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GOH Held First Sexual Assault Awareness Workshop in Kenya 2016/11/28
Group photo of Workshop on Sexual Assault Awareness held by GOH and COMIDO.

The Garden of Hope Foundation (GOH) and Compassion and Mercy Integrated Development Organization (COMIDO) held a Workshop on Sexual Assault Awareness for Children in Mukuru on November 4. It was the first workshop talking about this issue in Mukuru, which has trained 34 teachers from different schools how to aware and react with sexual violence issues toward children. .

The workshop included a series of teacher training classes, a demonstrative teaching class to the children, and a talk in the Parents’ Day. It targeted audiences from schools and household – those who are in the front line of children protection. It aimed to improve the early discovery of sexual violence toward children by raising the awareness of this difficult and usually-hidden topic. Teachers have learnt how to teach their students in all ages to protect themselves in daily life; parents have learnt how to discover, react, and support their children when any issue happens. The participants had a lively discussion on the topic and put their experience and problem on the table.

One parents during the meeting indicated that “We need to know how to deal with this issue; we need to know how to communicate with our children”, and a teacher in COMIDO said: “It was very good to attend this workshop, because it truly happens, and we could hardly do anything about it. We should try to talk about this issue to the children.”

Sexual assault is a serious problem in Kenya. According to the national survey in UNICEF The Kenya Violence Against Children Study (Kenya VACS) in 2010, 32% of females and 18% of males experience sexual violence during childhood. The most common perpetrators of sexual violence for females and males were found to be romantic partners comprising boy 47% and girl 43% respectively. This followed by male and female neighbors, and the percentage are 27% and 21%, respectively. The situation is even more complicated in Mukuru because of its complex condition.

COMIDO is aware of the issue and organized the workshop together with GOH under the latter’s “Kenya Girls Empowerment Project” to share Taiwan’s experience in children protection. During 2012 to 2015, GOH worked with African Leadership in South Africa in the topic of sexual assault awareness. GOH developed the Kenyan project based on the South Africa experience to extend its girls right advocacy in Africa. The project mainly focuses on progress and promoting girls right in Kenya, especially in the township. GOH believes that girls’ value will be well-recognized and hence create a comparatively equal and violence-free world by providing education and advocacy in school and community.

Project coordinator Rebeca Hung mentioned that “Sexual assault happens in the whole world, but it is avoidable”. Taiwan was a very patriarchal society. Sexual assault used to be a shame for the survivor and the family, and was kept as a secret. But after twenty years of education and advocacy, the society has learnt how to understand both survivor and perpetrator, and try to help them in every aspect. GOH hopes its experience in Taiwan can encourage Kenya to find its own way of women and girls’ empowerment. It was the first time that the project took place in Mukuru. It is planned to continue and extend to another level with a more creative, community-oriented content to other regions in Kenya.

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