PBI Kenya began the year on a high note, by continuing to supporting the work of the HRDs of the Social Justice Centres in Kenya through a new project titled ‘Raising the voice, visibility and effectiveness of the human rights movement in Kenya’. This follows after the successful completion of the pilot project 'Increased capacities, stronger networks'. Both are supported with German Federal Foreign Office's funds by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), Funding Programme zivik.
We aim to contribute to the strengthening of a community-based movement and enhance the ability of HRDs to handle difficulties like burnout, stress, and conflict, increase their ability to analyse their risks and implement security and protection strategies. We also seek to advance advocacy capacities in order to contribute to their ability to bring issues of human rights violations, and solutions, to the national debate. The project further aims to contribute towards building or improving relationships between social justice centres, local and national authorities -especially the police- and members of the international community, as well as to improve the relationship of social justice centres with community members.
In March, we held an internal project start-up with the PBI Kenya team and afterwards a workshop with the members of the SJCWG from the eighteen social justice centres in Nairobi. We discussed the project objectives and together we went carefully through the project planning, activities and intended outcomes. The members expressed optimism about the project and they look forward to building on the results of the pilot. As the country gears towards the 2022 general elections and with the ongoing constitutional review process, this project will also hope to contribute to preparing human rights defenders for the planned elections, especially in enhancing their safety and security.