Pastoralist Girls Initiative (PGI) is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) registered with Kenya NGOs Co-ordination Board. The organization was founded in 2001 as a community based organization (CBO) with initial membership of 15 members drawn from former North Eastern Province of Kenya.
These were individual community members who were committed to development of the community on voluntary basis. PGI came in to fill a felt gap in championing the plight of pastoralist women and girls especially on matters related to education, food security, human rights including rights to property ownership and economic empowerment.
To enable pastoralist communities to realist their fullest potential in order to lead a dignified life
To promote sustainable development by enhancing pastoralist capacities through integrated development approach.
HOW DOES YOUR ORGANISATION MAKE WOMEN COUNT?
- Through inclusion of women in policy formulation at the county level
- Capacity built women on the constitution with regards to women occupation of leadership position
- Advocate and lobby for fair representation through inclusion of women in the county government through nomination by political parties as enshrined in the constitution.
- Economic empowerment and property ownership for pastoralist women in the community.
- Awareness creation of climate change and food security programs to strengthen food production, resilience and reduce vulnerability through supporting women in diversifying their livelihood.
- Advocate for girls school friendly Infrastructure
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN SUCCESSES AS AN ORGANISATION?
Pastoralist Girls Initiative has been empowering girls for the past years and it is in 2012 that initiated the establishment of a girls movement in the Northern part of Kenya the first ever in this community whose mandate is to champion their rights and represent the voice of the many pastoralist girls that experience marginalization in accessing education in a patriarchal community, protection and safety for girls and protection against retrogressive cultural practices among them FGM and early marriage. The Girls movement known as INUA was invited during the IHRFG donor conference and among other panellist shared their experiences in San Francisco.
Pastoralist Girls initiative has also mentored and empowered women towards attaining leadership skills in order to take up leadership positions, currently we have 15 women in the county assembly occupying political position and whose mandate is to come up with policies for the community. This has been a great opportunity for our organization to link with these women and we have been able to come up with two bills that the women have lobbied in the County Assembly i.e. the sanitary bill which has passed and the Governor assented to it, where by the County Government is mandated to provide for girls in schools in order to reduce dropout rates The safety bill entails protection of the girl child against Gender Based violence, torture, sexual assault this is yet to be passed as it is in its debate stage.
Linkage of successful Somali women from the community with the girls for mentorship has been a success. Girls lacked role models to look up to for future dreams and goals but today meeting these women in forums and sharing experiences has motivated them to perform better and they have realised that girls too can achieve and have great potential if at all they work hard. Different from the nurturing done by their culture whereby a girl or a woman’s place is in the kitchen and they are meant to be seen and not heard since they do not make decision.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES YOU FACE?
The major challenge that we face is limited funds that limit us in our interventions. Our goal is to support all girls and women even in the interior those that do not access school to motivate them, empower women in the entire County. Replicate what we have done at the urban in the rural hence much impact will be felt most especially since it is at the rural that there is so much ignorance and retrogressive cultural practices are undertaken.
Learn more and engage with PGI here: