ENHANCING PEACEFUL ELECTIONS AND COMMUNAL CO-EXISTENCE IN BUNGOMA AND TRANS-ZOIA COUNTIES.
ACORD in partnership with Peace and Rights Program PRP have been funded by the UN women to run a one year project dabbed MAMA CAMPAIGN.
This is a campaign aimed at changing attitude and behavior of the Bungoma electorate towards women leadership and positively shape opinion about women aspirants with the end result of retaining the current elected women and electing more women than ever before in the history of Bungoma’s elective politics.
This project aims to help retain the 6 elected women MCAs in Bungoma county and increase the total number of elected women MCAs to 15 out of 45.
The following strategies will be employed:
Evidence Based Strategy – Drawing from the baseline lessons on how to approach the question of promoting women leadership, we will aim to build social change to appreciate women’s equal ability to be leaders just as men.
Cascading campaign to build an enabling environment-Women have in the past been victims of violence and are more likely to be turned off from voting or offering themselves for elective positions due to violence and intimidation. This strategy will have a cascading component that aims at building an all-round conducive atmosphere for both women candidates and women voter. The police and other security and law enforcement arms of government will play a crucial role. Candidates too will be required to sign a code of conduct to keep peace.
Advocacy Approach – we will engage key opinion leaders and gatekeepers (council of elders, the clergy and other role models in the community) to build support for women leaders and beseech communities to hear women aspirants plans for them instead of focusing on trivialities and personal negative attacks
Community Engagement-is a strategy we will employ using integrated media to spread positive vibes about women aspirants. Often, women do not get the requisite time both on and off air (our baseline puts women on air time at a paltry 10-20% per day). This strategy will of necessity promote discussion, ownership and behavior change leading to accepting and voting for women aspirants
Reinforcement strategy –Newly acquired behaviors need to be reinforced so that people do not backslide. We will employ cost effective ongoing reinforcement of positive images of both serving elected women leaders and new aspirants using digital engagement through social media and mobile phone platforms. Reforms like kings and vagabonds and the almighty
The campaign will be executed in four phases, as follows.
1st Phase will be to use the existing baseline evidence to design the integrated communication campaign.
2nd Phase will be to develop campaign messages to be pre -tested in select sites in the county
Note that the messages will include an umbrella message and other key communication messages targeting the different segments which the campaign will seek to relay. Indeed, the messages will also be contextualized to target various audiences. We will adopt the cognitive testing method with the various target audiences to ensure it is relevant, culturally and socially appropriate and achieve the campaign objectives
3rd Phase will be campaign roll-out.
4th Phase will be to wind up and hand over the campaign to the community through the partners that will have worked with us on this initiative.
Expected output for the campaign.
- A community campaign communication plan undertaken to help improve the electorates attitudes to women leadership.
- A community radio brand activation strategy and empowered radio listening groups executed to profile women aspirants currently in office and new ones including the nominated women leaders intending to vie for electoral seats
- Market place activation, talking and moving walls used to reach out deep into the rural areas and market centres with positive messages about the added value of women leadership
- MAMA Campaign networked and linked to other internal and like-minded campaigns in the country, through social media for early warning and response to violence and lesson learning and sharing.
Addressing Violence against Women and Girls through football.
ACORD and its partner Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya (FPFK), including the British council, premier league, with UK and Kenyan partners have begun delivering an innovative pilot programme using football to tackle issues of violence against women and girls in Kenya.
Building on the highly successful Premier Skills initiative and funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), “Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls through Football” will work with young people, initially in Mt. Elgon and subsequently in a second region of Kenya, to address some of the behaviours and attitudes that give rise to high levels of violence against women and girls.
Over the three-year funding period, the programme will focus on adapting the community engagement models used by Premier League clubs in the UK to deliver regular community football sessions for young people in two regions of Kenya with a focus on the prevention of gender-based violence.
