Day 15: Mpanzi
Mpanzi is a nonprofit organization in Kenya dedicated to promoting development and peace in rural communities. The term Mpanzi is derived from the Kiswahili language and is used to mean planting seeds of hopes and nurturing empowerment. Their strategies for change include community mobilization and organizing, storytelling, public outreach, advocacy, and partnership development.
Mpanzi's Obogima initiative was launched in September 2011 to mobilize three rural villages in Kenya-- Kegochi, Rianyachuba, and Nyamagwa—in order to prevent violence against women and girls. The pilot project focused on three primary forms of violence against women—rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence—and worked to mobilize both men and women within the communities.
Among the projects for the Obogima initiative was a convening of 32 women-to-women storytelling sessions designed to provide awareness about the prevalence of violence against women. Sixty women joined these sessions that provided a safe space for women to discuss the prevalence of violence women that they face in the village, community, and family.
The sessions were designed to break the silence, heal their trauma, build a network, and share strategies about ways that violence can be addressed in the future. The stories gathered are shared through reports, emphasizing the women's agency and capacities, rather than their victimhood.
To learn more about Obogima initiative and other innovative communications campaigns that are working to end violence against women around the world, visit the Communications X-Change.