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Update from World YWCA about Kenya events and their activities- how to get involved

From Sophie Dilmitis, World YWCA, sponsor of Kenya 2007 conference in July for women with HIV.

Please check out our website and see what we have
posted regarding statements around Kenya www.worldywca.org Apart from this
our General Secretary, Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda has being in Kenya during the
elections, and very involved in the mediation process. Nyaradzai only
returned to Geneva on the 4th of January and our Regional Director, Helene
Yinda is off to Nairobi to support the YWCA of Kenya next week.

An update so far:

The World YWCA effort is a supportive and facilitative role to the
leadership of YWCA Kenya. We are engaging with our ecumenical partners
especially the National Council of Churches and the WCC. In addition YWCA of
Kenya is working closely with some individual parishes. We have also
established formal relationships with Red Cross, and women organizations in
Kenya, regionally and globally involved in advocacy for humanitarian
response that is sensitive to women’s needs and for protection of women's
rights and African Union Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality and 1325
implementation.

We developed a 3-pronged response strategy to the crisis focusing on gender
responsive humanitarian assistance; community peace building and respect for
diversity and integrating gender perspective into the mediation effort. We
used this framework to develop: a) one year emergency programme summary
sheet; b) a proposal with detailed budget for 6 months interventions c) an
action alert that had been sent out to the movement, partners and donors.

We have approached donors and some have given commitment in principle for
funding. We are following up on the details. We have also made available
some small contribution to Kenya and will also be providing technical advise
and support on a continuous basis.

We issued a joint statement with YWCA Kenya, which was widely shared. YWCA
Kenya has received many messages of support from various associations and
individuals from the movement. Hon Mary Robinson has been a key ally as she
sent out a formal note to over 100 international leaders who are part of the
global security network, that met in November last year. We have also made
contact and presentations with the African Union institutions and NGOs, as
well as the Kenya mission in Geneva.

The YWCA of Kenya has provided a physical shelter in 3 branches in the
affected areas (Mombassa, Kisimu and Siaya) for displaced communities with a
special attention to elderly and pregnant and lactating mothers.

World YWCA is evolving a leadership role for the global advocacy for women'
s leadership and protection of women’ s rights in Kenya.

YWCA Kenya is now a formal member of the UN Protection Cluster and working
closely with the Kenya Red Cross Society.

YWCA Kenya is an active member of the NGO network advocating for gender
issues in mediation, in close cooperation with Maendeleo Ya Wanawake and
Urgent Action Fund-Africa.

YWCA will take the lead for a rapid needs assessment for women in displaced
communities with a special focus on reproductive health, HIV & AIDS and
violence against women in partnership with Red Cross, Urgent Action
Fund -Africa and UNIFEM.

World YWCA and Kenya YWCA have produced various media products:
www.worldywca.org; and is also actively involved in the “Heal the Nation
Campaign” an initiative of Kenya Women Journalist coordinated by Africa
Women and Child Features in partnership with Norway and Sweden.

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