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Kenya: Building of a town where women and children can live without fear

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The safety of women and children is threatened in the Mathare area of Kenya. Women and children are vulnerable to constant disputes caused by crimes and tribal conflicts. Therefore, anti-crime patrolling parties are working in order to protect their safety.

Training for anti-crime patrolling parties

The JCCP focuses on gender-based violence (GBV), in which women and children often suffer, and are strengthening their measures against it. The form of violence varies, including both sexual assaults and sexual abuse. The JCCP provided an advanced training on GBV to 41 members of anti-crime patrolling parties that were organized by local residents in July 2014.

All of the members remembered well what they had learned in the previous basic training on GBV, including how to spot GBV and how GBV happens. They also shared how beneficial this knowledge was to their daily anti-crime activities, reflecting on actual experiences.

In this advanced training, they gained knowledge of the effective measures to stop GBV, especially through adopting the perspective of conflict prevention. Although the measures against GBV tend to be ex-post facto, it is hoped that the activities to prevent GBV are to be strengthened.

Increasing public awareness of crime prevention

In reality, in order to prevent gender-based violence (GBV), it is important that people see the risk of GBV in advance and learn to take preventative actions to avoid becoming involved themselves. In the Mathare area, JCCP has distributed 200 maps of high-risk locations and publicized the actions to avoid crimes widely. The importance of community cooperation to prevent GBV was repeatedly advocated through traditional African dances and performances, marches and speeches by peace ambassadors from various areas. Since men’s understanding and cooperation is essential to combatting GBV, it is crucial to deliver the message to more of the community. It seemed that a simple call to “Join Hands and Say No to GBV” really resonated with about 500 residents.