Women leaders from around the world converge in the Philippines to explore Women’s New Leadership Culture in promoting sustainable peace and development. In her speech, GPW Chair lady, Dr. Junsook Moon highlights the importance of promoting women in their unique roles to advance models of trans-formative leadership and shares Kenya’s mentor-ship program for vulnerable girls in high school as a best practice to promoting women’s contribution to healthy societies. Watch Video
For almost an year now, GPW in partnership with Peace Ambassadors Kenya (PAK) has been working with teenage girls from St. Thaddeus Secondary School. A school formed under the umbrella of St. Thaddeus Child Care Society to provide formal education to children from vulnerable families. The school is strategically located in Komarock Estate, a middle income residential flanked by an informal settlement called Kayole. Most of the students here come from Kayole mostly associated with the poor and less fortunate. The warm smile on their faces hides the misery and hostility they go through in their everyday life. Most of them if not all, have been victims of rape and gender based violence as well as other negative traditional practices.
The introduction of the GPW mentorship program in the school was a source of hope and inspiration to over 40 girls. Helping them to understand themselves better and appreciate their unique inborn values in order for them to lead successful lives. GPW Kenya has so far facilitated several monthly forums in the school. The result on the girls is encouraging, most of them can talk freely with a lot of courage, give their own opinion on emerging issues and even seek advise where necessary.
The mentors on the other hand give their full support to girls. Their commitment to the program encourages the girls to actively participate in all our activities.
Every year on 8th March, the world celebrates the achievements realized on women empowerment and gender equality during the UN International Day of Women. This year, the celebrations were held under the theme, Pledge for Parity to mobilize stakeholders to contribute towards helping women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference and develop more inclusive and flexible cultures.
In line with this, on 5th March, 2016 Global Peace Women Kenya in collaboration with St. Thaddeus Child Care Society marked the International Day of Women with 50 women and 40 high school girls in Komarock slums in an event that attracted the participation of mentors from Mount Kenya University (MKU), the Global Education Fund and Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK).
The event engaged women in discussions on their role in peacebuilding and development from the family level to the community level highlighting their feminine values as a strength in contributing to social transformation. In her remarks, Ms Joyce Nyaruai from the Association of Media Women in Kenya challenged the women to take up more leadership roles in their communities.
“The Kenyan constitution acknowledges the need for gender parity and gives room for women involvement in leadership. It is now upon us to embrace this opportunities and support each other to remain effective in our positions of leadership”- Ms. Joyce Nyaruai, Communications Officer, Association of Media Women in Kenya.
High school girls had an open forum with mentors to discuss issues affecting them. Among the topics discussed include: career choices, adolescence, self-esteem, reproductive health, & relationships.
“I have never taken part in a mentorship session before so today has been a very good learning experience for me. I have learnt to base my choices on values and beliefs rather than what my peers are doing or what seems fashionable. I hope we can have more of these talks” concludes Elizabeth a form 2 student at St. Thaddeus School
Participants received donations of food, sanitary towels among other toiletries as gifts from the Global Peace Women International office and the Chandaria Foundation.
In the week of 1st August, 2015, GPF Kenya hosted the International Secretary General of Global Peace Women (GPW), Dr. Soonok Kang who was visiting to establish a foundation for GPW programs in Kenya. During her visit, Dr. Kang held various meetings accompanied by the GPW Kenya Coordinator Ms. Misco Mungai including courtesy calls with Dr. Ida Odinga, Dr. & Mrs Aruna Chandaria, National Assembly Lady Spouses Association, Kenya Women & Children Wellness Center (KWCWC), World Vision among others. The aim of the meetings was to establish partnerships to implement GPW program in Kenya.
GPW, a division of Global Peace Foundation is promoting healthy families as well as the extended family model as a foundation for world peace. In Kenya, the program is launching a mentorship program for vulnerable young mothers living in the slums of Kayole in Nairobi and parenting education for women groups working with other GPF programs. In the meetings, Dr. Kang shared the overall goal of GPW to promote the innate value of women and their leadership role from the home for social transformation.
“We cannot achieve world peace by enforcing laws only. For peace to be sustainable, it must begin from the home. We must therefore promote universal values from the family level and empower women to be good role models to their children and spearhead social transformation” she reiterates.
Mrs. Sunita Nathoo, Executive Director at Kenya Women & Children Wellness Centre expressed interest in the values-based approach used by GPW in implementing its programs. She emphasised the need to empower families which is the most important institution in a society. Dr. Manu Chandaria, Patron GPF emphasised the need to empower women with relevant skills and education to manage their homes and take up leadership positions in the society. “As we push for the 2/3 gender rule in our parliament today, we must also ensure that the women taking up those positions have the capacity to lead and be good role models for other aspirants” he reiterated.
GPW Kenya and Kenya Women & Children Wellness Centre agreed to establish a partnership to provide health education to the young women in Kayole as well as values-based education to the groups working under KWCWC. Follow up meetings will be initiated to firm up the partnership.
…an innovative values-based approach to peace building guided by the vision that all humankind belong to One Family