YW4A Stories of Leadership: Neema’s story

Photo of the author of this article, Neema Nyaundi, who is a young woman leader and YW4A peer educator from Kisii county in Kenya.

Hello everyone. My name Neema Nyaundi, from Kisii County in Kenya.

I come from a patriarchal community (Kisii) in Kenya that records a high prevalence of SGBV cases. According to the National Crime Research Centre (2018), Kisii County reported the highest cases of spousal /intimate partner violence at 92.9%, domestic violence at 64.3% and child defilement at 57.1%.  Most cases in Kisii County go unreported due to political, social-cultural, economic and legal factors.

Through the transformative leadership training offered by YW4A, I founded a community-based organization KICAI (Kisii County All-Inclusive), whose main objective is to ensure young women are informed, organized, and proactive in addressing SGBV. 

The organization has 90 young women who are all attached to different organizations around the county. These young women are either victims of SGBV or are willing to provide support to victims or survivors of SGBV in their community. 

We estimate that 85% of young women in the group have undergone different forms of SGBV.

As a group, we have created a WhatsApp platform which acts as a safe space for us to share personal experiences in regard to SGBV. We follow up on SGBV cases in the community that have not been reported, we hold sensitization meetings on young women’s rights, support young girls to take up leadership positions, have taken part in the development of a Kisii County gender policy.

As a group, we also organize and advocate online to create awareness on SGBV issues and share information and provide advice.

Photo: Young women undergoing Leadership training using the World YWCA RiseUp! Leadership manual in Kisii County, Kenya.