Jetter’s through the Nazarene Foundation. We are working to build water throughout Kenya to support the communities we serve.  Water is one of the basically necessity of human existence, when our solar pumps systems are installed it allows the communities we serve to start sustainable agriculture and have access to safe water.

In addition, Servant Forge is working in Swaziland in tandem with Swaziland’s HIV/AIDS Faith-Based Initiative and other partners to provide clean water for health clinics and communities.

Clean water is life-giving and life-saving. Although the wells and pipes in Swaziland provide clean water, it is often  transported from the water source to the homestead in contaminated containers. When this happens, the benefits of clean, bacteria-free water are lost.

Servant Forge helps local partners ensure the water remains safe for drinking and use. A simple chlorine dispenser set up at the water source provides single doses of chlorine into each user’s water container. This ensures the container and the water inside are disinfected for up to 24 hours.

Take Action:

A chlorine dispenser can be built and installed for $100. One chlorine dispenser contains 1,000 doses of chlorine and provides for 20,000 liters of clean water. Your $100 donation towards the installation of one of these dispensers in Swaziland will help to ensure that generations of Swazis have access to clean and life-giving water.

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Waste Management

Every day in Kenya an estimated 6,000 men, women, and children search through the garbage for recyclable materials, food, and anything of value to sell, earning around $2.50 on a good day. They search side by side with pigs and dogs, digging through used needles and condoms, medical products, plastics, metals, human waste, industrial waste, chemical runoff, and everything else thrown out by the residents of Kenya’s biggest city.

Not even five miles from the central business district of Nairobi, Kenya, Dandora is the sole dumping site for the entire capital’s trash, growing mountains of trash over its four decade existence. The Dandora Municipal Dump covers thirty acres, containing the waste of nearly four million people, with 2,000 tons being dumped daily.

Experiences of those living and working in Dandora are deplorable. Children are raised in environments with toxins in the air, water, and soil, contracting diseases that can contribute to chronic conditions later in life. Food grown in slum plots is contaminated with runoff water from the dumping site, also contributing to the spread of disease. Even local eggs, a product of chickens that eat scraps from the dump, have been found to contain toxic levels of unintentional persistent organic pollutants. Toxic waste—from electronic to industrial—contaminates the water table as well as the Nairobi River, which touches miles and miles of Kenyan terrain and serves as a water source for many. Explosions and fires erupt spontaneously from methane gas or hazardous materials; vultures and pigs scavenge with people from the mountains and miles of trash for food, recyclables, anything that can be sold; and the stench is unbearable. This is Dandora.

Waste ManagementThe Follow the Trash Campaign seeks to bring awareness to the health, sanitation, safety, and human rights issues slum communities face within dumpsites like Dandora.

Follow the Trash is a campaign that addresses waste management as an urgent issue—not just in Kenya, but across the developing world. In India, as another example, the Ganges River contains such a high level of toxicity from improper disposal of waste that toxins, chemicals, and other dangerous bacteria found in the river are almost 3,000 times over the World Health Organization prescribed limit for consumption. Yet this river is a major source for drinking water, including ceremonious drinking for its healing powers.

Servant Forge is partnering with Level One Communications and other like-minded organizations to begin a global conversation on the problem of trash and urban development. Through these partnerships, Follow the Trash seeks to galvanize support and action to address the management of waste in Kenya and throughout the developing world. Three main objectives shape the activities and direction of the Follow the Trash:

  1. To raise awareness and facilitate conversation around waste management, for the purpose of promoting personal and corporate responsibility for appropriate waste disposal and renewal;
  2. To produce a documentary covering the reality of waste in Kenya and across the developing world;
  3. To facilitate a Nairobi Waste Management Summit to bring together experts, academics, community leaders, and youth to discuss innovative, actionable, and sustainable solutions that meet Kenya’s health and environmental needs;
  4. To convene a Kenyan National Waste Management Secretariat of key stakeholders to implement action steps for change.

539932_490910957622549_97721345_nAs a result of the above-mentioned initiatives, Follow the Trash intends for increased community attention and social activities promoting proper waste management, amended policies to encourage civil accountability, job creation through social entrepreneurship waste management efforts, and lasting solutions to encourage effective and successful grassroots innovation in waste management.

