Lobby group mobilises women empowerment in marginalised communities

Nguvu Collective change leaders in Kajiado on May 28.[Photo, Courtesy]

A change initiative group has come together to equip women from the marginalised communities.

The group, Nguvu Collective, aims to equip women with the knowledge to lead impactful campaigns and create deep social impact by telling their stories.

Its first flagship programme dabbed ‘Launchpad’ has brought together over 28 female change leaders in the country.

“Launchpad Kenya is an event that I envisioned to support women change-makers from marginalised communities. I am confident we will witness them emerge as powerful leaders who can drive positive social change in their communities,” Preethi Herman, Nguvu Collective CEO said in Kajiado.

According to Preethi, the initiative comes at a time when Kenyan women are grappling with a massive spike in gender-based violence, discrimination, and social and economic inequities.

“At the Launchpad, these leaders will be offered support to lead campaigns around issues they wish to impact and use their skills to bring about systemic shifts that will benefit millions of women,” Preethi added.

After the five-day program, the organization aims to impact change leaders who will amplify marginalised voices and support women from underserved communities in leading socially impactful campaigns.

Among the leaders, 22 of them have consistently raised their voices about sexual and gender-based violence, maternal and menstrual health, the inclusion of persons with disabilities, teen mothers, and those facing other social injustices. 

Naomi Kolian, an anti Female Genital Mutilation activist from Narok County is one of the change leaders who have come on board with the organization.

“Nguvu Collective’s Launchpad has been a safe space for me to ideate collective solutions with fellow change leaders. It is empowering to be heard and find support and mentorship here. An initiative like this was much needed and instilled renewed confidence in those of us who have felt isolated in our journey to driving social change,”Naomi said.

Her fellow change leader Harriet Afandi who leads a campaign for the prevention of Obstetric Violence in health facilities also attests to the benefits of joining the group.

"Over the past year, my journey has evolved and progressed because of the consistent support I received from Nguvu Collective. My goal is to promote the maternal and human rights of every woman. The training from Nguvu has helped me gain insights into how to move forward and reach out to policymakers to seek urgent and concrete action,” said Harriet.

The organization has brought achievements as three Change Leaders ran for political office for MCA and Senatorial seats in the 2022 elections, while two are medical practitioners. 

Nguvu Collective’s transformational leadership program has trained over 400 women Change Leaders in India and more than 150 in Nigeria and South Africa. Their campaigns have resulted in approximately 50 policy-level changes and directly impacted the lives of over 180 million women.