Various social justice struggles exist in Kenya, these range from youth unemployment, inaccessibility to basic necessities, lack of youth participation in decision-making, lack of access to legal aid for the marginalized and forced evictions among a broad cluster of challenges Kenyan communities are forced to cope with. For the majority who live in pockets of poverty, the struggles are even worse.
In line with Fahamu’s mission of nurturing movements for social justice in Africa, Fahamu’s board Chair , Patricia Daley ,visited Nairobi based social movements in September 2016 to gain a better understanding on how Fahamu’s work has impacted on these collectives. Additionally the visit provided an opportunity to learn more about how social movements work in Kenya, the challenges faced and how Fahamu can contribute more to strengthen social movements. The movements visited were World March of Women, Twaweza Community Project and Mathare Legal Aid and Advocacy(MLHRA).
The visit gathered that Fahamu’s engagement with social movements has had a positive impact indicated by an increase in consciousness about injustices, availing platforms for young people to gain practical skills (agroecology) as well as access to information.
Better ways for Fahamu to strengthen social movements more were shared as working more with at risk out of school youths, enhance youth skills in agriculture as this is a field dominated by an aging population hence challenges in trans generational transfer of knowledge and skills and to enhance skills training on fundraising to enable grassroots communities sustain their activities.
Other skills to be enhanced were cited as empowering young people with technological skills at the grassroots, inviting speakers to discuss issues at the community as cited by one youth Gibson Maina said, “ We need Prof. Campbell dialogues in Mathare, the Kenya and Western Region Militarization Lecture made me know many things about my country that I never knew before”.
As remarked by Sophie Dowlar of World March of Women on collaborating with Fahamu, “We are able to do what we do with women as a result of engaging Fahamu who is an important partner in Movement building”
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