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KYEEI

Working with Africa Nazarene University and U.S. Agency for International Development, Servant Forge supports this national initiative to empower the expanding number of unemployed youth in Kenya.

Meaningful work and a secure home are what dreams are made of in Kenya. With over half a million youths graduating high school each year and a job market that can accommodate only a small fraction of them, many young people can fall victim to petty crime, violence, and substance abuse.

Servant Forge helps local leaders facilitate, mediate, and broker partnerships that will ignite job readiness, creation, and sustainability. Partners from the business, government, education, and the faith communities have united to address these serious conditions and alter the trajectory of Kenya’s future toward prosperity.

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There are many projects under the KYEEI including the empwerMEnetwork, a business-to-student mentoring project as well as Trees for Life, a youth-led effort to rebuild the Mau Forest after years of deforestation and destruction.

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Servant Forge Fellows are currently working with the following groups to develop a coordinated and decentralized health care delivery system to increase HIV/AIDS testing and treatment in rural areas of the country:

  • Ministry of Health in Swaziland,
  • Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, Inc.,
  • Swaziland Nazarene Health Institutions,
  • Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Swaziland.

Funding is being provided by the Church of the Nazarene, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

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The Gender Resilience Initiative (GRI) is a Servant Forge supported project, implemented through the Kenyan NGO New Scent Center International. GRI seeks to uncover the innate resiliency in women who have suffered from gender-based violence. Besides of physical, emotional, and psychosocial trauma faced from GBV, women are often disadvantaged economically.  In order to counteract these struggles, GRI responds by creating women’s support groups that seek to build capacity and facilitate healing through counseling, legal advice, economic empowerment, and health/nutrition promotion. These focused support groups enable women to live productive and meaningful lives.

Project Goal

“This is surely a healing place.” –GRI support group member

The goal of GRI is to be a vessel of God’s therapeutic touch to survivors of GBV—specifically, hurting women who join recovery support groups—in order to restore dignity, honor, self-worth, livelihood, and a measure of normalcy in their lives.

GRI Objectives

  1. To provide counseling services (peer and professional; individual and group) and spiritual guidance to women survivors of GBV

  2. To expose women to their legal rights through presentations and individual legal advice

  3. To economically empower women through skill development and putting to use existing skills

  4. To expose women to health promotion messaging, including nutrition and appropriate health-seeking behavior, for improved self-care

Methodology

To achieve these objectives, the GRI team networks with professionals in the fields of health and nutrition, law, counseling, finance, and economic empowerment to provide services and guidance to women in the program through structured support groups.

Support groups bolster members’ interpersonal skills as they recover from the effects of GBV, while individuals also develop and strengthen abilities in processing thoughts and emotions. Support group members help each other with practical concerns, such as managing life’s tasks and challenges on a day-to-day basis. Through facilitated and focused support groups, members’ self-esteem and self-confidence have the potential to improve greatly.

“I did not know that prayer could change situations, but since coming here and engaging in prayer, I have seen things change.” –GRI support group member

Women tend to easily talk with other women about their issues, and discussing one’s past may be best encouraged through participation in a support group. When individuals discover that others’ have undergone similar experiences, they feel intense relief in knowing they are not alone, despite the uniqueness of each individual case. Attending support group meetings allows women to best address unresolved issues in their lives, make necessary decisions, and heal through the identification process with others.

GRI support groups are characterized by safety and kinship. The environment provides a safe place to share one’s pain and find affirmation, where one can share freely and without fear that others outside the group may learn of their problems. Other key characteristics of these groups include acceptance and confidentiality through intimacy and trust.  This platform is ensured by the implementation of a code of ethics that every member of the support group agrees to honor during her membership period.

Pilot Project Results

  1. From counseling support group sessions, ladies reported improved relationships with in-laws, husbands, and children, as well as others in their circles.

  2. Many have developed positive self-talk and self-acceptance.

  3. Through support groups, ladies have developed confidence in themselves and each other.

  4. Ladies attending legal counsel sessions have gained skills in addressing GBV from a rights-based approach. Previously remaining silent after an assault, ladies now respond to GBV with a full knowledge of their rights.

  5. Support group members have reported an increased sense of hope, specifically through the faith-based teaching and prayer time offered through GRI.

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