Strategies and Approaches

Cluster Approach

Following the questionnaire survey of year 2012 mapping on member group challenges, a two-day meeting was held to discuss the findings of the survey. The member groups validated the major cross cutting issues that affected their organization in one way or another.


The major and crucial issues were categorized into five core problem areas.

1. Funding

2. Health

3. Community Organizing/Networking

4. Security

5. Organizational & Personal Skills Development


Also in reflection of the common challenges and shared objectives the groups validated that indeed there were cross cuttings issues and need for clustering and grouping of their organisations, to enhance capacity and be more effective in implementing activities.

Whether these cluster present better opportunities to have joint proposals, shared activities or joint membership rolls to avoid duplication would go a long

way in enhancing the groups and their members.

After deliberations the following clusters were created: KISUMU A, KISUMU B, SIAYA, WESTERN, KISII-MIGORI and RIFT VALLEY clusters.

SRHR Approach

Health is the second key pillar in NYARWEK’s strategic plan 2016 -2022. NYARWEK envisions promoting and providing integrated and inclusive health services and information that meets the unique needs of SOGIE persons. The SRH strategy models are:


  1. Peer to peer model – this approach is aimed at building the capacity of NYARWEK members on SRHR information and services delivery. It involves peer educators and SOGIE advocates to pass SRH information to other peers who are SOGIE. This also involves a Referral system to friendly service providers i.e. during outreaches, private and public health facilities. And also, distribution of safer sex commodities.  The peer to peer approach is effective and efficient hence sustainable on SRHR provision
  2. Training of Service providers model – this aims to improve the knowledge and understanding of service providers on SRHR issues of SOGIE persons, this to create safe space and reduce stigma and discrimination within the private and public facilities hence offering friendly services to the SOGIE person.
  3. Health and policy makers model – the approach aims at creating an enabling environment for SOGIE persons within the community. this improves knowledge of policy and decision makers on SOGIE specific SRH needs. It targets policy and decision makers at local, county and national level. It also brings together key stakeholders on SRH service provision


Other than SRHR, it has been realized that mental health and well-being of SOGIE persons affect their sexual reproductive health hence the need to ensure that mental health issues e. g depression, gay identity, IPV, DSA and anxiety are addressed

Human Rights Advocacy Approach

Empowering right holders and and sensitizing duty bearers.


Empowerment of rights holders

A human rights based approach means that individuals and communities should know their rights. It also means that they should be fully supported to participate in the development of policy and practices which affect their lives and to claim rights where necessary.

 Sensitizing duty bearers

To be cautious of Human Rights issues that affect right holders.


Strategic Focus

  1. Policy advocacy
  2. Human Rights advocacy
  3. Security advocacy
  4. Legal and paralegal services
  5. Access to services Education,Health,Economic opportunities and services.
  6. Public litigation
  7. Cultural and Religious influence
  8. Stigma and Discrimination (external/self)



The security system of Nyanza,western and Rift valley provides LGBTI network works in a responsive rather than reactive manner within the existing structures and systems adequately addressing reporting,monitoring and documentation of cases in Kenya.

Most of this structures having been internalized  by the response teams who also act as informants to relevant measures and interventions to be adopted in the broader programming and implementations. Protocol administration is even made easier by the UTUNZI system that automatically picks reports and then relays them almost immediately to the closest responders on the ground for fact finding and information on actions preferable to situations.

In order to realize her objectives Nyarwek applies two key strategies;a rapid response to LGBTI emerging situations strategy and a local advocacy strategy.

The Utunzi System

Nyarwek’s system of reporting and security management however perfectly moulded still was not very responsive in reporting receiving.

Preference therefore was made to an online system as a means to ensuring perfect management of insecurities.

The Utunzi system receives and directs reports to the responders on the ground who are strategically located in different regions in the entire western Kenya. Responder Organization with security structures are also placed in Mombasa,Nairobi and Lodwa town.All of this responders have a tablet device for Ecommunication and a phone as well.The tablets have a GPRS tracking system that easily enables the security officer at NYARWEK to place their locations and confirm constantly if they are offline for safety purposes.

Religious Engagement

The religious leaders approach aims at increasing levels of awareness and advocating for safe,tolerance,and acceptance of the LGBTI community within the society and religious context.


Why Religious Leaders?

The outlawed Amongst Us, a study of the LGBTIQ community search for equality and non discrimination in Kenya (KHRC, 2011)


What informs their positions?

1.Harassment by State Officials i.e Police, Judiciary, Council Askari

2.Stigma & Discrimination by Family and Society i.e Members of the society

3.Physical Violence and Threats of Death i.e Community Members

4.Expulsion from Learning Institutions i.e Teachers, school boards

5.Blackmail and Extortion i.e Friends, estranged partners etc

6.Poor Access to Health Care/Lack of access to comprehensive Services/medical research abuse i.e Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, researchers


Therefore Nyarwek and partners  in 2015, commissioned a survey to examine perspectives of religious leaders and their institutions on LGBTI

Some of the Findings include:

84.5% agreed that violence against LGBTI persons is justified

63.1% reported having had no contact with LGBTI persons

Only 3.9% believed that LGBTI persons are born that way

 82.5% believed that what their religion teaches about sexuality is correct

82.5% feel that people in same sex relationship should not hold leadership positions

62.1% said their church/religion does not have pastoral care for LGBTIQ persons


Objectives of Nyarwek’s Engagement with Religious Leaders

  •  To provide theologically sound basis for tolerance, acceptance of LGBTI persons
  • Create understanding of various forms of stigma & discrimination against LGBTIs
  • Identify culturally/religiously acceptable ways of working with LGBTI persons
  • Develop Pastoral care response to the reality of existence of LGBTI within our communities
  • Produce change agents to continue advocating for religious tolerance


Religious Leaders Engagement Manual

Comprises of 6 modules

  1. Role of Religious Leaders in  Addressing Contemporary challenges in the  Society and a leadership
  2. Handling Stigma and Discrimination
  3. Leadership
  4. Human Sexuality
  5. Religion and Human Rights
  6. Discipleship

 Implementation Structure


Known to Unknown Approach 

Has been practical in heart-wired approach which works on change,mindset and persuasion.

Human decision-making is influenced by how people are heartwired-the mind circuits and connections that tie together their emotions,identity,values,beliefs and lived experiences.Heartwired is designed to help you put this deeper understanding to work in your efforts to create social change.

The Approach has helped on relation to working on individual perception from concept of knowing what you know to revealing what you doesn’t know.

Principles of dialogue

Feminist and Gender Approach

Feminism has been used as a strategy for equality and thus gained millage in other countries; in the Kenyan context, this is a well result based and important especially with the trans populations and LBQ persons.