Advocating for the Rights and Resilience of Communities in Kenya

Through her work as the program coordinator of the ‘Imarisha Maisha’ program in Kenya, Millicent has seen the resilience of people in communities develop through the strengths-based approach that she facilitates with her team. A strengths-based approach recognises that every person has abilities, gifts and ideas that will assist them in achieving their dreams and goals. It is an approach that has proven effective, as Millicent attests; ‘When you see a mother who was living in an abusive relationship empowered to make decisions ...both economically and socially, it is very fulfilling.’

Millicent is tireless in her efforts which is demonstrated in her team‘s achievements, ‘we recently have been supporting people living with disabilities and we felt whatever we were doing was not really enough.’ However, after the county decided to include a bill for the inclusion of people living with a disability, her team got to work mobilising people’s experiences, providing them a platform to share their views. They then prepared the bill, which passed through the county assembly. Millicent reflects on the success of that achievement, ‘Now people living with a disability will be recognised at the county level. They will be able to access opportunities meant for them.’

Millicent works closely with Kylie, the Head of International Programs at AOA. It’s a partnership they have shared for many years and one Millicent speaks highly of. ‘The kind of partnership that I have seen between us and AOA; I would want it emulated elsewhere because it’s a partnership where they want us to be part of the design, the planning and everything, so there is no donor/recipient relationship, it’s a partnership.’

Millicent is strengthened by the impact that she has seen in the lives of families, schools and even at a government level but is eager for more: ‘I see a society where every person will know their rights and every community member will know their responsibility to take care of his or her neighbour’s rights.’ With her passion for a just society, an effective approach and strong team her community is in safe hands.

The ‘Imarisha Maisha’ Program receives funding from the Australian Government, through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).