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Forum for Women in Development, Democracy and Justice ( FODDAJ) Programme Director, Nancy Sitima during a training session in Ajam in Kajiado East. Photo Obegi Malack.

Forum educates communities on gender based violence in emergency situations

Community Based Organization, Forum for Women in Development, Democracy and Justice (FODDAJ) with sponsorship from International Rescue Committee held successful Trainings and Public forums to educate women on gender-based violence, emergency response and preparedness.

Hundreds of women and men from three of Kajiado County’s Sub Counties – Kajiado West, Kajiado North and Kajiado East – benefitted from the programme aimed at enhancing the local community’s capacity  to develop an effective and responsive emergency response system on gender based related violence.

FODDAJ Programmes Director, Nancy Sitima said the training, outreach and advocacy programme on gender based violence emergency response and preparedness, addressed challenges faced by women, girls and vulnerable persons in conflict and emergencies. These emergencies such as fires, floods, drought and ethnic conflicts that cause mass displacement of population expose women, girls and vulnerable groups to life threatening, physical and psychological violence. The programme seeks to prepare communities well in advance, to plan and equip themselves with knowledge and tools for effective response to Gender related violence in emergency situations.

Speaking during the forum attended by NGOs, CBOs, Children’s Homes and Rescue Centre representatives at Ajam Centre, Kajiado East Constituency, Sitima  who was also the key speaker said many development actors and policy makers in the County do not view violence against women, girls and children during emergencies as an issue that warrants urgent response.

She said communities and service providers should be prepared and equipped with information and tools on how they can strengthen their GBVs response mechanisms at the lowest level of community structures to protect women, girls and children from harm.

“The Government should allocate more funds to projects that benefit women, girls and vulnerable groups; they are more vulnerable and they need more support from Government,” she said.
The participants were trained on how to research, report data and use social media technology in reporting cases of GBV. The forums will improve knowledge in GBV and improve service delivery which will lead to reduction of such cases in Kajiado County.

The participants of the Trainings developed a referral system to help in effective coordination of Health, psycho-social and protection services among service providers. The referral system was also disseminated to the community to help the community as well as the survivor of Gender Based Violence safely navigate her way through the system to access timely and appropriate services.

The CBO had also trained hospital care workers from Ngong Hospital, Ajam Health Center and Ongata Rongai Hospital. All the trainings are sponsored by International Rescue Committee.
In the last Public Education Forum in Kisamis, Kajiado West Sub County, women were sensitized on how to respond to cases of GBV such as defilement and rape. They were called on to report to hospital and seek, life saving medical attention even before reporting to law enforcers.
On timeliness of health services for sexual violence and rape survivors, the following medication should be administered at a health facility:
–  PEP before 72 hours
– Emergency Contraceptive before
120 hours
–  Vaginal Examination before two weeks
–  Hep B vaccine before five weeks.
–  STI Testing and Treatment – Always
–  Tetanus Shot and General Physical
Examination always.

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