On January 7th PBI Kenya’s partner Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC) celebrated the official opening of their new office in Mathare. At the event, PBI was proud to present MSJC’s administrative coordinator Stephen Kinuthia Mwangi with the Invisible Mandelas award, which he accepted on behalf of the members of MSJC.
The Invisible Mandelas campaign was organised in 2016 by PBI UK to coincide with PBI’s 35th anniversary, and celebrates those human rights activists who, like Nelson Mandela, commit themselves to their cause yet often remain dangerously invisible. Stephen Mwangi was scheduled to attend the 35th anniversary celebrations in London in June 2016, but unfortunately could not be physically present due to the complex process of acquiring a UK visa. However, his powerful message was not lost, but submitted in a pre-recorded video which is available here.
At the MSJC office opening, members and friends of the organisation celebrated their remarkable growth. In just two years they developed from a loose group of individuals meeting on the streets and in their houses, to a well-organized and powerful voice in the public debate on issues such as extrajudicial killings in the urban settlements, land rights, gender-based rights and many more. The office was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Professor Yash Pal Ghai, a long-time supporter and friend of MSJC. On behalf of MSJC, Julie Wanjira and Gacheke Gachihi presented him with a token of their appreciation, a painting by MSJC member and talented artist Mutua.
PBI Kenya is proud to have been a privileged observer to MSJC’s growth process and to count the members of MSJC as partners and friends. We look forward to continue our work together in 2017 and beyond.