World Social Forum
During the World Social Forum 2007 in Nairobi, January 2007, Agenda Africa played a major role. First of all, two of our members joined a group of international volunteers to participate in a management workshop, and to join hands in the event’s registration department.
Moreover, five Agenda Africa members attended the event as delegates, and joined a variety of workshops on AIDS prevention, human rights, and reproductive health amongst others. During the five days preparation and five days forum period we were busy performing an extensive diagnosis of our own case and experience, and we educated ourselves on the various solutions and strategies that have been envisioned in those parts of the world that struggle with similar problems. Additionally, we explained our Agenda both nationally and internationally, thereby sending strong signals that our dedication is as serious as the problems we are facing, and that going forward is inevitable.
Agenda Africa did not shun to point out the disadvantages of the Forum as well: For example, the fact that many locals were not well informed on the sense and nonsense of the WSF. Upon asking, one lady proclaimed: “There is a big meeting here at the stadium, where white men and women come to take away our problems, diseases, and bad houses (this is a common term to describe slum constructions here)”. Another one stated: “People have come to arrest those Kenyan leaders who are corrupt”. Yet another opinion: “There is going to be a lot of food from America”. Finally, one woman who we interview stated: “People are there, but I have no idea why they are coming. Maybe they’re playing, because that place is a stadium where our boys play football”. After these findings, we took the initiative to empower Nairobi East, by educating them within a short time on why we are coming together, and what WSF should mean to them and the world. Fortunately this made the communities see the need to attend.
We gained a lot since the WSF empowered us, which in turn allowed us to empower others. The WSF experience remains here, because we were a big part of it. Above all, it allowed us to exchange experiences, and to share knowledge with other organisations. Doing so, we exposed Agenda Africa to various organisations, who then developed an interest in our projects and initiatives.
Since then, we have been more known, and grew tremendously by all the insights we obtained from larger organisations. After that, it has been our turn to pass on this knowledge to other organisations as well, and to make sure that all organisations, large or small, will benefit from this wonderful event.
Youth & Youth
This project was initiated to take care of cases of unplanned pregnancies, early marriages, abortion, HIV/AIDS and peer influence since the consequences of there occurrences were severe on the youth health. So it was initiated to provide information to the young people from the young people through dance, songs, bicycle rally, eating, competition, and playing cards.
Civic awareness campaign for peaceful elections
This project was carried out in the run-up to the 2007 December general elections. Agenda Africa educated the electorate, teaching them how voting was a universal right and very important. We were hoping to make them see how voting is the only way for them to have the leader they desire. Unfortunately, this was a time when the buying of votes by rich politicians was very common. Thanks to Agenda Africa’s efforts, teaching the electorate in seeing the evil and crime in vote buying was largely successful.
Top in our Agenda was also the empty promises made by politicians; promises which of course would never be realised. We combined forces, and sent out strong signals. We managed to mobilise many at the grass roots level to come together and spearhead this move. This effectively and extensively educated the electorate. The local Member of Parliament was confronted with his corrupt deals, and forced to explain his returns from the Constituency Development Fund expenditure. Naturally, he was unable to do this. Nonetheless, we watched him vie for the Kasarani constituency seat, but to our joy he lost at the ballot box and was not re-elected. By the courtesy of the empowered electorate.
Street children and destitute women
Poverty, lack of access to contraceptives, and an information blackout vis-a-vis the slum dwellers made rise to the social challenges currently witnessed. Especially the presence of a high number of street urchins is one of the major contemporary problems. Even with the government’s free primary education initiative we notice with concern that children still go back to the garbage site to meet children of school going age, sleep, live and earn a living the bitter way: In the colds of the street outside. We provided food and clothing, and organise family reunions where there is need. Only when the child accepts to go back home to his or her parents, Agenda Africa tries to reach existing relatives through extensive research, and aims to reunite all parties.
Street life continues from childhood to adult hood. It is a downwards spiral, that has to be stopped by hard and dedicated work. One meets street youths, then street women, and eventually complete street families. Many told us life lost its meaning. Death, street life, and life, are equal. This has to be addressed, and it is Agenda Africa’s mission to do exactly this, and we made it a central theme in many of our past, present, and future projects
This project will return when enough funds will be available. Please continue to watch our Projects site for updates.