Kenia Voluntary Service Organisation (KVSO) was recently at the validation workshop for the Maputo protocol. The workshop was organised by East African Civil Society Forum (EASCOF). The workshop was held at Kenya Comfort hotel as part of knowledge gathering and sharing   as well as building networks.

KVSO was founded to give an opportunity to all those who want to explore the enriching field of volunteering. Our mission is to promote peace, intercultural exchange and sustainable development through volunteerism. We truly believe that each person has something to bring in the process of sharing, discovering and promoting cultures.

The East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum (EACSOF) Kenya Chapter is a membership Non Governmental Organization that was formed in 2013 and registered in 2014. It is an autonomous umbrella body for civil society organisations operating in Kenya whose primary Mission is to provide a platform and catalyse a critical mass of organized civil society to engage in need-driven, people-centred East Africa integration and cooperation process effectively and proactively for equitable and sustainable development.This workshop sought to take the participants through the Girls Alliance Advocacy Programme.

A raft of issues were discussed. Among these issues were:

An overview of the Girls Advocacy Alliance programme. It was mentioned that the ultimate goals of the programme is to  use M&E mechanisms to the fullfilment of girl child  priorities and rights  as well as ensure that government comply to ratified tools. Furthermore, it was stated that the partners of the programme are Plan Girl First, Defense for children the Netherlands. Plan is supporting the Federation of African Women Educationists (FAWE) which is supporting EASCOF,MEMPROW and YSND. The programme, is taking place in 10 countries globally. The programme seeks to capacity build CSOs on key policy documents such as the Maputo Protocol. Another goal is to lobby and advocate for increased support and improved policies. The focus areas include: Child marriage, Commercial sexual exploitation, Female Genital Mutilation, sexual violence and abuse and economic exclusion.

EACSOF Kenya in collaboration with other actors will build capacity of these CSOs and their members in order to effectively and meaningfully engage the relevant actors in policy dialogues that would promote the prevention of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and promotion of Economic Empowerment (EE) of young women and girls.

The session on the  Maputo protocol highlighted the  successes and challenges in its implementation in the continent. It was pointed out Botswana is a good example of a state that have enshrined Women and girls rights in their constitution and are implementing it. This is despite not being a signatory to the protocol.

Written by Albert Migowa – KVSO Development manager