Strengthening Communication and Access to Information
Donor: The Ford Foundation
Target Areas: Malindi, Garsen, Sololo
Duration: April 2013 – March 2014
In 2013, AMWIK implemented the Strengthening Access to Information project which created awareness among communities in Kilifi (Malindi constituency), Marsabit (Moyale constituency) and Tana River (Garsen constituency) counties on use of natural resources for better economic livelihoods for women, directly reaching over 1,000 individuals.
AMWIK worked witha total of 15 women and youth groups, namely Umoja, Borole, Catholic, Sololo and Ramata women groups from Moyale Constituency; Malkia, Jaribio, Together as One, Mawave, and Mche women groups from Malindi Constituency; and Zinduka, Humboza, Dzimbakie, Malakoteni and Bilisa women groups from Garsen Constituency.
Representatives from each of the groups were trained on the role of women in spearheading peace building and how to promote reconciliation through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. The training also highlighted the participation of grassroots women in the County government decision-making structures. This was to ensure that women understand opportunities provided for them in the lowest structures of County governance, from the village council, village administrator to the ward administrator. Representatives from each of the groups were further trained on how to moderate the radio listening sessions.
The interactions also saw a number of project beneficiaries learn not only how to participate in decision-making platforms, but also share with their neighbours about their role in peace building, and support for survivors of gender based violence. In Garsen, a member of Zinduka women group in Kipini location confessed that the knowledge had enabled her to take action against a family member who had sexually violated one of her twin daughters, and that of a neighbour.
The project supported by the Ford Foundation also targeted journalists from the three project areas who were sensitized on reporting about women’s access to natural resources. The interactive training highlighted some of the challenges journalists encounter in reporting sensitive matters such as land ownership, extraction of natural resources and community demands on utilization of resources around them.
It was evident that some of the challenges resulted from neglect of professional ethics in reporting. The journalists were implored to adhere to the journalistic code of conduct. They were also urged to promote peaceful co-existence and ensure gender inclusiveness in their stories and help women know their rights and how to access resources without being marginalized.