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Social justice and peace for marginalized women in Kenya

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

Sr. Josephine, right, helps one of the women make a bangle bracelet during one of the training sessions Image courtesy of Global Sisters Report (GSR).

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Sr. Josephine began her project social justice project, Women Peacemakers with Alternative Livelihood, after recognizing the need to empower women in Kenya in dealing with social justice issues like violence, income setbacks, poverty and healthcare.

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Sr. Josephine Muthoni Kwenga an SLDI graduate of the Administration track in 2015, is a sister who has successfully used her skills and networks to lead an innovative social justice project, take up leadership roles and collaborate with partners.

In her role at the Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) of the Association for Sisterhoods in Kenya (AOSK), Sr. Josephine recognized a need to empower women in both rural and urban settings. After completing SLDI, Sr. Josephine wrote a grant proposal to begin her social justice project titled Women Peacemakers with Alternative Livelihood and was awarded in $12,832 in funding from Mensen met en Missie. She also raised $987 for her project through local donations. The project seeks to empower poor women facing social injustices in a slum in Nairobi as well as women in a rural area in Mwala-Machakos County. Some of the project activities include:

  • Empowering women to overcome social injustice through economic capacity building activities such as bead work, crocheting, sustainable farming of drought resistant fruits trees, and chicken rearing.
  • Peace building initiatives with tools such as peace circles to influence individual families and communities to reduce cases of domestic and ethnic violence.
  • Gender empowerment of marginalized women including individuals living in extreme poverty and living with HIV/AIDS (infected or affected).
  • Collaboration for social justice and peace with Catholic Diocese of Nakuni to implement the project.

Notably, Sr. Josephine’s accomplishments extend beyond the scope of her project. She has taken up leadership roles in developing a strategic plan for AOSK, and was appointed as a member of the provincial council.

When asked about the skills she gained through the SLDI program, Sr. Josephine humbly commented:

“Among all what I learnt, I treasure grant writing because I have improved my skills.” 

Continue reading about the Justice and Peace commission in the GSR article, If you can train for war, you can also train for peace.

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This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

End poverty in all its forms everywhere Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all Reduce inequality within and among countries Sustainable Cities and Communities Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

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