REINVENT showcases SGBV and interfaith work to King and Queen
Mombasa, 3 November 2023
The King today met over 20 faith leaders under the umbrella of the Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics (CICC) at the ACK Memorial Cathedral in Mombasa, to discuss the importance of interfaith dialogue in contributing to community security and cohesion in the county.
Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and African Traditional Religious faith leaders gathered to address the King and explain the positive impact of the UK-funded REINVENT programme in the coastal region, where religion continues to be central to community practise and tradition.
The faith leaders briefed the King on their involvement in mediating politically instigated disputes arising from hotly contested county governor, parliamentary, and county assembly representative elections held in August 2022. The King met with Rev. Dr. Alphonse Baya, Bishop Anglican Diocese of Mombasa, Rev. Dr. Stephen Anyenda CEO of CICC, Mr. Kishorilal Chaganlal Shah from the Hindu Community, Sheikh Zeinudin Ali Mohammed from the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, and Elder Emmanuel Chengo from the African Traditional Religions, among others. They discussed their contribution to enabling and sustaining interfaith relations among communities of different faiths in Mombasa.
The visit by the King today has reinvigorated our resolve as REINVENT to continue supporting the interfaith-based approaches by the faith leaders to deliver locally made solutions to local challenges of community safety and security across the county of Mombasa and beyond.
– Jaki Mbogo, Chief of Party REINVENT Programme
We are so grateful to the King for coming to understand and experience the work that faith leaders are involved in to improve the safety and cohesion of the community in Mombasa and the larger coastal Kenya. We are thankful to His Majesty’s Government for enabling faith leaders to leverage their elevated position in our communities to foster peaceful coexistence, through the REINVENT programme.
– Rev Dr. Stephen Anyenda – CEO of CICC
The Queen this morning visited the Mombasa County Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Situation Room – an innovative survivor-centred initiative that is supporting to prevent and improve response to SGBV in the Coast of Kenya – to learn how the UK-funded REINVENT Programme is supporting survivors of SGBV in Mombasa County and across the coastal region recover with dignity.
The Situation Room administers a toll-free line that survivors can either call or text to report cases of SGBV where well trained female volunteers with the capacity to handle SGBV matters play multiple roles in response: receiving calls and attending to the survivors or persons reporting on behalf of survivors; linking the survivors to appropriate support services such as health services; and walking the survivors through the access to justice pathway.
TAfter touring the counselling facilities, Her Majesty met call handlers who work to keep the centre’s 24/7 hotline operational. She also saw a demonstration of children’s art therapy with Counsellor Nasra Abdulrazak, which is being used to help bring perpetrators to justice. The Queen also met survivors taking part in a psycho-social therapy session, who spoke of the impact of the Situation Room’s support on their recovery and wellbeing.
The Queen’s visit allowed us to show the impact of our partnerships in tackling sexual and gender-based violence. We demonstrated to the Queen how our partnership with the County Government of Mombasa and women-led grassroot organisations such as Sauti Ya Wanawake Pwani have revolutionised response and prevention of SGBV. This includes that the County Government of Mombasa now has a Sexual and Gender Based Violence Prevention Law, which we anticipate will help unlock funding for interventions.
– Jaki Mbogo, Chief of Party REINVENT Programme
We are very pleased by the Queen’s visit to the Situation Room, which has helped to shine a light on the scale of sexual and gender-based violence in Mombasa and the coastal counties. The work we are doing is helping transform the lives of survivors and we are grateful of the UK’s ongoing support. The resolve of the County Government of Mombasa and our partners to tackle SGBV in our county remains steadfast.
– Esther Ingolo, Director Gender, County Government of Mombasa
REINVENT Peacebuilding Impact
To amplify contribution of peacebuilding sectors in sustainable development, REINVENT engages with institutions from the national level to the county level in situating peace at the heart of social and economic development. REINVENT inspires and works with institutions to address and transform structural conditions that generate conflicts. CICC’s work is one example of REINVENT’s Peacebuilding workstream undertaking campaigns and initiatives to advance peaceful coexistence among communities, particularly during political elections.
REINVENT has been instrumental during mediation between political parties, political leaders, and security sector agencies in relation to political processes. REINVENT works with County Security and Intelligence Committees (CSIC), which act as the fulcrum of peace and security operations, among state, non-state, and security actors. REINVENT provides technical advice, builds capacities, develops community-generated agendas, and negotiates the inclusion of community/stakeholders in CSIC forums. The stability provided by the peacebuilding agenda has reinforced the country’s strategic position for investments and growth.
Throughout the programme, REINVENT has:
- Provided technical and financial support to 12 CSICs, as well as providing support for Early Warning and Early Response action to tensions, across 12 counties.
- Assisted in a 64% reduction in instances of politically motivated public disorder between January and September 2022 election year, compared to the same period in the 2017 election year.
- Contributed to a 15% increase in household feelings of safety in target counties over a 2-year period, up to 78% from 63%.
- Through its peacebuilding initiatives, contributed to the peace truce between Pokomo and Somalis that addressed inter-communal conflict in the region.
- Seen a 24% reduction in communal violence and 11% reduction in criminal violence in two years across REINVENT’s regions.
REINVENT tackling SGBV
REINVENT implements gender justice interventions, structured dialogues and advocacy solutions that tackle VAWG and SGBV prevalence and manifestation. We advance initiatives with local partners, security sector agencies, and key Government Institutions to develop, strengthen and deliver Gender responsive security management approaches that improve the agency and voice of women and girls.
The structural exclusion of women from leadership roles undermines their participation in peace, security, and development. We are committed to centering gender into Kenya’s peace and security agenda, and enhancing prevention and response to all forms of VAWG. REINVENT is partnered with Sauti Ya Wanawake Pwani (SYWP – “Voice of Women at the Coast”) to provide women and girls with a voice, power, and agency to mitigate VAWG and enhance access to comprehensive response mechanisms for effective response to SGBV survivors.
Over the course of the programme, REINVENT has:
- Identified, trained, and supported 369 Gender Justice Champions, in at least 11 counties. These include CSO leaders, religious leaders, and social workers.
- Supported over 20 Government proposals and initiatives on gender equity and VAWG prevention throughout REINVENT’s target counties.
- Developed Gender Sector Technical Working Groups that engage state and non-state actors to provide coordination and harmonisation of practice across gender leaders.
- Encouraged a shift in public perceptions of gender-based concerns related to security. 68% of households in REINVENT counties believe women’s views are represented in safety and security matters, up from 51% in 2019.
- 78% of women report women are adequately involved in community-level discussions about safety and security, up from 49% in 2019.
About the Situation Room
The Situation Room was pioneered in May 2020 by the County Government of Mombasa through the County SGBV Technical Working Group, in partnership with local organisations including Sauti Ya Wanawake, Action Aid International Kenya, Federation of Women Lawyers, and Muslims for Human Rights. In the three years since inception, the Situation Room has handled over 6800 calls and supported over 1300 SGBV survivors. This includes providing survivors with dignity kits, referrals to GBV services, the provision of psycho-social support, community sensitisation and awareness, legal aid and advice, case follow-up in court, family tracing and re-integration, mediation, and reconciliation.
Over 1300 SGBV survivors have reported SGBV cases to the Situation Room and have been supported in various ways to experience the much-needed dignified recovery process. The Situation Room has supported case follow up processes, leading to at least 6 successful court rulings on cases of SGBV. The data and trends generated on SGBV has in turn helped local organisations and actors to lobby for SGBV policy formulation in Mombasa County. The policy is expected to unlock funding by the County Government towards SGBV prevention and response interventions.