28th march 2015: Gay and lesbian human rights commission meeting
Purpose for the meeting
-Introduction to paralegal training
17th June 2015 KISPED AND KISLEB MEETING
Four people were present 2 from KISLEB and 2 from KISPED
Purpose for the meeting
27th June 2015: TRAINING ON WEBSITE CONTENT MANAGEMENT HOSTED BY REBECCA WANJIKU AND COLLINS OTIENO
Members that attended/represented
12 people attended the meeting
30th June 2015: staff meeting
10members were present 1 absent with apology
Purpose for the meeting
Voices of women in western Kenya (VOWWEK) is an organization that works with LBTI (lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and intersex) women in the rural parts of Western Kenya. We envision a society where the voices of LBTI women in rural parts of western Kenya are heard. Our motto is SIKIKA a Swahili word which means “to be heard”.
VOWWEK has four thematic areas namely:
1. Access to justice – Through women rights as human rights
2. Political and civic engagement – The women take part in leadership
3. Socio economic empowerment – Women to be self reliant
4. Organizational development and institutional strengthening – for VOWWEK to handle its programs.
Under our thematic area 1 – access to Justice, we have worked closely with the local justice providers including the chiefs and their assistants, the village elders, the community opinion leaders and the church elders.
Paralegal training roll out in Nyahera chief’s camp.
1. Trained them on paralegal and advocacy
2. Sensitize then on sexual gender based violence(SGBV)
3. Sensitized them on sexual orientation and gender identity(SOGI)
4. Facilitate roll out of paralegal training to the community
5. Sensitization of community in chief barazas
6. Helped in handling LBTI violation cases in the community e.g. in bondo and seme
7. The opinion leaders have become our contact persons on the ground
Justice providers training on SOGI and SGBV.
1. Culture and permissiveness on the society
2. Rejection by other community justice providers
3. Limited resources for the vast western Kenya.
In conclusion the objectives of this thematic area are being met and the progress made and milestone reached in the community is great.
Thirdrace medical organization formed in 2012.
Formed after the first race and the second race with like minded individual who saw the need to come up together advocate for the health of the lgbti persons.we felt that for along period of time lgbti were being neglected and hence it also made them to neglect themselves in seeking medical advice and treatment.
In the past three months we have been sensitizing lgbti groups on their health rights, we have also managed to reach out to the ministry of health (M.O.H) this we have done in migori, uriri and Kisumu.we have also done sensitization in medical institution, being that they are the same people who are going to handle the same same individuals after school or they can also pass the same information in the community.
During IDAHO preparation ministry of health took the main lead to spear head the event in partnership with the lgbti groups.
Kisumu peer educators (KISPED) is Artistical Art group that consists of individual LGBTIQ persons who are artists. The organization uses art as the basic tool to advocate for the sexual reproductive health and human right for the LGBTIQ persons within Kisumu County and its environs.
– Human right and security
– Economic empowerment
– Organization development
SUMMARY ACTIVITY JUNE
KISPED was part of the WAYAN training on Sexual Reproductive health rights; the organization was there to present the needs of LGBTIQ persons within Kisumu County on matters of Sexual rights. Through this training we managed to create partnership with WAYAN and our area of operation will be based on addressing comprehensive sexual education among the key population (LGBTIQ) between the ages of 15-24 within Kisumu County.
A meeting with any government official is never easy; in most cases, thorough preparation is needed and in our case, it was no different- after all, we were dealing with issues the society isn’t used to dealing with.
When our meeting date with the District Commissioner (DC) came, we went to the office well prepared. The meeting was calculated to mobilize the administration officers; starting with the DC, down to the chief. The DC is the senior officer in Kisumu district.
After pleasantries and introduction, the DC had in mind that we were promoting homosexuality; it took us almost 30minutes explaining what we do and why we do it. We explained that we were providing lubricants and condoms and safeguarding health in the society, and it is not in our place to promote homosexuality.
After explaining, she understood and promised to mobilize administrative officers working under her. These include; chiefs and policemen, who are involved in the security on the ground. The meeting was held in two weeks; we met the chiefs at Kisumu police training centre.
We explained the challenges MSMs and MSWs have been facing, and how the chiefs and police officers could help in ensuring due process is followed. For the organization, this was a win; we got the conversation going!.
Voluntary counseling and testing reaches 54 men
The monthly voluntary counseling and testing reached 54 men in the last month, some of whom have already been put under medical care.
This VCT takes place under the Human Testing and Counseling Program of Men against aids youths group [MAAYGO].
