Kenya: Womankind Kenya
Womankind Kenya is a community-based women’s organization of Somali pastoralists working in the Garissa region of Northeastern Kenya. Founded in 1989, Womankind Kenya works to support women in pastoralist communities while improving access to education, providing water and sanitation, and promoting agriculture and sustainability.
Emergency Famine Relief:
In 2011, Northeastern Kenya was devastated by a drought that swept across the Horn of Africa. Hunger forced families to flee their homes in search of food and created an urgent need for humanitarian aid and medical assistance.
Womankind Kenya, in partnership with MADRE, provides emergency food aid and medical assistance to women and families. Womankind Kenya has provided thousands of at-risk families with water, maize, beans, cooking oil and calorie-dense food to combat severe malnutrition.
As a local organization, Womankind Kenya is able to identify trusted community leaders to facilitate food distribution. They are also able to identify the most pressing needs and direct help to the most vulnerable people.
Mobile Health Units:
Families living in the remote regions of Garissa have been historically underserved. They continue to be deprived of regular access to hospitals and quality health care.
Womankind Kenya will launch mobile health units to provide primary health care, family planning and HIV prevention services.
The mobile health units will meet urgent needs while providing preventative measures such as disease screening, immunization and health education.
Counseling for Sexual Violence Survivors:
The threat of sexual violence has risen sharply this year as drought forces women and girls to trek longer distances in search of water and firewood. As families grow more desperate for food, more women are forced to exchange sex to feed themselves and their children. They are exposed to life-threatening violence and health risks like HIV/AIDS.
Womankind Kenya is a lifeline for rape survivors. They provide immediate medical and psychological care women need to recover from sexual abuse and rape. Counselors from Womankind Kenya also conduct individual and group therapy sessions.
Women displaced by drought and famine are isolated and vulnerable, cut off from the communities of support they might once have had. Womankind Kenya can reach out to these women, breaking through their isolation to offer them a new source of support to lean on.