Kibra Activist Editar Ochieng' Wins Wangari Maathai Award

  • Kibra Activist Editar Ochieng' is the founder of the Feminist for Peace Human Rights and Justice Centre.
    Kibra Activist Editar Ochieng' is the founder of the Feminist for Peace Human Rights and Justice Centre.
  • Kibra activist Editar Adhiambo Ochieng' was on Monday, June 9, named the first winner of the unsung hero campaign by the Wangari Maathai foundation.

    Ochieng' who vied for the Kibra parliamentary seat under the Ukweli party in the by-election won by Imran Okoth, was recognised for her work in advocating for women's rights and helping survivors of sexual violence.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Acting Director for the Wangari Maathai Foundation, Nicola Hankey Onyango stated that more winners would be announced bi-monthly with calls for nominations being made every month.

    "The Foundation will lead calls where two unsung hero will be named every month for their work with vulnerable communities as it continues to inspire youths to be leaders of courage and character, to embody the works of the late Professor Wangari Maathai," Nicola explained.

    Kibra Activist Editar Ochieng'
    Kibra Activist Editar Ochieng'

    The 31-year-old activist runs the Feminist for Peace Human Rights and Justice Centre and she had been involved in the social programs in the settlement for a number of years.

    "Born and raised in Kibera, Editar Ochieng' has seen women suffer; their rights infringed on but lacked the confidence to stand up for themselves. This inspired her to start a women empowerment program in her community.

    "But with the current situation and following the government directive on social distancing, the informal settlement has been highly affected and Editar Ochieng and her team are not able to rescue women from sexual violence," her profile reads in part.

    A statement by the Wangari Mathai Foundation noted that Editar was selected among hundreds of applicants who are working in society but don't get recognised for their transformative actions.

    "We had a call for nominations and we were inspired with her work especially in the Covid-19 pandemic where she is now offering door to door services, donating food, and reusable masks to the sexual violence survivors and the vulnerable women in her community," the foundation revealed.

    The activist is also providing the residents with key information on the prevention of Covid-19 to give them hope and help them build resilience during these unprecedented times.

    Launched in May, the Unsung hero campaign will run until September 2020 with the aim of identifying young people helping their community during these uncertain times through acts of courage and resilience. 

    "The Foundation will create a cohort of these winners and support them by bringing awareness and advocacy to their issues, through knowledge networks and mentorship," the statement read in part.

    According to the Kenya government data, 45 percent of women and girls aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical violence and 14 percent have experienced sexual violence. Many cases are not reported to authorities and few women get justice or receive medical care.

    An image of Kibra
    Hundreds of Kibra residents gathered at the District Commissioner's office on Friday 10th April 2020
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