Inua Dada Foundation rolls out advocacy program to amplify youth voices


Inua Dada Founder Janet Mbugua (front left) with participants of the youth advocacy training program ...
Inua Dada Founder Janet Mbugua (front left) with participants of the youth advocacy training program at Trademark Hotel, Nairobi on March 30, 2021. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Inua Dada Foundation has kicked off a youth advocacy program to amplify their voices and equip them with skills to create positive change.

Dubbed the #InuaDadaVoices, the initiative seeks to help the youth learn how to tackle challenges they see in their communities.

“As Inua Dada we seek to support their efforts to address their concerns, especially on matters of Gender Based Violence (GBV). Our advocacy comes at a special time. 26 years since The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995- the most visionary agenda for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere,” said Janet Mbugua, the founder of Inua Dada.

Janet Mbugua, Founder of Inua Dada Foundation, speaks to participants of the advocacy training program on March 30, 2021.
Janet Mbugua, Founder of Inua Dada Foundation, speaks to participants of the advocacy training program on March 30, 2021.

 

According to the media personality who was recently named an international gender champion, with numerous societal issues such as GBV, poverty, period poverty on the rise, there is need for advocates now more than ever.

And as the author of a book on menstruation, My First Time, which highlights personal stories of 50 women and men on a subject that is still deemed to be taboo, Janet is adamant that advocacy plays an important role in addressing and putting an end to societal issues.

 

Participants at the Inua Dada advocacy training program at the Trademark Hotel in Nairobi on March 30, 2021..
Participants at the Inua Dada advocacy training program at the Trademark Hotel in Nairobi on March 30, 2021.

 

“When we advocate for something, we are pointing out a problem, suggesting a solution for making it better, and asking decision makers to take notice, and make changes,” she said.

During the launch of the #InuaDadaVoices program in Nairobi on Tuesday, different participants were trained on how to take a deliberate and non-discriminatory approach aimed at influencing decision makers and holding leaders accountable.

Esther, lead trainer of the Inua Dada advocacy training program for youth.
Esther, lead trainer of the Inua Dada advocacy training program for youth.

 

Eric Guantai, one of the participants, said he registered for the training following the realisation that equal rights are not special rights.

“Gender should not be used as as basis for discrimination, rather a reason for the world to appreciate the magnificence of its uniqueness,” he said.

For Elizabeth Kariuki, the pursuit for advocacy skills is personal because of an experience she encountered.

“If I had a second chance, I would have done everything right to make sure I don’t lose my cousin to depression. I spoke out, I made films, I ran campaigns and walks but the menace still took him out. Though sad, this is a reason to fight even more till the voice is heard and action taken. I will raise my voice again!” she said.

The organisation is seeking to train 250 young advocates by the end of June 2021.

Participants at the Inua Dada advocacy training program at the Trademark Hotel in Nairobi on March 30, 2021.
Participants at the Inua Dada advocacy training program at the Trademark Hotel in Nairobi on March 30, 2021.
Participants taking a break during the Inua Dada advocacy training program at the Trademark Hotel in Nairobi on March 30, 2021.
Participants taking a break during the Inua Dada advocacy training program at the Trademark Hotel in Nairobi on March 30, 2021.

 

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Story By Rachel Ombaka
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