Revv22's Blog

January 28, 2013

The Awakening of the Kenyan Movement

Filed under: Uncategorized — revv22 @ 4:53 am
Tags: , , , ,

Faced with an election campaign period that according to many security reports promises to be violent; the threat of the passing of the anti-homosexuality bill in neighboring Uganda which will see the influx of LGBTI refugees into the country; and an increased visibility prompted by growing debate on sexual and gender minority rights discourse, Kenyan LGBTI activists and organizations are rolling up their sleeves and seemingly taking responsibility for the protection of their constituents all in the absence of a functioning national coordinating body.

Under normal circumstances (read in the presence of a functioning national coalition), emergency response and protection programmes would be fund raised for, and located within it. Organizations would do joint proposals, within their coalitions to get funding for a programme that would cater for the national protection needs of the LGBTI communities. All the implementation would be left to this ambiguous body and even though members would not have a hands on experience in managing the affairs of the project, they would be in a position to rightfully question it, suck it dry like a honey comb and if they aren’t happy with it, kill it and move on to the next issue. Whereas such expensive and wholesomely donor funded projects have been successful to an extent, their sustainability have fallen victim to the same diseases that normally plague coalitions to death:-identity politics, entitlement, power struggles, external interferences, tribalism etc.

ImageHowever, a keener look at the hives of the Kenyan movement will tell that the bees aren’t asleep and are busy setting things up. From social media monitoring on homophobic hate speech, to religious forums, to rights awareness campaigns and trainings on new devolved systems; from health referrals mapping, to short term emergency response and protection systems all geared and motivated by the upcoming elections, there is a buzz of activity which when collaborative, will churn a safety network stronger than any prior coalition body has managed to provide.

 

The processes to secure the future of our movement have already started to organically take shape.

As diseased entities continue rejecting any form of foreign assistance and only lend an ear to the voices that fail to mention their afflictions, like minds are mobilizing around various distinct needs of the community.  As tough love is met with malicious character assassination, members of the community are getting wiser and recognizing crap from fact.  

The Kenyan movement is increasing realizing that it currently exists solely to perform certain important functions for sexual and gender minority populations. Where coalitions have failed to foster a shared vision, organizations are looking internally to their own value systems, experiences and capabilities for guidance on what they can contribute in the face of adversity to validate their existence. The immediate result of this could be the exposure of niche-wars between organizations operating within the same locations and key areas of work and the resultant corporate type competitiveness, but in the end competition would mean a focus better service provision. Something we could all use right about now.

As much as current times may seem dark, there is as scent in the air of freshness and hope. the awakening is at hand.  

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