What we do

 

Problem Statement 

Women and teenage girls from fisher communities residing around Lake Victoria region are living below poverty line. About 21% men, women and children in Homa-bay County are HIV positive. Many homes are child headed as a result of deaths caused by AIDS related diseases and other epidemics affecting the fisher folk. Due to poverty and limited job opportunities around the lake region, communities rely heavily on fishing to earn a living. With the population getting larger everyday and competition becoming fierce, many women are being forced to have sex with fishermen to secure a share of the daily catch. This is commonly referred to as “sex for fish.

Our Goal

The project aims at improving social economic status of women which will directly translate into the growth of households and communities as a whole. To achieve the underlined project activities that are intended to be implemented by WA-WA in collaboration with community and donors, the project will enhance gender relations between people of Homa Bay County with regard to opportunities, access and control over resources. It will also increase access to employment and enhance entrepreneurship among women and teenage girls. Additionally, it will reduce hyacinth pollution.

Main Objective

Promote access to quality health care, Mitigate  the impact of HIV/AIDS, promotion of Human rights, improve linkages with micro finance institutions and environmental improvement through public participation

    Specific Objects

And in furtherance of the principal object, the Organization works in line with  the following ancillary objects and powers:

1. To create awareness and advocate for access and availability of SRH services in the private and public health facilities for the adolescence and young girl and young mothers.

2. Train community members on community environmental conservation methods and strategies.

3 To promote HIV and AIDS awareness and demand creation for uptake of HIV and AIDS services.

4. Link communities to available government resources and micro-finance institutions to boost capital needs for business.

5. Address gender based violence in the community through awareness creation and sensitization of community members on Human Rights.

 

Key intervention includes;

  1. Household economic strengthening; The project seek to expand household economic and income streams as a means to create sustainable livelihoods by enhancing women employability and economic strengthening opportunities through training in key areas such as fishing, fish farming weaving (converting water hyacinth into products) and boat building among others. Household specific assessments are done to determine capacity, interest and skill levels. Strengthening Table Banking concept including different Income Generating Activities (IGAs) is availed to household members guided by individual household interest. Skills and training activities which includes entrepreneurship and marketing is offered to expand women skill levels. The project promotes value addition to fish produce as a means to improve pricing of products from HHs to markets; market linkages to enhance sales; linkages with Microfinance institutions for training and financial support. SMART Skills [Skills for Marketing and Rural Transformation] is emphasized to trigger innovation and promote indigenous technical knowledge, including business initiatives. Private sector partnerships are established to promote market linkages and provide trainings needed by beneficiaries to expand their businesses.

Strengthening the sexual and Reproductive health and rights movements

WA-WA recognizes thatGBV occurs in many forms that affect the sexual and reproductive health of women, including sexual violence, harmful cultural practices and unsafe abortion. WA-WA works at community level to build the capacity of community activist to engage with their communities through dialogue and conversations on the harmful violations around these forms of sexual violence, thus building community based movements. We target men, women, youth, religious leaders, elders, custodians of culture and other decision makers. Using a community change model (SASA) we support community activists to drive change in the gender norms and roles that sustain such practices.

PROPOSED STRATEGIES

WA-WA Kenya is a registered Community Based Organization, and founded with an aim to stop ’sex for fish’ practices by empowering women and teenage girls around Lake Victoria regions to establish an opportunity for them to improve on their livelihoods, seeks to establish a strategic partnership with organizations to improve access to basic, quality education and adolescent development by working towards transformed institutions, laws and communities that respect the rights of children, especially the vulnerable girls in fisher communities in Homa bay County.

 

WA-WA Kenya projects to accomplish this through different strategies that include;

Community conversations led by community activists uses questioning to stimulate critical thinking that leads to change in beliefs & values or practices. The conversation topics link GBV, teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS, aimed at changing the attitude towards women/girls and their SRH. Complementing community activities are at the county and national measures to enhance development /implementation of legislation, policies, guidelines and procedures.  These will reduce the space where violations occur and tolerance is widespread. Thus the project will increase demand for change at community level & increase duty bearer’s capacity and action to complement it.

 

WA -WA Kenya also proposes multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary and multi-level responses to strengthen and support the livelihoods of teenage girls and enhance Caregiver employability and economic strengthening opportunities through training in key areas such as fishing, fish farming and boat building within the fisher communities in Homa bay County. This will be accomplished by utilizing targeted partnerships in working with women and girls.

The project work within 3 priority areas of; (1) Improve Quality of life of women and teenage girls infected and affected by HIV/AIDS by Mitigation of Socio economic impacts; (2) Strengthening county level collaboration and coordination to support advocacy and system strengthening necessary for addressing responsive and effective social justices and (3) Strengthening the sexual and Reproductive health and rights.

 

A woman or adolescent girl who cannot enjoy her reproductive rights, who cannot finish her education and perhaps cannot secure herself a decent job outside her home and cannot chat her economic future is a vulnerable being. We are all gathered here as a community to discuss sex, sexuality, health and rights of women and girls.
We need to increase attention to the health and well being towards adolescent girls and women , we need to include their SRH into play for this is a necessary condition for their success.
It’s high time we recognise the power of young people plus that of the women, the value they bring into decision making table as a full fledged partners, it’s time we recognise that the decision about them cannot be taken without them.
This is something we need to put in action both at the ground and policy level going beyond words and promises.
It’s only then ladies, gentlemen and diverse we can ensure that the most fundamental objective of SDGs is met that no one is left behind.
Solution
  1. Education/ awareness on SRHR
When it comes to ASRHR, it’s still very tied up into the country and this takes time to be changed, but their is a will, their is a will in the government, there is a will in the education system and the programs such as FEMNET are very instrumental in shifting the dynamy because we are in a dynamic world where young people nolonger receive the information but they have to absorb the information, they actually go by themselves in social media to gather the information and share it with their peers. I think this is something we should encourage not only in kenya but in every part of African countries.
So how do we do this?
We have to equip ICT peer clubs in atleast every ward where our girls boys can access the right information about their sex, sexuality, health and rights. It has worked in Rwanda and probably it can work here.
Developing a app or a website full of SRHR information, from this platform, peers can easily ask questions about their SRHR and get the right answers. You and I must agree that information we get from books are never enough, and maybe people who are teaching our youths about these issues are often shying off due to use of vulgar information.
This innovative move must be all inclusive to cater for our friends who are not going to school
At the end of the day, we need to see an empowered, safe and equal woman with assured full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life.