Training Workshops Empower Local Advocacy Groups

The training workshops in Kenya were intended to explain the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process and to provide information and the skills necessary for human rights advocacy groups to follow-up on the recent UPR of Kenya.

As most were unfamiliar with the world of the United Nations, some explanation the UN structure, its functions and various human rights mechanisms of the Human Rights Council were provided before focussing particularly on the UPR.

Several role plays and videos were used to illustrate how the UPR process worked.

Participants in the ERN Nairobi Workshop on the UPR

Armed with this new information, the participants examined the recommendations made to Kenya at its recent UPR and then prioritised the list to obtain a manageable number of issues for follow-up.

At the Edmund Rice Network workshop Moy Hitchen led several sessions on Sustainabilty, Earth Rights and on minimising one’s carbon footprint.

Interest groups were formed around particular themes such as: the Right to Education, Care of the Environment, the Right to Health – including HIV/AIDS, and issues relating to Discrimination against Women. After some further input from local presenters involved in advocacy, groups were given some time to develop an action plan relating to their particular area of interest.

The Franciscans International (FI) training workshop covered similar ground except that the workshop focussed solely on the UPR process apart from a session on ‘Healing and Reconciliation’ intended to help address the aftermath of the 2007-08 post-election violence – an issue that was itself the subject of a number of recommendations arising from the UPR.

Members of the ERN Justice and Advocacy group hard at work at the FI workshop. (l-r) Agnes, Joash, Valentine, Johnstone and Moy

Feedback and evaluations provided by the participants suggest that the workshops were very successful.

While in Nairobi Brian and Moy also visited a number of Brothers’ communities and ministries and met with the enthusiastic and dedicated Justice and Advocacy group which is committed to utilising its new found knowledge to work for a more just Kenyan society.

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