Our hotspots targeted were stanbradox signature and social hall this is because most men having sex with men are always in this places we reached 54 men having sex with men in 3weeks 14 were positive’ the positive were put on care promptly and given pieces of advice on how to stay healthy
We always do this every Sunday on radio lake victoria at 8;15 through this we have reached 700 men having sex with men within Kisumu and outside Kisumu eg Siaya Bungoma Mumias Kakamega Ahero and Homabay
SENSITIZING HEALTH PROVIDERS
We have sensitized 3 of them in the last 2months 1 in Jaramogi Oginga Odinga And referral hospital and 2 In Kisumu district hospital
Male Sex Workers Share On Recovery Process
Male sex workers in Kisumu met last month to discuss the twelve steps recovery process, as part of community mobilization process organized by Picture Youth Group.
The community mobilization was done by our peer educators that was targeting twenty Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and Male Sex Workers (MSW). The event was meant for the MSM & MSW to share their ideas on Drug &substance abuse in relation to HIV/AIDs.
These where we covered AA(alcoholic anonymous)and effects of drugs and their risk behaviors that they involve in under influence of drugs .the MSM & MSW community was empowered on this issue like
1: Safer sex behaviors e.g condom use,avoiding multiple partners,being faithful to one partner..
HEALTH EDUCATION FORUM. The group conducted a health education forum that we covered topics like 1:sexually transmitted infections that we covered on issues of syphilis, gonorrhea , HIV & hepatitis B and etc.
Story told by
Rena Otieno/producer at KDMP
Kisumu Digital Media Project is a project that was created in July 2014 to create digital media platform where, Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and Asexual ( LGBTIQA) persons can freely express their issues, views, thoughts and stories in Kenya and its environs. The project currently works in collaboration with Nyarwek and None On Record.
In the past three months KDMP have documented awesome stories from LGBTIQs person in, Busia, bugoma, Muhoroni, Wich Lum and Kisumu. The stories were audio recorded and then edited by our team. The stories were on Bisexuality. To summarize the stories, “we are who we are because we found themselves that way, we are not confused, we respond to our inner feeling, when it commands us to be with the ladies, the ladies it is, when it commands us to be with the guys, the guys it is.
For most of the men we talked to, most of them said that they definitely prefer to be with their fellow men that is when they do not feel like their performers in bed when having sex is great. They said that they might marry those of the opposite sex one day because they are required by the community, their families to do s.o
Their message to the world is “ accept that there are very many bisexual people in the world just love and understand us” “to have honest people in the world and families it is important to say who we are, so we do not get people infected or get infected ourselves”
Since the year 2012 through partnering and exposure from different partners working with religious on religious issue in western Kenya i.e. IAM, CRIC, Other-sheep, Kisumu Initiative for positive empowerment (LGBTI Church) the organization realized the importance of engaging with the religious leaders as a form of creating safe space and advocating for tolerant and acceptance within the religion fraternity.
This was also important to the LGBTI community to embrace spirituality and sexuality, During the two years it has been very clear for the process of engagement have been through a “clergy meeting clergy concept ” to discuss the Theology in relation to LGBTI.
But for the past one year through partnership with PEMA Kenya we have demystify this approach by LGBTI organization also meeting and reaching out to the religious leaders, this process has worked out clearly and the religious leaders are embracing the process through different methodology i.e. Facilitative dialogue, theory of change, religion and human right, love and companion, health approach. The main reason for the organization to engage with the religious leaders is to offer the two sword approach one to enhance the spiritual aspect of LGBTI individual to attend churches and mosque and consider spirituality as a being to be part of them, also to enlighten the religious leaders to preach the gospel of love and companion to our community also create tolerance and acceptance within the religious community.
Being that we are also working within the geographical region of rural, peri- urban and urban which is deep rooted with tradition, culture and religion, it is very important to engage with the religious leaders since they are the source of stigma and discrimination within the community hence they serve a bigger population within the community as the opinion leaders, policy makers and role models.
To engage with them we will be reaching out to policy developers, opinion leaders and role model within the community and through these we will be creating a safer environment of the LGBTI to journey with his/her spirituality and sexuality without being stigmatized and discriminated within the community. This will build the self esteem of individual LGBTI to feel free to journey with his aspect of spirituality and sexuality without feeling discriminated or stigmatize within western Kenya. The organization has engaged through forums and training with different denomination i.e. Anglican, catholic, Protestants, indigenous churches and Muslim within the region.
In June 2015 the organization organized a five days convening in Kisumu with different religious leaders from Anglican, Pentecostal, indigenous churches and partners organization who are working on religious engagement this include GALCK, and IAM,PEMA,
NYARWEK currently is working with 103 religious leaders 40 TOTs and it has developed a religious leader’s manual.