The Choir for Hope: Voice of the Violated
This very last week has been a tormenting one for me, several thoughts kept invading my mind especially what I have in store for my needy community and with only a limitation of 700 words I wondered if this would be enough to express the great and burning ideas.
My personal vision as cited earlier is the light that shines in the darkness towards which I turn to find my way. I have a vision to share a lifetime of knowledge about people, community development and viable solutions on social problems with a vast international audience; creating positive impact to everyone, living a life dedicated to integrity, commitment, challenge and joy, striving to be the Social Change Pulse Rate Monitor. I have spoken in various foras and moved masses but I strongly feel that I need to incline my presentations to behaviour change.
To start with let me highlight a few examples of SW Rights which have been violated in my community: arrest by police on basis of mode of dressing, being out during “late hours” and walking in certain areas, resulting in gender based discrimination, police falsely arresting sex workers for purposes of extorting money from them, forced to give bribes on weekly schedule in exchange for freedom, beating and humiliation of SW in the custody by the police, worse still given insufficient food, sleeping on bare floor, forced to perform demeaning “cleaning chores” not forgetting violating body examinations by security guards.Lastly,rape and sexual assault by police in the custody and detainment for weeks to provide sexual and domestic services in the police residences is the order of the day, the Kenyan Government has also failed to ensure access to health services and support to Sex Workers through Peer Education and HIV Prevention thus violating the SW rights as described by the General Comment 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to enjoying highest attainable level of health.
Based on this violation of Sex Workers Rights, I have a mega dream for the self proclaiming SW. This dream will include formation of a SW Choir; the name shall be The Choir of Hope: Voice of the Voiceless, whose objectives shall be: To reduce the number of SW engaged in Sex Work and encourage them to seek alternative livelihoods utilizing locally affordable and available resources e.g. cassette cord for weaving baskets and bottle tops for making table mats. Through music and folk media advocate for the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, these shall be done in national foras eg republic celebrations, Human Rights foras and International Day to End Sexual Violence against Sex Workers commemorated on 17th December, targeting SW nationwide. The target for sensitization is law enforcers: The Judiciary, The Kenya Police, Ministry of Gender and Children Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs-Department of Probation and After Care Services, The Provincial Administration. Through music and folk media advocate for behaviour change among SW, this encompasses reduction in the number of sexual partners, practice safe sex; this shall be done in hot spots. To fight self and social stigma among MARPs and the community at large, currently SW have a big tag of negative labels around them as spreaders of STI and HIV, home breakers, financial pests etc, Manager, TOLIDP, Prevention Program, Narok.
To educate the community on effects of gender based discrimination and gender based violence
I am dying to be a Voices of Our Future Correspondent because it’s a wonderful forum where I interact with like-minded women from whom I get insights and challenged to give back to the community. This is a media that shall help me in linking Sex Workers not only in the vicinity but in the country, secondly it gives me the opportunity for Resource Exchange-I shall utilize this in getting local and international market for the woven baskets and table mats, sourcing for financial support for national SW choir, male and female condoms, means of transport and sourcing of volunteer music instructors. Action Alert comes in handy in the whistle blowing on the violation of Human and Labor Rights of the Sex Workers by calling for action.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Vision.