Usikimye is an organization working towards ending the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence (GBV). Usikimye means do not be silent in Swahili. We exist to ensure that women and girls from Kenya and its environs are safe and free from violence, exploitation, neglect, and abuse and have safe access to high-quality comprehensive responses that are appropriate to their individual needs, vulnerabilities, capacities while at the same time, age and gender-sensitive.
Usikimye has rescued 4385 women and girls, 361 children, and 14 infants in 2020. We have also rescued 71 young men (teenagers) and 9 men. In 2021, Usikimye has coordinated/rescued 486 women and girls from sexual and domestic violence, referred 2009 women and girls as well to other organizations and safe houses. Usikimye gets approximately 150 rescue requests a day on social media, email, and on-call.
Usikimye runs 3 safe houses/shelters for survivors ( 2 shelters for women and children and one shelter for men) and ensures that once the survivor is physically and psychologically healthy and stable, she is economically empowered and reintegrated back to society. This is done through their skill transfer programs, entrepreneurship boot camps and job placements for shelter residents, and any referrals we have coordinated with other shelters.
We rescue survivors from domestic abuse situations, rape victims and children abandoned in hostile situations. In the past 7 months, we have rescued 353 survivors. From December 29th to April 13th, we had a standard procedure
Rescue, hospital care, and then we would rehome them to shelters that were existing in Nairobi.
On April 13th, we opened our own shelter, with a capacity of 4 women. In a week, we increased the capacity to 16 because of the rise of GBV DURING THE PANDEMIC
In June 2020, we partnered with the Kasarani Police station to have a transitional rest house where women can rest as they go through the tiring and much-needed reform reporting structure, with a bed capacity of 10 beds.
We are setting up a toll-free GBV hotline to help the existing one (1195 government partners) so that GBV response will be swift, easy and ensure a progressive change in ending gender-based violence. This program has been supported by ForumCIV’s Swedish Embassy Wajibu wetu program. Over 150 calls in a day are received by Usikimye including calls from other GBV stakeholders for referrals, rescues, and the need for safe houses and on top of needing resources.
OUR FIGHT AGAINST SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
Enabling networking. The four cornerstones of our organization are connecting, learning, sharing, and collaborating. Our strength lies in our campaign for a societal collective voice towards ending GBV. We aim to bring people together regularly for peer-to-peer exchanges and in annual community convenings co-hosted by grassroots organizations in their respective communities. Our topical roundtables, and events where functional experts and grassroots leaders discuss problems, solutions, and best practices.
Enabling Learning: We aim to convene workshops, e-Learning offerings, and webinars to build the capacity of grassroots organizations on human-centered design, systems thinking, design thinking, community mobilizing, effective campaigning; and program/project management.
Providing Expertise: We partner with organizations and engage with topical expertise on themes that are relevant for grassroots organizations. We aim to connect relevant experts to grassroots organizations that require technical support for coaching. mentorship and support.
Engaging in Advocacy: Our platform enables collective advocacy with other GBV stakeholders. We work with other partners and coalitions to advocate for funding and support of grassroots organizations working on gender justice with a focus on GBV.
Research: We aim to understand the gender justice ecosystem and the needs and approaches of grassroots organizations and the community to foster partnership. To this end, we conduct research and collate & share relevant thematic information to benefit our survivors, inform stakeholders, and improve the sector.
OUR PILLARS AGAINST SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
Empowerment: Achieving racial equity would mean enhancing the impact and amplify the voices of GBV organizations working on achieving gender justice in Africa, particularly those that are - or that represent – the most vulnerable and underserved constituencies that are deeply embedded in neocolonial pro-violence ideologies that instigate oppressive norms. We do this by providing the communities we serve with the tools and support they need to make the strategic and tactical decisions necessary to achieve their goals while campaigning against sexual and gender-based violence.
Diversity: We seek to build a movement that is led by and responsive to the needs of diverse individuals and communities. Those most at risk of facing injustice are disproportionately poor and members of racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities. Their active engagement is critical to a strong movement.
Learning: The ability to work effectively to protect the rights of LBTQ womxn in a rapidly changing world with diverse challenges requires innovation, creativity, and the ability to rapidly assimilate new ideas and information. We are willing to question the "common wisdom” and to challenge assumptions – our own and our colleagues -- – as we develop solutions. Our work environment and approach supports and facilitates this kind of learning.
Pragmatism: We believe there are opportunities at every level to achieve accountability and gender justice community activism. We believe those opportunities must be seized wherever and whenever they are found. Local victories strengthen work in other communities and amplify the voices of those working in the sector, and achievements in one community serve as models and buoy the efforts of advocates and activists in other communities.
Meet Our Founders
The Board of Directors
Usikimye was Founded by Njeri Migwi (who won last year's Persons of the year award alongside Odede of Shofco and James Mwangi - Equity Bank's CEO, and Stella (The only woman to be selected for the dangerous woman project by Edinburgh University and youngest consultant IFRC, 2016).
Njeri wa Migwi-Mwangi - Founder
Njeri, a survivor of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) started her passion project carrying out daring rescues of vulnerable women and girls for over six (6) years before joining forces with Stella.
Stella Khachina - Co-Founder
Stella, an international aid practitioner, reached out to Njeri on social media with ideas of using data to generate innovative interest and support for their work. When they met, Usikimye was created.
Ask Your Queries
Ask Your Queries
Do you have an emergency? Do you have people that you think need our help, guidance, or mentorship? Do you want to engage us further or support our cause? Here we are.