Education is the key to empowerment. It is only when one is informed and mobilized that change can take place, which is why conducting meetings, trainings and workshops for indigenous and minority groups in East Africa is a vital component of AIWO’s mandate. Indigenous populations in East Africa frequently live in isolated areas and lack the infrastructure to access information easily; therefore we have made it our mission to disseminate relevant information to indigenous communities in our area of operation. Through these sessions, indigenous peoples are able not only to learn more about topics such as environmental conservation, human rights and HIV/AIDS, but they are also able to make connections with other community members and organizations, to network and work together to find solutions to the challenges they face. These are a few of the workshops, trainings and meetings that AIWO has recently conducted.
International Women’s Day as awareness for current issues affecting women
AIWO organizes annual International Women’s Day events in Kenya. Each year on March 8, AIWO endeavors to celebrate this day in a different area of Kenya in order to bring information and awareness to different communities on that day.
Women’s Rights and Conflict Resolution
Resource Mobilization Workshop
HIV/AIDS Training for Women
With the support of MADRE, IIN has been conducting HIV/AIDS training workshops with pastoralist women since 2004 to date. Trainings have already taken place with women from Samburu, Marsabit, Isiolo and Kajiado in Kenya. These trainings are done to assess the level of HIV/AIDS awareness in indigenous communities, to work with women to spread awareness, and to find strategies to fight HIV in their communities. During the trainings, women share their experiences of how certain traditional practices such as FGM and polygamy can further the spread of HIV, and how to opt out of these practices if they so choose. The women attend lectures by HIV/AIDS specialists, learn about the symptoms of HIV/AIDS and how it spreads, and work in groups to come up with recommendations for further action. Educating women about HIV/AIDS can help empower them to take action against this health crisis.
Human Rights Training for Women
Along with our sister organization MADRE, AIWO has helped conduct human rights trainings for women in Kenya. Since 2005 to date trainings have taken place in Archer’s Post, Samburu; Logologo, Marsabit; and Namayiana and Oloshooibor, Kajiado. Many pastoralist women live in cultures that traditionally do not respect the human rights of women. They do not have the right to own property or to make decisions independently of their husbands, and are unaware of their rights to bodily integrity and self-determination. These trainings were conducted in order to create awareness on human rights and to give women and children a voice. They focused on education about international instruments such as the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Training on access and maintaining traditional and natural water sources