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  • Writer's pictureWREPA youth


Michelle Otiato

The meeting was held on the 30th of November at pinecone hotel in Kisumu at it was a hybrid training on SRHR and safeguarding. FEMNET is aware of how crucial media advocacy is in changing social norms and attitudes, and we hope that this Manual will be a helpful tool in reshaping narratives about women's bodily integrity and autonomy and advancing their dignity. The session objectives were to recognize the meaning of safeguarding communities where civil society organizations were sent to. Their objectives were, to understand the need for safeguarding and historical context, to review the legal framework that supports safeguarding in Kenya and the consideration of the root causes of safeguarding issues, particularly around power and abuse of power.

They discussed on the harms and abuse caused by civil society organizations. They were categorized as neglect, physical harm or sexual abuse. There were cases reported where for example the UN where its officials manipulated and took advantage of the poor villages by offering a carton of milk for a sexual activity. The same people sent to protect them were the ones who brought the people more harm.

Cases of young girls getting impregnated by UN soldiers sent to guard them in times of internal wars and crisis and the young girls being left fatherless when wars in their countries have been calmed. This increased more burden to their families in terms of, the girls may be forced to drop out to provide for their children and their children were in the dangers of being outcasted due to their skin colors. They said that sexual harassment is a continuum of unacceptable and unwelcome behaviours and practices of a sexual nature that may include, but are not limited to, sexual suggestions or demands, requests for sexual favors and sexual, verbal or physical conduct or gestures, that are or might reasonably be perceived as offensive or humiliating. With FEMNET, they had safeguarding statements which its

objectives were;

1. Controlling the things within our control so children can be safe

2. Ensuring that its staff and representatives never use their position of power to exploit or

victimize children

3. A way of raising awareness and responding appropriately to risks

4. Cases of abuse are investigated internally and reported to state agencies if required

They also talked on training and awareness to its officials so cases of gender-based violence and other abuse cases so that when they are sent to missions. FEMNET develops partnerships with other organizations who are committed to the same mission of safeguarding to develop their work and extend global reach and they also undergo the internal diligence process of the org which includes safeguarding

measures. They also talked on the measures to be taken before hiring an official so that they get the appropriate people to safeguard and protect when sent to missions. This is to avoid abuse cases. The selections were to go through four stages before being selected which were, the recruitment stage, pre-employment stage, selection stage and induction and onboarding stage.

Organizations should conduct activities to raise awareness among their staff, volunteers’ beneficiaries and local communities on safeguarding. And to also teach communities in reporting and responding to abuse for quick actions and also as a form of partnering with the org in their communities to improve

protection and safeguarding

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