As part of Misean Cara’s ’15 Years : 15 Stories’ media project, this photo essay showcases the transformative power of Human Rights in Kenya. As part of Misean Cara’s ’15 Years : 15 Stories’ media project, this photo essay showcases the transformative power of Human Rights in Kenya. The Spiritans’ project in Wenje Parish along the Tana river in Kenya may seem to anyone who visits like a livelihoods focused project. The Spiritans run a successful Food for Assets project allowing villagers to work together to produce food for themselves and the most vulnerable in their communities. They also run a very successful irrigation project allowing community members to farm the land despite erratic rainfall. These two projects are so much more than livelihoods – they have helped to dispel resource-based conflict within the communities that live along the Tana river. With little or no rain coming to the area and with no other industry or job opportunities, people in Wenje parish rely on the land to feed themselves and their families and to bring in some money to their households. When this is not possible tensions can run high and spill over into violent outbursts that can tear communities a part. Together with these livelihoods projects, the Spiritans set up Peace Committees in Wenje parish to focus on conflict resolution as a way of mitigating any tensions or discontent.
Transforming Human Rights in Kenya by Misean Cara
Photo caption: The Wenje project targeted community leaders and ‘opinion shapers’ as a way to get the whole community involved in peacebuilding efforts, and it also succeeded in including 34 women (42% of the overall membership) in their peace groups. Women also noted that they were now better informed about decision-making at village level. Photo: The Spiritans.