At PBI, the safety and wellbeing of human rights defenders are paramount. PBI Kenya embraces the concept of holistic ‘human security' that entails freedom from fear, freedom from want, and freedom to live in dignity. This security goes beyond physical to include economic, health, environmental, personal, and community elements of life. As part of our strategy 2021-2025, PBI Kenya supports HRDs to sustain or improve their emotional, mental, spiritual, and psychosocial wellbeing.
In the last quarter of 2021, we organized psychosocial support for different groups of human rights defenders: the WHRD Toolkit Organisers, HRDs from the Social Justice Centres who had been under extraordinary risk or stress in the past period, (supported with German Federal Foreign Office's funds by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), zivik Funding Programme), and to a mixed group of HRDs, many of them who were very instrumental in the earlier years of PBI work in Kenya.
The aim of this psychosocial support was to ensure that the HRDs were able to re-energize, improve their support to each other, re-strategize and address primary and secondary trauma. Within the safe space that was created by the psychosocial consultants, participants shared personal experiences that led to the beginning of a healing process.