Empowering Women, Youth and Children to Address Gender Issues
Joan Wambui Kimunya, a Kenyan Rover Scout is changing the perception of young boys and girls about gender issues with a “Kijana Shujaa” (Brave Youth) project.
Since January 2021, she has organized focus group discussions with 55 young girls aged 9 to 14 years old on gender-based violence prevention through six children’s groups established in Nyeri. Another 47 young people and community health volunteers have been educated on response techniques towards gender-based violence cases in the community.
At Baba Dogo Secondary School in Nairobi 120 students, both boys and girls, were educated on co-existence as well as breaking myths related to menstruation and gender-based violence. Not far from the school, at Kariua B slum in Ngara, a door-to-door sensitization campaign on sexual violence prevention, control and response was conducted. With her team of volunteers, they created awareness to 138 households on the services offered by resource centres that manage gender-based violence cases and how they can reach them.
During the annual 16 days of activism against gender-based violence last year, Joan’s team conducted a street march with 90 students and Scouts in Namelok Town in Oloitoktok, Kajiado County where they later established ten focus groups for women (5), youth (1) and children (4), named Mama Shujaa (Brave Mother), Teen Smart Clubs and Toto Smart (Smart Child) Clubs respectively.
In 2022, Joan and her team are looking to expand their work to reach more people with information and interventions on female genital mutilation prevention, control, and response among the Maasai Community in Kimana Town, Kajiado County. Through Mama Shujaa groups and Toto Smart clubs, they will conduct sensitization on the dangers and effects of female genital mutilation and bring on board stakeholders and service providers to respond to FGM cases. They are in the process of ensuring that FGM survivor support centres are also established.