What is the problem?
More often than not, gains made by survivors while at the Shelter are always at risk when they get back to the community, this must be safeguarded before these women relapse and get back to harmful relationships or even ingress into sex industry to fend for their families.
Following the impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the safe spaces and opportunities for women and girls, and even the male gender, especially the vulnerable ones are fast decreasing, and threatening their survival and this makes our beneficiaries not an exception! Putting them at high risk of continued or new forms of violence and exploitation. This needs to be mitigated and must be stopped.
It’s from this culture that we designed the Jijenge Transition Program. Jijenge is Swahili for “Build yourself up”. This project is created in order to prevent them from leaving the shelter, psychologically and emotionally fit but economically inadequate which would heighten the risk of going back to harmful relationships or being taken advantage of.
How will this project solve the problem?
When this Jijenge project started almost one year ago, little did we know this was it. That our beneficiaries; women survivors of gender based violence, after getting this support as they are getting back to the community would help sustain the change and impact of our work, avoiding them to relapse back to abuse and exploitation. The idea of empowerment directed at vulnerable and socially excluded domestic and sexual violence survivors is ideal as it will help women to regain control of their lives and instill in them motivation to reclaim their position in the community.
The project will support livelihoods improvement for individual women and their collectives through small seed grants, business advisory services, better access to markets, livelihoods and personal initiative skills, and innovations. Noted from our 5 women who have benefited from the Jijenge project, AAH confirms that women, who realize improved livelihoods opportunities, have a greater voice and better decision-making power.
The support will include 3 months’ rent, house basic equipment, and seed capital for their business or for vocational skills training depending on an individual’s interest and capability. Our AAH staff will continue mentoring the women for both personal and business development beyond the shelter life.
Please hear their voice from me. We need you, we need your support, we need the people who believe in the same values to join us, and donate towards this noble solution for these women. Your support is equal to these women’s empowerment, it is equal to their voice.
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Following the rise of cases of the COVID-19 virus in Kenya, Agatha Amani House resolved to build mandatory quarantine rooms as one of our preventative measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to enable continued recruitment of new survivors in view of the increase in violence cases during the pandemic. Part of the new house will also be used to house our volunteers and interns who are an important aspect of the shelter's operation.