The weekly football sessions will offer inclusive opportunities to play and will aim to engage both boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 20 years. The programme aims to develop skills around teamwork, fair play, self-confidence and respect for self and others.
Expert Premier Skills coaches from Premier League clubs in the UK will train local coaches to deliver participative, inclusive and engaging community football activities for young people. The coaches will also be trained to address questions of gender, violence and conflict during the football sessions and these messages will be strengthened through monthly workshops delivered by local experts from partner NGOs.
A selected group of coaches from Mt. Elgon will be trained to become coach educators, equipping them to deliver training to other Kenyan coaches to ensure the programme’s sustainability.
Alongside the weekly football sessions, the programme will run football tournaments to raise awareness of the issues within the wider community with an accompanying multi-media advocacy campaign and will include a strong research and evaluation component to assess the programme’s impact and build the evidence-base for addressing social issues through football.
The programme in Kenya is an exciting opportunity to build on the success of Premier Skills to use football as a vehicle for social change. The programme aims to work directly with 96 community football coaches, 4,000 young people, 120 community stakeholders and 10,000 members of the wider community attending tournaments and awareness-raising events. Other local partners for the pilot project include Football Kenya Federation, AFC Leopards and Moving the Goalposts Kilifi. The programme will also work closely with the County Government of Bungoma and the second selected region.
ACORD has worked extensively on peace building with community elders in Mt. Elgon and has expertise in gender, peace building, health and livelihood issues. ACORD is a key partner for the development of the programme in Kenya due to their longstanding relationships and contacts within communities. They have experience in dealing with the psychosocial impact of conflict and the issues affecting women and girls in Mt. Elgon and understand the need to establish a sustainable project with community ownership.
Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya (FPFK) works with ACORD in western Kenya, delivering the national Peace and Rights programme in Mt. Elgon and engaging community elders in the process of dialogue that resulted in the Mabanga peace accord signed in 2011 in the presence of the then Vice President of Kenya. The FPFK team has delivered psychosocial interventions for both victims and perpetrators of the past violence and has worked with 600 ex-militiamen to rehabilitate them and support their reintegration into the community.
PROMOTING WOMEN LEADERSHIP IN THE UPCOMING 2017 GENERAL ELECTIONS
This is a partnership between ACORD as the lead, Peace and Rights Programme (PRP) and Rural women peace link (RWPL). Its a project funded by the European Commission through the EC Delegation in Kenya. The project seeks to achieve this by galvanizing a critical mass of citizens in Bungoma county to support the election of at least 33% women to all electoral positions and create a conducive political, legal and policy environment supporting women’s participation in politics and electoral processes turning Bungoma into a model of gender equality in elections.
The partnership approach and principle of local ownership are central in the methodology of the proposed action. Having had a highly successful similar program in Kisumu and Migori in the 2013 elections. ACORD will be building on lessons learnt and its success stories. Target groups, specifically the women political aspirants will participate actively in the planning, design, implementation process, strategic decision making, monitoring and evaluation of the action. Through a series of focus group discussion (FGDs) and individual interviews the action will establish with various stakeholders, local government, dominant and little political parties.
This will be applied through,
- Capacity building of women political aspirants.
- Community advocates for human rights and governance.
- Social contracting.
- Lobby groups like community for women leaders and men for women leaders.
- Men to men talks.
- Print, electronic mass media and social media.
The expected results for this action will be,
Participation of women political aspirants in politics. Women have long sufffered marginalsation in political leadership. Bungoma county has historically never appointed a woman member of parliament. Since ages ago men have never accepted women leadership, emplified in Bungoma where women have never been elected into national parliament, the action seeks to reverse this trends by working with men as catalysts of change in their communities encumbered in traditions and retrogressive attitudes towards women.
