By Sylvia Wakhisi Sat 03rd Jun 2017
Easter Elliene Kojwang is a young and innovative social entrepreneur who received business training and coaching by Pamoja. Happy to share her success story.
I started my business with peanuts from grandma
By Sylvia Wakhisi Sat 03rd Jun 2017
Radio interview with Pamoja staff on "disco funerals" and preventing gender-based violence in Kilifi
During mourning period the Mijikenda community organizes so-called “Disco Funerals” whereby community members including children and youth congregate at the home of the deceased for several days. The “disco funerals” increased the opportunities to meet and engage in (risky) sexual activities. Because many adolescents are having unprotected, transactional, or coerced sex at these occasions, "disco funerals" contribute to the high HIV prevalence among youth, early pregnancies, and early marriages.
The radio interview (in Swahili) captured our Pamoja staff, teachers and local administrators-chiefs sharing different perspectives, both challenges and solutions to the problem.
Link to the radio interview
Armstrong Mwangala Mwaveka was the leader of the “boda boda” taxi drivers - a crime-associated activity - and now serves as one of Pamoja’s Voluntary Safety Coordinators to help prevent violence against women and girls in Kilifi.
Armstrong Mwangala Mwaveka is 48 years old and the leader of the motorcycle taxi drivers, the so called “boda boda riders” in Mtwapa, Kilifi County. Boda boda business in Kenya is known for being associated with crime and gang activities. For example, young school girls are forced by boda body drivers into sexual intercourse in exchange for the transport services.
Armstrong was often confronted with cases of rape, domestic violence and early marriages, cutting across his own group members as either victims or perpetrators. Despite his strong influence over the boda boda in Mtawapa, Armstrong felt helpless, since he did not have the prerequisite knowledge, skills and linkages to enable him intervene to the needy cases.
“It is incredible how much things have changed through Pamoja’s program.
ARMSTRONG ON THE PROGRAM IMPACT:
Changed attitudes and behavior towards violence
“I acquired knowledge and skills to respond non-violently to conflicts. Pamoja’s trainings transformed my interaction with my children, wife and community.”
Improved collaboration with the police
“Thanks to Pamoja’s forums, which bring together community leaders and state actors, I have direct contacts with the police. I now can effectively refer cases for response and make follow-ups too.”
Effective victim support services
“Previously, I have received 1-3 cases of violence in a day with minimal success in finding a solution. Now I interact with up to 10 cases a day. Many of them are resolved successfully thanks to my new networks.
Our Program to prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) kicked off with a number of activities:
Thanks to the donation of Football Is More Foundation (FIM) and the FC Vaduz in Liechtenstein we were able to support the school girl soccer team of Nyasanda Community High School in Siaya County with two sets of games uniforms. The team qualified for the county level soccer tournament, but risked being locked out of participation due to lack of standard games attires. Due to the donation of FIM, the FC Vaduz and the contributions of the local community the girl's team is able to participate in the tournament... go girls go!
Pamoja staff participated in international Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) course
Pamoja's Programm Coordinator Paul Odumbe participated in a 10-day International Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) training course held at International Peace Support and Training Centre-Kenya from May 30th to June10th, 2016.
The course brought together the law enforcement agencies and civilians with missions and experience on national security areas from 13 countries around the world.
It was a great learning and networking opportunity for our staff!
Business Growth and Management Training successfully commenced yesterday. A team of 20 participants from eight women and youth groups attended the sessions covering among others; Entrepreneurship and Business, Self employment and Business Ideas and the Business Model Canvas. The training aims to address the various business gaps identified from the mentorship and coaching sessions.
Pamoja remains committed to various efforts aimed at realizing peaceful and just societies free from poverty. In the month of April, Pamoja in partnership with the Nansen Centre for Peace and Dialogue carried out two major trainings on Dialogue in Multicultural Communities. The trainings were held in recognition of the critical need for sustainable capacities for conflict transformation in the multicultural communities in Kenya.
The dialogue model is tailor made for peace practitioners, organizations implementing peace programs and individuals involved in conflict transformation. The TOT training was held in Nairobi between 5th – 8th April, 2016 at Tumaini Retreat Centre and the basic training in Mombasa from 11th -13th April 2016 at Darajani Hotel. 17 organizations participated in the TOT training and another 24 individuals attended the basic training in Mombasa.
Between January and September 2015, Pamoja's microfinance program trained over 180 persons in business and life skills and invested in 12 small enterprises with great potential for growth, such as running local retail shops, production, restaurants, tailoring, dress making, IT services and other assorted trades and services.
The project was a great success beyond Pamoja’s expectations and exceeded the desired goals. It attracted a lot of interest and enjoys goodwill and appreciation from the local communities, local institutions, and governmental offices for its unique approach of combining loans with diverse training and intensive participatory mentorship and coaching.
Multiplying social impact: Once a loan is repaid, we lend to another small enterprise, multiplying the social impact of the donation.