AMWIK IN 2018
2018 has been a great yet challenging year for us at AMWIK. On behalf of Secretariat and Board we want to thank you for choosing to journey with us as we close the year. We wish to share with you a few highlights of what we have been able to achieve in 2018:
As a membership organization we are proud of our growing diversity in skills, background, experience, knowledge and age that have added to the uniqueness and strength of AMWIK. We have noted that the number of our PhDs have been growing steadily, the latest being Dr. Ann Mungai – Congratulations! Thank you all for being part of AMWIK and making it what it is today. We introduced our membership card which was a resolution adopted in 2017 and many of us managed to pick theirs.
Over 138 members benefited from over nine trainings organized by AMWIK and its partners. The trainings ranged from digital security for women, training on transparency and social accountability and business entrepreneurship.
Through the Publicity committee headed by Faith Oneya we were able to gain knowledge from the comforts of our homes and for some offices through Four engaging Whatsapp chats held in year featuring Mental Health and Unhealth by Prof. Catherine Gachutha; Digital Security and Privacy by Philip Ogola; Health and fitness by Dr. Esther Dindi and How to develop a Sustainable savings plan by Felista Wangari. Members have also benefitted from the Whatapp group sharing information, jobs, consultancies, mobilizing participation, networking and contacts and often times just cheering and appreciating one of us who has attained a milestone; a baby, a new job, a degree to mention but a few.
AMWIK Membership activities
Membership Meetings and AGM
Through the membership meeting: Transitioning Right training gave birth to our first ever AMWIK Malkia Bazaar spearheaded by Lorna Sempele, Grace Muiruri and Winnie Kungania. Being the first dry run with its lessons and challenges certainly there is a lot of room for improvement. A number of members participated as exhibitors/or visitors.
This was a great milestone for AMWIK and presents an opportunity to upscale the event into a bigger venture where many of us,
family and friends can participate and grow their businesses, market ideas, launch products or advertise their universities for students. We will look to you for your support and ideas to make the 2nd Bazaar a greater success.
During the AGM it was agreed to develop the Business arm of AMWIK to complement reliance on donor funding which the Board is actively pursuing; AMWIK would look into publishing academic journals; and improving members’ welfare amongst other ideas.
What Can Being involved in AMWIK do for you?
You never know what immersing yourself in AMWIK activities can do for you. Be it getting a recommendation letter for a conference or job, a letter can open doors for you. Over 20 recommendation letters were written for members seeking various opportunities in 2018; jobs , fellowships, travel to international conferences with several of them being successful in their bid. Amongst those who have made successful bids with the help of AMWIK include KBC Journalist Lourdes Walusala, a current Chevening Scholar at the University of Sussex.
“Dear AMWIK Secretariat, I hope you are keeping well. I wish to joyfully notify the secretariat that I have been awarded a full scholarship through the Chevening scholarship scheme to study M.A Media Practice for Development and Social Change at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. My course will commence this September. This is an opportunity I am so excited about and look forward to. I take this opportunity to thank AMWIK for making this possible. Being a member and participating in various activities and opportunities within AMWIK gave me content that enabled me to submit a strong application and confidence to support my application at the interview. Chevening is the UK Government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders and it is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. Lourdes wrote.”Lourdes Walusala, Chevening Scholar 2018-2019
Lourdes is also a Sister Sister fellow on digital security and has previously taken the initiative to organize online safety training for fellow members in partnership with AMWIK.
AMWIK Members as Consultants
Over 10 members were able to gain consultancies with AMWIK and other partners offering their skills and knowledge as trainers, researchers and facilitators in various meetings. A few members have taken the opportunity seek resources in partnership with AMWIK and earn a portion; these include Dr Jane Thuo, Tabitha Onyinge, Lourdes Walusala and Maria Powerson.
Congratulations to them for throwing their hats in the ring. This is open to all members to leverage their network next year, for yourself, the organization and possibly another member.
Standing With our Own
This year also saw the spirit of sisterhood and unity rise among members. We sadly lost one of our own members, Wanjiru Kinoti (pictured). May her soul rest in peace.
Several members lost their loved ones. Our Vice Chair Christine Nguku only having buried her mother last week. Despite of the prevailing recession members demonstrated solidarity in encouraging and contributing to the various needs for members. We were able to raise about Shs. 80,000 collectively for all our six members who had various welfare needs. A number of us have sent money directly to them. We thank all who gave generously towards the various welfare needs that we shared with you throughout 2018. And even if you were unable to give, your presence and kind words remain encouraging.
Jane Frances Angalia is undergoing treatment right now in India and we encourage you to keep praying for her.
We also continue to seek opportunities for strengthening our Kisumu and Mombasa branches having held several trainings in the regions.
AMWIK Programs and Grants
On a programmatic level, AMWIK was able to secure grants tackling different issues in society and we were able to achieve the following:
• Over 42 citizen journalists and community media journalists benefitted from the “Engaging citizen & community media journalists in the production and dissemination of financial accountability and social justice content” project by Community Media Fund and are being coached to produce content on financial literacy, financial accountability, social justice and Transparency
• Enhancing digital literacy for women in media and human rights defenders with Deutsche Welle where we provided capacity to over 40 women journalists and human rights defenders in Kisumu and Mombasa Counties
• Exploring the impact of Fake News on Women In Politics and Media with UNESCO –where we are finalizing the research and developing fact sheets that will act as a resource tool for both journalists and the public.
AMWIK has also been engaged and invited to several local, national and international meetings. Our Executive Director Marceline Nyambala was able to present a paper jointly at the Commission on the Status of Women(CSW) earlier in the year amongst other meetings.