The action intends to have at least 15 women elected as members of the county assembly of Bungoma and 3 women elected members of parliament from the 9 Bungoma constituencies
Political and electoral structures align their policies and procedures to conform to constitutional provisions. In the process women will emerge as courageous to take up the leadership roles due them due to an enabling environment. They will upgrade their skills and forge network that will be helpful currently and for future terms. There will also be increased understanding as we open up room for dialogue and conversation around retrogressive taboos and barriers that hinder women as barriers.
Lobbying and advocacy will steer the agenda of women in leadership in the County forming exchange programs with other best practises and success stories.
Rural Women Peace Link –RWPL is women led NGO working to promote an inclusive society through mobilizing, inﬂuencing and participating in community governance and development that is sensitive to their needs. As a network of grassroots women since 1992 It has vast experience in advocating women’s representation, creating awareness on women’s rights advocacy, mentoring, and coaching, engaging women to participate actively on decision making in county governments and capacity building for women on accountable leadership.
Peace and Rights Programme (PRP)– have long standing experience working with the grassroots communities and organizations in Bungoma and will use their networks to encourage interested women candidates with relevant experience to declare their interests and join the identification process. Have the trust of working with elders and experienced the social contracting model.
SUPPORTING CSOS ROLE IN ENHANCING NATIONAL RECONCILIATION, COHESION AND INTEGRATION.
ACORD in partnership with Inter religious council of Kenya (IRCK) and Peace Net, worked on a joint project to enhance National Reconciliation, Cohesion and Integration, an initiative which was aimed at peace building, cohesion, community security and reconciliation in Kenya. The project was funded by UNDP.
IRCK -Its the national coalition of the major faith communities in Kenya. Established as a Society under the Societies Act, IRCK is purposed on the harnessing of spiritual, moral and social resources of faith communities for peaceful coexistence, interreligious harmony and to address the social, economic issues affecting Kenyans.
Peace net -PeaceNet is a national networking and partnership building organization providing a platform for CSOs, and other peace actors committed to collaboration and mobilization of national and regional initiatives for peace building, promotion of justice and conflict transformation.
This project was implemented in an environment that is characterized by mutual suspicion among communities that live side by side and which have had long running conflicts.
The following is to be achieved over the first four months.
1.INCREASED NATIONAL COHISION AND INTERGARTION.
A number of activities were implemented to facilitated this.
a) Hold a county level forum on anchoring Mabanga Peace Agreement into county by-laws in Bungoma county.
B) Facilitate Inter and intra community cross-border dialogue forums for reconciliation for Kericho – Kisumu communities around Sondu, Soin Sigowet, Nyakach and Muhoroni.
C) Design, produce and disseminate 5000 IEC material on tolerance, peaceful co-existence and interfaith cohesion.
D)Consultative Forums targeting key stakeholders.
2. ENHANCE COMMUNITY SECURITY INITIATIVES.
A) Facilitate development of a Pilot Community Policing Model involving the community, CSO’s and security agencies in Kwale and Naivasha Counties. Nyumba kumi initiative by the government.
B) Peace caravans for community sensitization and Peace Celebrations for International Day of Peace in Naivasha Sub County.
C) Hold a National Youth leaders conference on Counter Violent Extremism and deviant behavior targeting youth in Universities and Colleges.
D) Conduct 3 interactive radio talk shows on inter-faith cohesion through local radio stations.
E) Establish emergency fund for Kenya Rapid Response Initiative (KIRRI) for detection, prevention and support responding to conflict situations.
F) Support two National Intra/Inter-faith leaders’ consultative forums on community security.
G) Meeting of Isiolo & Meru women of faith of the Meru-Isiolo Counties, to discuss on simmering border conflict between the two counties.
H) Support of Inter Faith leaders’ consultative forums on security,
3. INCREASED ROLE AND VISIBILITY OF WOMEN IN PEACE BUILDING AT BOTH NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS.
A) Support 6 women for peace forums in Tana delta, Marsabit and Isiolo counties,This was to work towards the engagement of women in the peace building and decision making processes in the community.
B) National level workshop on Women, Peace Building and Conflict Transformation in Kenya.